(recounted by Lisa Newton, a great friend, triathlon training partner, and nurse by trade)
Many have been asking what happened, I’m sure Rob will give a much better story than me but in summary:
Sat, Sept 5 we were on our final training bike ride prior to the Santa Cruz Half Ironman.
In the last five miles of the ride yesterday we had a steep decent downhill with many switchbacks. In these switchbacks his back wheel wobbled and he regained control only to look up, cross the opposite side of the road and go over the side.
He fell approximately 20 feet landing flat on a a log along his left side, stopping him from falling the rest of the way down, another 80 feet or so. He was then taken to Marin General.
[ You can see the GPS map of the actual ride here on Strava ]
I was the next biker behind Rob, but I was 5-10 min behind him so I didn’t see anything. I only noticed something was wrong when we got back to the car and he wasn’t there – that’s when we called his cell and he was in an ambulance.
From the fall he fractured his left clavicle, had some 5 fractured ribs and his left lung was collapsed 70%. He also has an L1 burst fracture in his back along with some minor scratches.
He had a small chest tube placed yesterday, that will be in for four days to re-inflate his lung. Surgery today is for his back, as Neil said it is 8-12 hours. I’m not 100% sure if they’re working on his clavicle too or if it’s conservative treatment, I’ll confirm when I find out.
He was admitted to the ICU last night. I stayed with him until 8pm when he was taken to get an MRI, not sure of those results yet. His morale is down, still in shock but still trying to crack jokes here and there which is nice to see.
His dog Chloe has been kindly looked after by Camille (thank you!) and his bike is 90% OK and with me along with his car. His Dad and step mum arrived late last night from Fresno.
Rob really appreciates everyone’s support! I’ll be back at the hospital this afternoon for when he wakes up. I’ll keep you all posted with updates as I hear them.