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posted by Andrea Vasquez :: Feb 01, 2008 :: 10:19 AM 
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Lucky... that's how I feel after coming out alive from Puerto Rico's trip and 3 day cycling tour!  What an adventure/experience... Here's a report...

Our first day of the tour, 155 miles, was great.  Most of us stuck with the peloton, enjoyed the beautiful scenery and felt pretty strong.   On the second day of the tour, we decided to go with the faster group and with 5 miles to go, I had a pretty nasty crash... While riding on a paceline on a flat stretch at 24mph, I hit a BIG DEEP hole shadowed by a big tree(2ft by 4ft and 1ft deep) and went flying over my aerobars to the other side of the street (apparently 6 other riders too). I fell head/face first and my helmet saved my life. My whole right side of the body got road rash and bruises. miraculously, I don't remember a thing... I was unconscious/out of it for a few minutes. Eric, was talking to me and asking things and I didn't know where I was and who were the people with me. I was asking "Where's Mariana?". Eric kept talking to me and little by little I came back to reality. I was taken to the ER for 7hrs and all xrays and the CT scan came out negative. I guess my bones are pretty tough! I was extremely lucky to have not broken anything and still be ALIVE. My titanium frame cracked, front racing wheel (zipp 404), my helmet and glasses broke... but those are only material things.

While in the hospital my main concern was how I was going to bike the last day, 135 miles since my front wheel was damaged and my bike too... Patrick and a few other riders found a spare bike from a lady, Babby, who was nice enough to lend me her "baby" so I could finish the ride.  That one of many ways Puerto Ricans hospitality came through on this trip... the doctors were amazing as well (they told me if all the medical exams were negative, they would come along and change my bandages and keep an eye on me on the last day if I decided to ride). So, yes, I went on to finish the tour all banged up fueled by adrenaline and pure stubborness! I was calling Mariana every so often and keeping her updated because she really didn't want me to ride after a concussion, but there was nothing she could do to convince me otherwise. Right after the ride was over that's when all the pain/bruises started to sink in and I started getting emotional (people were telling me how the accident happened and how scary it was...) and extremely tired. I felt very frustrated, useless and overwhelmed... just wanted to get home.

Now I'm sound and safe at home and healing fast. We ordered a new frame and my wounds look much better. Initially, my face looked like a basketball and everyone thought I had broken my cheek bone, but I guess I'm made of something stronger than my bike, better than titanium :)
Here's a few photos from the accident...

I can't wait to be back on my torito!  And be able to swim and run as well...

Special thanks to my teammates: to Eric for being with me the whole time since the accident and 7+hrs in the ER always so cool, making jokes and keeping me calm.  To Patrick, for being always positive and asking around for a bike for the last day. To Paul, for being my sherpa when I was hurting and getting me all the supplies for my wounds, and for putting up with me when I was down after the finish.

Safe riding!

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