Tilford Brothers Little Broken

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Yesterday I got a call from my brother.  He said he was sitting in a motor home and wasn’t quite sure how he got there.  He said that he had crashed at the Kansas State Road Championships. He said he was jumping and his chain skipped, he started over the bars, nose wheeling, then came down hard, with his rear wheel sideways and proceeded to high-side into a ditch.  He said that he had broken his collarbone, possible his scapula and, of course, ribs.  He was waiting for a ride back to Topeka when the race finished.

Upon further inspection, his chain broke, not completely, but the side plate of one link came off, causing the accident.  What was cool was everyone else in the race stopped and waited while he was attended to.  Must have been early.

He got back to Topeka so late that the minor med was closed and he didn’t want to go to the emergency room.  He called this morning and is heading over there now, so we’ll see the extent of the damage pretty soon.

Meanwhile, I was out MTB riding, heading over to Breckenridge from Silverthorne and slid out on a loose corner.  I was going pretty fast, but I didn’t think it was a big deal.  I was turning right and my rear wheel slid out.  I think I must have tried to get my right foot on the ground because somehow, my right knee got stuck underneath me when I was sliding.  It wasn’t pretty.

I look down and my whole knee looked like hamburger.  It was so messy, I couldn’t really tell what was going on.  I sprayed it off with some water and could see a couple deep places, the rest was just raw.

I proceeded to head over to Breckenridge since I was 1/2 way there already and had to ride somewhere to get to civilization.

Trudi had driven over because I was trying to find a floor pump I’d left there a couple months ago at the rental house and needed a way to bring it back.  Plus, we were going to have dinner.

By the time I met up with Trudi, my knee was pretty stiff, encrusted in blood.  We decided it was best to head back to Silverthorne and clean it up.  We stopped at Whole Foods in Frisco and got take-out.

I got into the bathtub and started scrubbing.  There is only a small window after crashing that your body produces its own anesthesia and I wanted to make use of that.

Like I said above, it was a mess.  Ground by the granite, it looked like hamburger with a couple chunks missing.  I cleaned it as best I could in the tub and then poured a bottle of alcohol on it while scrubbing it again.  He still looked dirty, but I think the skin was just burnt or something. I called Stacie and she said it should be stitched up, even though most of the skin looked compromised, at least to me.

So, I stitched it up.  It took awhile.  It quit bleeding which was nice.  I clean it again and covered it with antibiotic cream and gauze pads.  This morning, it is super swollen, which I guess should be expected.  I don’t think there will be any bike riding today, my knee really doesn’t bend.

On a lighter note, I retrieved my pump in Breckenridge.  We remembered the garage code, so I went over there, was going to knock on the door, but no one was staying there, put in the garage door code and bingo, it opened and my pump was there.

I’m heading over to Walgreens to get a bunch of stuff to try to prevent infection.  I haven’t had that great of luck with knee wounds, in general, and this one bothers me.  I was hoping to help VIncent with some tiling of a bathroom down in Arvada, but I think that is going to have to be put on hold for a while.

Kris' bike after he landed on his rear wheel badly.That trispoke is pretty much toast, huh?

Kris’ bike after he landed on his rear wheel badly.That trispoke is pretty much toast, huh?

Right after I fell.

Right after I fell.

Still dirty, messy legs.

Still dirty, messy legs.

After scrubbing, pre-stitching.

After scrubbing, pre-stitching.

Post sutures.

Post sutures.

Pump score.

Pump score.

Before all the drama, we took Tucker over to Frisco for an Art fair.  There were dogs galore.

Before all the drama, we took Tucker over to Frisco for an Art fair. There were dogs galore.



21 thoughts on “Tilford Brothers Little Broken

  1. Madeline

    Sorry to hear about your guys’ woes. I hope Kris’ injuries weren’t too severe and that his head is ok. Speedy recovery to you both.

  2. Jpete

    Hope everyone is ok. Kris might spend some of his down time finding a set of mass start legal wheels.

  3. Jpete

    I just looked at usac site, looked to me like they deferred to UCI rules regarding wheels unless I just didn’t see it. I’m home sick today so my brain is a little fuzzy.

  4. CharlieA

    Thought there was a minimum spoke count for mass-start bikes. Could not find mention of such a thing in the rule book (unless you’re a junior)!

  5. Bill K

    A little glue and duct tape and that Tri-spoke will be as good as new. What kind was it. It looks like my old Specialized Tri-spoke that I still use for TT’s (with aluminum braking surfaces…….it’s really old)
    I once drove back from southern Indiana after crashing, and without scrubbing or cleaning up……….HUGE mistake. I screamed in the shower.

  6. 82medici

    BillK, I started chuckling right after I read “a little glue and duct tape.” I was expecting something about Steve’s knee!

  7. KrakatoaEastofJava

    Please guys, don’t give the Brothers Tilford any bright ideas about saving money. They just might try and glue that wheel back together.

    Just curious, was Kris riding 11-speed? At “some” point, don’t you think we will have reached the limit of how thin a chain can be made (and not break under extreme torque)? Perhaps we’ve found the limit?

  8. Steve Tilford Post author

    Eastofjava-No, it was 10 speed. It was a Whipperman chain, fairly new. I believe those go together with a removable link. It didn’t break there. Strange.

  9. chiefhiawatha

    Pretty amazing how long those trispokes have stayed the same and stayed fast. Good design.

  10. Jpete

    My bad. Found it in a different section. I thought they were all banned when the Spinergy spinning blades of doom were because they posed a safety risk in the event of a crash. Got me wondering why we don’t see local pros rolling around on tri spokes or other tupperwheels.

  11. KrakatoaEastofJava

    So that leads me back to the question… Do you think 9, 10, 11 speeds may be “A Bridge Too Far” in terms of safety? During my 80’s days, I saw pedal spindles and crank arms break, but I don’t ever recall seeing chains break. Now I hear about them fairly often. Obviously, for the chains to fit in those tight spaces, they have to be a lot thinner than they used to be. Is the government keeping tabs on the safety data? Have the materials gotten significantly stronger since the 80’s?

  12. Tman

    I haven’t done stitches in 25 years. Keep several widths of Steri-tape around the house and in my travel bag. Usually needs to be redone on the second day or so then leave it until it starts coming off.

  13. AaronB

    After 28 years of elite MTB, I have started wearing lightweight knee pads on all my MTB rides. I have lost so much skin/time riding from silly little offs, that the extra protection is welcome. I don’t heal so well anymore, and its nice to have a “fail” like yours today Steve and not be so smashed up.

    Hope you heal quickly!

  14. Bill K

    It’s possible that it could be repaired. It might cost as much as a new wheel though.
    Chains often break if they aren’t put together correctly. With 10 and 11 speed chains, you have to be REALLY careful when you put it together. If one pin isn’t perfectly centered, it will eventually go there.

  15. Shano

    Please tell me who – beyond a cyclist – could take a gouge like that then get back on the bike to (maybe) snag a pump rather than going straight to the emergency room? 😉
    I like to consider myself like a cockroach, gonna take more than a fly swatter to take me out of the game. Heal fast dude! And hope ur brother is doing ok, you guys kick ass

  16. Fausto

    Best second line to a story ever. Hope there was a part about loose women and liquor involved in the motor home.


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