better, study of - Pete Carapetyan's personal blog

Anatomy of Fixie bike wreck

29 Dec 2013
Posted by Pete Carapetyan

With no obstacles, bumps, other cyclists as causal effects, this story is about putting the best possible spin on otherwise questionable events.

Q: When?
A: 11am Christmas Morning 2013. Getting a one hour ride in before heading to Martha and Ken's for Xmas Dinner

Q: Where?
A: Back side 'S' curves of The Veloway, at top of the long hill right before the entrance/parking.

fixie Shown here, bike is a fixed gear, pedals and wheels must spin together. Flip wheel to other side and it coasts like a normal bike.

Q: What happened?
A: Cyclists will often quit pedalling and coast for a few seconds at the top of a hill, especially when successfully executed. It had been a nice climb, I was feeling good about myself, instinctively sat back to slow down and coast through the 'S' curves, as I was already going pretty fast. The Fixie bike I was riding 'Oh yeah, I'm riding a Fixie' kept pedaling, which threw me right when I was shifting my balance. The asphalt stopped me, after a few nice bounces.

Q: Who stopped to help you?
A: Ernie stopped first - a Physician's Assistant. Next person to stop was Nancy, also a Physician's Assistant. Then Mark stopped, he is a Dentist. As the three of them were walking me to the parking lot, a pain doctor also stopped to make sure he didn't need to render assitance. While waiting for Ken in the parking lot, Nancy called over another friend she saw, who was an EMT.
Ken Amsutz picked me up and took me home.

Q: Who helped you through the first few days?
A: My sister Martha and her husband Ken Amstutz allowed me to live underfoot and brought me food for the first 3 days. They picked up my wheelchair for me, even helped carry me up the stairs when handing me over to my son who returned to Austin on the 4th day. It would be challenging to overstate my appreciation for their assistance. It is also a joyous household to hang out in.

Additional thanks to nephew Nathan and neice Sophie for nice sparring mates during my initial convalescence.

Q: How will you fare in coming weeks?
A: My son Jeff already offices out of my apartment, as we have been working on a joint project for months. He may get some extra duties in coming weeks.

Q: What are the damages?
A: The earliest appointment I could get with my chosen Orthopedist is Jan 2nd. I'll know more then. At minimum it's a broken collarbone, rib, and at least a bruised hip or pelvis. The usual smattering of road rash. I am currently getting around in a wheelchair, but I can walk - if 3 feet per minute counts as such.

Q: This 'Fixie' thing sounds dangerous. What are the benefits of such a risky behavior?
A: I have never heard of anything remotely approximating benefits. More like a sports challenge.

Q: Frankly, Mr Carapetyan you are 59 years old! This whole 'Fixie' episode doesn't seem to reflect well on your judgement?
A: Well, some of my previous wrecks didn't reflect so well, either. I did, however, add one more thing to my 'Do Not Do' list.

Q: Other wrecks??? WTF???
A: I'm somewhere around 55,000 lifetime cycling miles. That many miles, and numbers can work against you. I think about the risks often, and do much to avoid them - especially wrecks with cars involved. My cycling friends think I'm weird because I won't ride roads much, if at all. I moved to be close to The Veloway for example. But then too, I have done some dumb stuff like this..

Q: 55,000 miles?? Do you have no life?
A: A topic of frequent conversation, but I also have no TV so this works as a reasonable substitute. I also tend to be somewhat solitary, which works in tandem.

Q: Shouldn't you check into an emergency room?
A: This isn't my first broken collarbone. Perhaps I should, but I won't. My experiences with the medical establishment leave me cynical beyond any reach of logic. Appreciation and dependency do not equate to respect and a feeling of safety. I choose my physicians carefully. If you care to join the chorus of family and friends who demand that I check into an emergency room, I'll be happy to give you a special number to call. It's probably loud in there.

Q: Was the bike damaged?
A: Of course not.

Q: Will this blog be updated when additional information comes in?
A: Probably