The incident at mile marker 43.42.

April 18, 2010

Today we had a great day of biking from Carlsbad to Hobbs, NM.  I left this morning with Roshan, Lauren and her father John, who was on the last day of his partial ride.  We were biking pretty strongly, working up some moderate hills.

A group consisting of members of the Magnificent Seven, as well as others, caught up with us and we joined ranks with them.  Our larger group soon caught up with the front group, which also joined us.

So there we were: almost the entire ride, approximately 18 people.  We were having something akin to a Mighty Ducks moment as we were hauling down the highway in the right lane in two parallel draft lines.  Everyone was taking their turn at the front of the line, and when they got tired they would slow up and allow the people behind them to take over the lead.

As we approached mile 43, Travis and I had been pulling the team at the front.  We agreed to drop back, and the people behind us began to pull.  At exactly mile 43.42 I saw a flash of white bicycle going across the road and a bunch of people were yelling.  I slammed on my brakes and quickly decelerated from 18mph to a stand still.  In a moment I saw that several bikers were down.  Other teammates were rushing to their aid.  As the rearguard of our group, I quickly unclipped, turned around and started signaling the oncoming traffic to move to the left lane.  This all happened within moments.

In the end the crash had occurred when apparently Lauren hit her front tire against someone’s rear tire.  She fell, and Libby used Lauren’s bike as she leapt up in the air and then fell herself.  Tim and Jody went down, as well as Adam and Jeff, who were directly in front of me.  Luckily I was able to stop in time (and did not swerve into the left hand lane, although there was no traffic there at the time), and Travis swerved onto the shoulder and was able to stop.

This was our first major crash of the trip.  The butcher’s bill was thankfully light.  There was some bruises and abrasions, but no broken bones or serious injuries.  The bikes took the brunt of the damage.  Libby, Tim and Jody were unable to continue biking for the day.

This is a clear reminder that biking is a dangerous sport.  Unfortunately we will need to bike in groups like this as we cross Texas, because we need the strength of the group to pull us through the head winds.

Hobbs, NM (or Hobbs, America as they refer to themselves) is a very nice town.  This is a town that takes High School sports seriously: they have 16 state basketball championships, their old basketball coach was the winningest coach in the country, and families in Hobbs hold on to their season tickets to Hobbs HS basketball games like Green Bay fans have season tickets to the Packers games.  Having said that, there is no cycling shop in Hobbs.  We got the name of a local bike guru who came by to help us fix the bikes.  We were able to get all the bikes back in shape with the exception of Tim’s bike.  His rear wheel was bent pretty badly and we’ll have to take it to a shop in Dallas.

Tomorrow we cross back into Texas for a long haul through Abilene and Dallas/Fort Worth.  As my adventures continue, I’ll keep you informed!


Untitled by embricate at Garmin Connect – Details.


3 Responses to “The incident at mile marker 43.42.”

  1. Steve Richardson said

    Hi Andy (Floyd)!

    I finally got around to reading your blogs from start to finish. Something I have intended to do for some time (3 weeks?). Glad to hear things are going well, if difficult at times. It does give credence to the benediction Arthur often gave, when he quoted the old Irish benediction that asked the Lord that the “wind always be at your back!” I will ask Christ to bless you particularly with that gift!

    Bless you and your entire team!


    • Andy said

      Thanks Steve! It’s good to keep in touch with the Richardson’s, even if only digitally. Hope the family had a good time in Vancouver (which it looked like you did!). What is Kaylin going to do now that she has retired? What are the boys up to?

      Please give my best to your family, and I will let you know if I end up back in MN as part of my travels (although I’m more often found in Colorado, if you guys are ever out there…).


  2. josh said

    glad to hear you guys are ok!

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