Part 1: The Road To Recovery, The Carrie Seipp Story

Over the next few days, I, Carrie Seipp, will be guest blogging for Twin Cities Movement. I will write about recovering from a bad crash at a bicycle race. Those of you who know me well have likely heard the topics I will discuss. You will know that I feel like a broken record. I feel like I should be *over* all of this because it happened nearly 2 years ago. I beat myself up believing that I shouldn’t still be impacted by my injuries, my emotional connection to the injuries, the recovery process, and my current capabilities.

Today, I will tell you what I know about the crash.

I crashed during the Yucaipa Road Race stage of the 2016 Redlands Bicycle Classic. I was guest riding on the NorthStar Development team with my Orion teammate Abby, a rider from North Dakota, and three riders who were just named to the Olympic team. We had a full staff of support folks and great hosts – we were set up to succeed.

The day prior, in the Highland Circuit stage, I felt great. I was really excited to have finished well in stage 1 since it was my first race of the year and a very early stage race for a Minnesotan! The Yucaipa stage would end for me with an ambulance ride and overnight stay at the hospital with head and neck injuries (plus thoracic spine, facial nerve, and shoulder injuries, but that wasn’t understood then).

I have no memory of this, but I, along with others, crashed from approximately 40 mph at the end of the long downhill on our 3rd of 4 loops on the course. From what I understand, a small incident happened at the front of the field and there was a reaction crash on the side where I was riding as we moved around the initial incident. I may have overreacted or hit someone else – I don’t know.

My first memory happened inside the ambulance. My next memory occurred in the trauma center. My hospital papers show: skull fracture, epidural hematoma, facial lacerations, multiple abrasions, and C3-C7 ligament damage. I mostly remember being hungry. My chief pain complaint was the sheets sticking to the cuts on my calf. Hunger and skin abrasions were the issues I understood and could articulate. I am forever learning the words to articulate the other trauma.