Biker down

Old Town Bike Shop’s John Crandall is in the hospital after a high-speed collision with a car during his usual weekend ride to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and back. The short list is a broken femur and right wrist (plates and bone-graft surgery for that yesterday), plus a broken left shoulder (surgery for that slated Monday).

For those of you in town, the word is that John’s not ready to have visitors yet. I’ll keep you posted.

22 Responses to “Biker down”

  1. 1
    khal spencer:

    Any details on the crash, Patrick, or who did what?

    My best wishes to John for a full and complete recovery, by the way. Given the nature of the injuries, sounds like “speedy” is out of the question.

    Damn. And my plan for tomorrow is a weekend ride up Rt. 4 and into the Jemez. Damn that friggin’ traffic.

  2. 2
    gloria stitz:

    hoping John recovers well, and that you will fill us in on all the gory
    gee-oh political details (like how the cops will probably write it up as an incident not an accident, or blame him not the motorist, etc… Ever hre the one about “the automobile contacted the bicycler’ ….sorta like the bullet “contacting” the victim.

  3. 3
    Patrick O'Grady:


    I spoke with John’s wife, and he’s as OK as you can be after a smashup like this (no brain or spinal injuries). Long rehab is a given. Sounds like it was an actual accident instead of an act of vengeance by the Universe — fast downhill, motorist enters the road without seeing cyclist descending at 35 mph, boom. We’ve all been there.

    Weird thing is, the Crandalls know the driver, and so everybody is extra double plus upset. It’d be swell to have the luxury of hating a stranger in these circumstances, but it just flat sounds like a bad deal all around.

    This was John’s normal weekend route, and it’s one I know well. I’m a timid descender, and there are plenty of things I don’t like about this road, in particular the plethora of driveways and a couple of weird intersections to boot.

    I haven’t ridden there in a while, in part because I rarely ride the road any more, and I expect I will not be riding there again anytime soon.

  4. 4
    khal spencer:

    There were some fierce descents in Honolulu that were festooned with driveways and side streets. Made it downright scary. Nice thing about NM-4 is that no one lives there. Humans, anyway.

    Not to say that means it is safe. One of my work buddies was coming down from the Valles Caldera on his motorcycle and glanced off a mule deer and henceforth plowed head on into a tree. A bicyclist found him there as he lay with his lungs filling with blood. Amazingly, the cyclist was an EMT and pulled out a knife and a piece of plastic tubing and drained the guys lungs as he called 911 on a cell phone and saved his life. Was a long row to hoe for my buddy in an ICU and in rehab, but a year later he is back at work–and thanking every cyclist he can find.

  5. 5

    Crandall down?! Oh no! As a former employee, I have a soft spot for the guy, beyond the fact that he’s another cyclist coming up with the short end of the bicycle vs. auto stick. My brother just wrote me about the situation this morning. That’s just scary. As Sandhya said after I told her about it, “Makes me wonder how long it will be before one of us gets hit in traffic.” Indeed.

    I will have to send a well-wishing postcard or something, despite the fact it will take over a week to get there. O’G, if you see John, please relay my best wishes!

  6. 6

    Oh, and on another dark note, in the same email from my brother (who’s living in our house while we’re in Europe), he told me that Susan Gordon - from Venetucci Farm, where he’s working - had a brain aneurysm a day or two ago. She was airlifted to Denver and appears to be okay, but that’s very scary stuff. Susan and her husband, Patrick, have done much good work, taking Venetucci to new levels and bringing local, fresh, healthy food to the Springs. Keep her in the same “get-well” mental place that Crandall’s in right now.

  7. 7
    Kathy Crandall:

    John’s wife here.
    I’m actually the one who knows the driver.
    Who of us has not lost concentration at one time or another while driving?
    John will recover, but it will take some time.
    I think he’ll do really well in Rehab.
    And Patrick, I’ll tell him you outed him when I see him later!

  8. 8
    Patrick O'Grady:

    Jeez, the neighborhood is full of stoolies. Some of the folks around here know what I’m up to before I do. Kathy, tell John I may have to get Michael Schenk to print up a one-off “Old Guy Who Gets Fat In Summer” T-shirt for him. He may actually put on a gram or two during his enforced respite from cycling and walking everywhere. In anticipation of his soon-to-be-epic girth, I should probably order him up a medium, eh?

