A crash and minor setback (day 9)

I’m tapping away, one finger-style-typing, from a hotel in Coos Bay, propped up in bed wearing hospital scrubs. Two days ago I had a crash on my bike and I’m still trying to piece it all together in my head.

We had departed Humbug Mountain State Park camp around 8.30am for our 9th day of cycling. We had another superb day of cycling, with many more wonderful coastal views. We stopped for a late seafood lunch in Bandon – excellent Pacific cod and chips – before continuing for our final 15 miles or so to camp. We were delighted to turn off the busy 101 highway and take the back roads into Charleston, where we were headed for the night.

Further along the ominously named backroad of Seven Devils Road, it turned into an unsealed, gravel road. I cycled into a patch of deep gravel and felt the front wheel writhe around and spin out from under me. Next thing I’m aware of is waking up in a 4×4 pickup (thank you SO much to these kind strangers) on way to the nearest hospital, at Coos Bay. (I think the combination of the loose gravel and having the luggage weight on the back of the bike meant the front wheel of the bike was “light” and prone to slipping. I think the front wheel twisted 90 degrees sideways and threw me to the ground on my R side.)

I have two sets of two stitches in the R side of my face and have fractured two of the bones in my cheek around my eye (zygomatic bones). I have scrapes and missing skin from both hands, forearms, R hip (also stitch here) and R knee. Thankfully the CT scan came back clean so my head is ok.

My bike and clothes also took a hit – both brake/gear levers are bent sideways, I have holes in my shorts and shirt, my sunglasses are heavily scratched on the R lens, and my helmet is bashed up on the R side.

So where do we go from here? Well, I’ve been told to have a week off the bike so we’re holed up in a hotel here in Coos Bay for the next few days. Then we’re going to head to Portland by car on Monday, and get the bike fixed up again. Hopefully we can then resume our route from Portland middle of next week. Fingers crosed. I’ll post some updates early next week.

My brother has also written about the crash from his perspective here on his tumblr.



And some photos from earlier in the day before the crash:






14 thoughts on “A crash and minor setback (day 9)

  1. Claire

    Jesus mate, hope you’re OK!! That looks painful. Although, considering my accident just two days before yours I can assure you facial injuries heal up miraculously fast. Hope everything else does too. Gravel is a damned chooch! Look after yourself… Go well. xox

  2. 1kayakgal

    So sorry to hear if your crash Ben, but happy that you were able to get medical aid quickly.

    I hope the next week or so goes according to your revised plan

    Best wishes for quick mending

    @kayakgal (Lisa)

  3. Sue

    Hi Ben, what a shock, you do look battered and bruised! am so sorry but hope you can manage to cycle on again at some point. You are both made of strong stuff and have the ‘determination’ gene from your folks. Poor Peter, having to sort everything out too – no stress then! Love to you both and take care of yourselves xxxx

    1. benlcollins Post author

      Thanks to all for the kind words. Healing up well after a good rest.Hoping that bike and body will be ready to resume the tour possibly by the weekend! Cheers, Ben

  4. Rich

    Ben glad to hear that you are healing well and will be back on your bike soon. I just am not sure I will have you wheel me around on the rack at the wedding

  5. Dan Portnov

    Get well soon and get back on that bike! Really enjoying reading about and seeing your adventures.

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