Randy Cox – One Tough Dude

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Monday wasn’t the best day for our local club training ride. We got stopped for long periods at all the busy roads on the way out of town, which is twice, and nothing seemed to be flowing well. By the time we got out West, the wind was blowing pretty good, but there was still a ton of smoke in the air from grass fires. I wasn’t too into it.

Towards the end of the ride, we nearly always ramp up the speed for a few miles. We started rotating and got a pretty good double echelon going. There were only 8 of us, so it was a pretty compact group. We finally got down to just 6 guys rotating, with two sitting on. About a mile out from the stop ahead sign we sprint for, it was going pretty good, 31.8 to be exact (from Strava. The ride was redeeming itself in my mind.

Then disaster struck. Randy Cox, who’d been pulling pretty good initially, but was sitting on the back, overlapped his front wheel with Bob’s rear. I heard a screech and then the nasty sound of someone hitting the road. I was waiting for the sound of more guys crashing, but thankfully, it was only one.

We all did a U-turn and Randy was laying in the middle of the road with his legs crossed. He was a little winded, obviously, but other than that, you wouldn’t have thought much of anything happened to him. He was so cool and collected, I was pretty sure that he just had a big amount of road rash. A couple cars, and a motorcycle stopped to help, which was nice. Randy told Bob that he thought that he needed an ambulance. I asked him if he thought he could move. He replied, “Steve, I’m a pretty tough guy, I’m hurt.”

And that was an understatement. He should of just left the word pretty out of the sentence and he was really hurt.

I drove to the emergency room and the triage nurse said that they were going to take him to surgery for a broken hip. I thought, shit, that’s not good. Getting back to his room, his family was there. He was completely cognizant and mainly worried about his work schedule. He owes a drywall business and is very hands on with the bidding, etc. I guess he’d been on his cell phone and the ambulance ride to the hospital, already making arrangements for the next day’s work. Who does that?

Anyway, Bob had fallen a couple years ago and broke his hip pretty badly, so had personal experience with the issue. I told Randy about Wayne Stetina and his hip replacement. Wayne walked out of the hospital two days afer surgery and was riding within a week.

But when the doctor came to the room, he checked Randy over and said that Randy had broke his femur. Wow, a broken femur. They were going to have to go in and put a rod in, then the bad part, no weight bearing for 3 months. Plus, he had a broken collarbone. The doctor said he might as well go and fix that too.

I was so surprised. Mainly because the stoic way that Randy was handling the pain. You would have thought that he had just skinned up his knees or something. When the EMT’s pulled his cycling shoe off out on the road, he told them that he had surgery on his foot the day before for hammer toe (football) and that it might look bad. He wasn’t supposed to be riding, not sure how he was riding, but he was.

I told Randy that in the short term, the femur is much worse, workwise, than a broken hip, but in the long run, he’ll be pretty happy that his femur broke and he doesn’t have a replacement hip. He didn’t even seemed the least bit worried about the collarbone.

Anyway, man, I’m not sure I’ve been on a ride with someone hurt so badly. And I’m pretty sure I’ve never met someone as tough as Randy Cox. I didn’t know Randy too well before, but learned a lot about him from the experience, but sorry it had to be at Randy’s expense. This is obviously going to be a setback for Randy, but with his mindset, I’m sure he’ll be back spinning his legs in little circles way before summer is over.

This was pretty much the position that Randy was in when we got back to him.

This was pretty much the position that Randy was in when we got back to him.

The paramedics were having the hardest time with his shoes.

The paramedics were having the hardest time with his shoes.

They did a real good job packing him up.  He didn't hardly wince when they were moving him around.

They did a real good job packing him up. He didn’t hardly wince when they were moving him around.

The doctor, bearer of bad news.  I liked the guy.  Seemed down to earth and competent.

The doctor, bearer of bad news. I liked the guy. Seemed down to earth and competent.

The ride was much better earlier.

The ride was much better earlier.

24 thoughts on “Randy Cox – One Tough Dude

  1. Madeline

    oh no! so sorry to hear about Randy wrecking. He is as nice of a guy as he is a tough one. Glad he was not hurt any worse, but it’s still a huge bummer.

     
  2. pat

    How coincidental that this happened on your ride. On Sunday, out for a easy ride on our normal training loop one of my teammates fell and broke his femur. Well wishes to both for a speedy recovery.

     
  3. Dustin

    Randy is a great guy and always fun to ride with. He is one of the toughest guys around. If anyone can heal up and come back stronger, it will be him.

     
  4. Alan Charley

    Best wishes to Randy, dude sounds like he’s crazy tough bet he’s back real
    soon…

     
  5. Nate

    Hope your friend recovers quickly and easily — a broken femur is serious business. I broke mine in a similar fashion — rod down the middle, fixed with two screws above the knee and a bolt in the hip. Aside from the non-weight bearing period, the recovery was fairly painless. Tell him to watch out for tendonitis, though. It’s the soft tissue stuff that is much, much more difficult to recover from (and, unfortunately, easier to get now that his musculature will be imbalanced).

     
  6. Mark

    Feel for the guy that fell and I hope he is better soon. Regarding your comment about him on his cell phone in the ambulance attending to work concerns and “who does this?” – people who are business owners and have commitments and responsibility to other people do this. Likely his business and his customers are his largest worry right now – it very likely isn’t when he’ll be back on the bike again. I know we all choose different paths in life – but your comment bordered on “clueless” to me.

     
  7. Kris

    Terrible news, but glad the injuries were not any worse, as they might well have been. Randy regularly rides with us in Lawrence on the Saturday Muffin and the Wednesday Pasta rides. Tell him that we know he will be back on those rides with us and that we are saving a slot for him in the peloton.

     
  8. Mark Henderson

    So sorry to hear about this. World class tough, and first rate guy. Hoping like heck for a full or better recovery.

     
  9. Steve Tilford Post author

    Mark – I stick with my statement. I’m pretty sure it isn’t a common thing to have a patient strapped to a backboard in an ambulance making work phone calls. I only knew because the ambulance guy commented about it at the hospital. So it seemed usual to him too and that is what he does for a living, so if I’m “clueless”, then he must be also.

     
  10. mike crum

    hope randys co workers pick up the slack for him.. so he dosent loose any business..this is one tough guy..get well asap randy..

     
  11. J. Goebers

    He for sure is one tough guy. It’s too bad he hit the deck, and I want to wish him all the best for a full and speedy recovery. On your bike!

     
  12. Nate

    I think Steve’s comment, “Who does this?,” was meant to reinforce how tough his friend is, not as some offensive jab at business owners.

    Obviously small business owners have commitments and concerns — the point is, most business owners wouldn’t start arranging contingency plans while laying in the trauma unit of a hospital with a severe injury. They would, as most of us would, be worrying about the state of their body and if they will walk normally again.

     
  13. KevinK

    HE IS ONE TOUGH MOTHER F***ER. I broke my femur in a similar fashion a couple of years back. They had to knock me out to move me at all from the scene. Can’t imagine talking on the phone to anyone, much less addressing business issues.

     
  14. jeff Butterfield

    Position of comfort. That’s what we all instinctively search for when trauma strikes. Looks like Randy discovered that propping himself up on one elbow with his legs crossed helped ease the pain.

    Tough? You betcha. The look in his eyes says it all. I’d wager he’s got that special something in his DNA. Probably stitch himself up if you gave him the needle.

     

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