  9. 9
    Kathy Crandall:

    I’m off to the hospital right now.
    And Patrick…they had to cut his Mad Dog jersey off.
    I hear it’s a classic and irreplaceable.

  10. 10
    Patrick O'Grady:

    Hey, Kathy,

    Naw, we’ll be able to find him a fresh one, unmarred by motor vehicle and/or asphalt. If I can’t find one in the stash here, my boys at VeloGear are certain to have a few left, never fear.

  11. 11
    Kathy Crandall:

    I won’t tell him.
    It will be a surprise.

  12. 12
    khal spencer:

    I have an Old Guys jersey in the older yellow style in “small” (the one in the cartoon) that I bought for time trialing but don’t use much any more for reasons we don’t need to get into here. If that helps, I can send it up that way, esp. if someone has a medium with a custom pouch for my beer gut.

    Kathy, my best to John.

  13. 13
    Kathy Crandall:

    He’ll heal, but it will take a long while !

  14. 14
    John Dallager:

    Kathy: John is a wonderful community activist and great role model for all cyclists and citizens who want to make a positive difference in their community. Please pass on my “Speedy Recovery” best wishes to him and let us know when he can take visitors. Old Town is a great bike shop……and so much more!

    :) JD

  15. 15
    Mad Blog Media » Na zdarov’e!:

    [...] you’ve been expressing lots of good thoughts in comments about my friend and neighbor John Crandall. Between work, cooking and visitors, I haven’t [...]

  16. 16
    Kathy Crandall:

    Thanks John.
    Shoulder surgery is today.
    We’re thinking he might be up for visitors by Thurs or Fri.
    I’ll keep you posted.

  17. 17
    Mad Blog Media » Happy Bike Month:

    [...] finally, Kathy Crandall advises that Old Town Bike Shop’s John Crandall, injured in a bike-car crash, undergoes shoulder surgery today and may be ready for visitors by [...]

  18. 18
    Karl Stang:


    Please let John know that Joan & I are thinking of him and wish him a speedy recovery!


  19. 19
    Kathy Crandall:

    Shoulder surgery went well.
    They were able to plate it…as opposed to the alternative (shoulder replacement)
    I’m still thinking Thursday or Friday, but if it’s sooner, I’ll post.
    I’ll check out the old fart tomorrow.

  20. 20

    Dang….I had one reply typed up and I reckon the hamster was on break when I hit the “submit” button. Maybe this post will be better and shorter.

    Well, please tell John that he is perfectly welcome in the “I collided with a car on my bike and lived to tell it” club. The only real privilege is the one stated in the name.

    I did the femur thing too, but John trumps my broken humerus with the shoulder. That dog! Did he not get a titanium rod instead of plates? Perhaps his break wasn’t as pretty as mine.

    Anyway, I hope he finds a way to enjoy his abrupt “vacation”. Having a long reading list is one good cure. If he does it right, he’ll be going back to work eventually wishing he still had more “vacation” instead. I mangaed 7 weeeks and when it was done wished I could have 7 more. Now my reading list grows and I don’t seem to make the slightest dent in it.

    So I’ll only wish John comfort and as much pleasure as he can muster over the next few months. May it be a positive period for you John- however that can happen.

  21. 21

    John, so sorry about the crash. I am an occasional customer at the shop. I can have busted myself up pretty good on the bike: broken femur, cracked elbow, a shoulder injury with more ‘itises than I can remember (bursitis, capsulitis and others), lots of road rash but never so many things at once. My wife and I wish you a speedy recovery.

    If there is anything I can do to help during the recuperation, let me know (Patrick, please pass my e-mail address to Kathy). I am thinking chores that may go undone or things like that. Kathy, if you or John think of anything, let me know.

  22. 22


    Kevin just passed on the news to us. We are so sorry to hear of John’s accident. This situation was one of my biggest fears in my bicycling days. Please pass on Cathy and my hopes for a complete recovery.

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