March 15, 2021 - Opened my road season at the Steele RR this year. The course was rolling hills at the base of Chandler Mountain. I raced in the Masters A category which they combined with Cat 3/4 and Pro 1/2 women’s field. As far as the race went my fitness was on point! The winter training has paid off and on the final climb of the day I and a few other masters were at the pointy end of the field... we had dropped a lot of our competitors. I had absolutely zero issues, legs felt great! I had been able to cover all moves I felt needed attention easily. The final two miles we were all jockeying for position and I was right where I needed to be! On the wheel of my main competition. I knew there was a short little climb then a pretty much flat sprint finish ... I was feeling really good about things. We had come down a small hill to a flat section. Those that had been strung out were trying catch up and make up positions. I was riding to the far right at this point near the front of the field. Out of no where I get hit from the back right and sideswiped until my bike handle bars locked together with the bike that had just hit me. We instantaneously went down! Less than two miles from the finish I found myself on the ground and hurting pretty bad. It turned out I had four broken ribs, lung contusion severe swelling and deep bruising to my lower back, hip and groin area. I spent five hours in the ER. They were going to admit me but I ensured the ER Doc I would follow up ASAP with my doctor back home which was five hours away... fortunately they allowed me to leave. The racer that hit me completely owned his mistake and apologized 1000x. He had momentum and rather than scrub off some speed tried to get to the front by shooting past several of us in a very small space. He learned from his mistake and it will make him a better racer for it. No hard feelings! We, as bike racers take the risk of crashing and injury every time we line up. The big question!!! How is the bike? It’s fine!!! No carbon damage! Only a few scrapes on the shifter and some new bar tape is now in order. Thank God we went off the road and didn’t hit tarmac. Things would likely have been much much worse for all involved. Sorry if I have some spelling and grammar issues, I’m typing this while on my pain meds LOL ??