Injured cyclist recounts day he nearly lost his life

-A A +A

I’m the injured cyclist you covered in the Aug. 5, story in the Monitor. A correction is necessary regarding the event leading up to my crashing into the West Gate as reported by Bob Krakowski.
I had ridden from White Rock up to the descent to the Caldera accompanied by  four other cyclists. After a short rest we headed back down to return to  White Rock via Los Alamos.
I descended fast and waited at the turn and had  some energy drink and a protein bar. When the others descended, I suggested  they go ahead while I finished my snack. I started out a couple of minutes  later and after riding the rollers was able to hit the downhill and see the  gate.
It must have been an optical illusion or an ominous delusion, but I was  sure I saw the gate open wide enough to pass through. I’ve ridden by the West Gate many times before and had never seen it open. My instinct was to stay  straight and head for the opening. I picked up my cadence to about 30-35 mph after seeing the gate begin to close; yet another illusion. When I got close enough to see that the gate was closed, it was too late to turn,  brake or jump. I uttered the biker’s about to crash phrase and  went headlong into the gate. That’s all I remember save hearing the helicopter rotors.
Additionally, there were a few other memories gleaned  through aided recall from my wife that week in the hospital and I don’t  remember being moved to a rehab clinic nor being in my room the next two  weeks. I’m happy to report that I was released from the clinic on Sept. 2  and on Sept. 7 I began working out as best I could at the Geneveva Chavez Community Center.
I began climbing steps and walking unaided by Sept. 10,  driving to the gym on Sept. 15, and now spend up to five hours rehabbing myself by spinning on a stationary bike, lots of leg exercises, a few upper body sets and lots of water-running laps in the pool.
After missing last year’s ski season (my fractured femur) I’m hoping that there’s lots of snow for me to begin intermediate runs by February and a  return to the bike by late spring.
Regarding the bike, all it suffered was some abrasions on the aero-bars and scrapes above the shifters. I have heard  from the sister of the woman who found me and called 911, that the bike and I  must’ve flown over the gate and I came to rest with both shoes in the pedal clips.
According to the UNMH Trauma Team, I’m lucky to be alive (don’t I know it) with the pounding my body took and my blood pressure at 45/36. Thanks to  the Air Rescue Team...without them I’d have used up my last life.
Hope this brings closure and a better explanation to the events of July 22,  2010.
Finally, I was totally to blame. I was at fault.

Herb Schon
Rio Rancho