Tri Challenge: A crash, 2 stitches and still celebrating
April 22nd, 2011
01:55 PM ET

Tri Challenge: A crash, 2 stitches and still celebrating

I have had the most amazing time here in Kona. On Tuesday, I was riding my bike in the lava fields and really taking in the scenery and getting into the groove of the ride. The most difficult thing with the bike has been having control over the bike.

Unlike other bikes I have had in the past, road bikes are really responsive to the slightest movement of the handle bars. Also, our bike rides in Kona have been on the shoulder of a very busy road, which made me anxious. So as I was peddling along, I veered off the road into the gravel, and as I tried to brake it I kept going, and before I knew it, I flew off the bike over the handle bars and my chin hit a lava rock.

The first thing I remember after that was one of the producers (who was biking with me) saying, "What happened, are you OK?" "Just stay right there!" I was still disoriented as the producer was checking for missing teeth and instructing me to get in the car.

We rushed to the hotel and then the emergency room and the pain was getting worse. I was worried that I may have fractured my jaw, but after the doctor cleaned up a few cuts, took some X-rays, gave me two stitches, and some pain medication, I was as good as could be expected. The thing that made me feel the best was when the producers had told me that I had ridden 12 miles before my fall. That was a personal best.

When I first started this challenge, it was hard for me to bike for five minutes straight, but now I am biking 12 miles and cannot wait to cross the finish line in New York.

soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. nyc biker

    Someone that large should not be riding that type of bike, it's way to dangerous to himself and motorists! Before he starts riding that level of bike he should start out on a heavy duty hybrid that can support all that weight. This isn't meant to be disparaging, it's just common sense, putting him on a bike like that is the same as putting him in a small kayak and sending him down the rapids! If you're afraid of the control you have on a bike, then get off it. Cycling along a road with a narrow shoulder is not the way to learn, he's actually lucky he fell onto the lava rocks and not in front of a car!

    April 22, 2011 at 16:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kafromet

      Please, an aluminum framed Specialized road-bike can easily handle the weight of a person this guys size with the kind of riding he's doing. Don't act like he's out on a CF mountain bike banging down trails. He's on a solid frame riding a paved road. The only way to get experience in road riding is to ride on the road.

      April 22, 2011 at 17:08 | Report abuse |
    • GA Clyde

      Do you think they would put him on a bike that could not hold him? Give the man some credit for trying! Unlike you, every move he makes is scrutinized by people like you. Kendrick, I would be honored to ride with you if you ever make it to Georgia. Keep up the good work! Truly an inspiration for the rest of us Clydes.

      April 22, 2011 at 20:19 | Report abuse |
    • Mary Ann Sedor

      Hi NYC Biker...Thanks for your comments - please know that myself (Kendrick's coach), Coach Keith, KENDRICK and the CNN team are taking this all one step at a time - this is how the journey goes – one step, one pedal stroke at a time. We are all working together to find the right bike, the right training plan and the right timing for everything. thanks – and know that we are looking and supporting and working every day 🙂

      May 4, 2011 at 21:22 | Report abuse |
  2. Brent

    I am an avid cyclist, often riding 100 miles at a time on any given Saturday. I am always inspired when I see a man or woman of this man's stature out riding. Don't let this get you down and keep peddling.

    April 22, 2011 at 17:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Stef

    Good job Kendrick. Keep it going. It's hard, but its worth it! (At least you got your first crash out of the way– first one is the hardest, the rest, you learn to fall more gracefully with!!!)

    April 22, 2011 at 17:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Jeremy

    I live in Kona and ride Queen K very frequently. I think that I saw your team this week. Keep up the good work. Don't let the crash discourage you. The trade winds have been strong and they really suck unless they are behind you as a tailwind. Keep in mind that as you fight into the headwind or crosswind you are getting stronger and gaining experience.

    April 22, 2011 at 18:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. TriHard Joaquin

    You really inspire me! You're willing to take the falls, dust yourself off and keep marching forward. Your a true champion in every sense of the word and I'm honored to be your teammate! Sincerely, Lebron

    April 22, 2011 at 19:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Mireya

    Kendrick I bought a bike a couple years ago n have not been on it as much as I should since I had bilateral knee surgery last year n I hate to ride when is cold. I remember being so nervous when I started riding again. Driving on the edge of the road and seeing heavy farmers' machinery, trucks and even dogs was a very stressful experience. Going back to the dogs story now. As a young girl a few mean dog chased me and I tend to be umcomfortable around dogs. Here I was on the edge of the road and saw two dogs. I immediately got tensed and I looked back. In this case it was a huge mistake. Next thing I had to decide between a ditch and the road. My bike was no longer stable and finally lost control of it. The whole thing happened to fast. And I flew over the handles and hit my knees on the black top. I knees were so sore and bleeding and my abdomen was a bit painful. The dogs never even got near me. Like you, I was also proud of my accomplishment since I got back on my bike and continued my ride through the pain. I have yet to accomplish a 12 mile ride like you. I am glad the fall did not stop you from attaining your goal. I am 100% behind you.

    April 23, 2011 at 03:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. nyc biker

    The fact that he didn't know what he was doing, rode into the gravel, couldn't control the bike and fell, all while he was going at a speed of probably no more than 12-14 mph just proves my point. I'm all for people who are out of shape and overweight getting themselves off their butts and out of the fast food joints, but use a little common sense. Promoting good habits via dangerous ones isn't too smart.

    Saying a road bike is safe for someone overweight who hasn't ridden at all because he is on a road, makes just as much sense as saying it is safe for him to ride a mountain bike because he is on a mountain!

    April 23, 2011 at 12:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mike

      I was a 140lb runner in great shape when i started triathlon. I crashed 2 times in one season because i wasn't used to riding. It's not about his weight, it takes time to get used to the technique and feel of riding. He's going to crash, we all crash.

      May 6, 2011 at 16:06 | Report abuse |
  8. TriHardNina

    GA Clyde, you are spot-on! It truly is a privilege to be on Kendrick's team, and we will swim-bike-run with everything we have to offer in August! 🙂

    April 23, 2011 at 22:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Raja

      I quit bike riding when they added haabdrnkes and gear shifts. I'd bet totally happy to find my old bicycle and clunk along on it with a handbasket and flowers and strippy socks! LOVE THIS POST!!!! The personalization thing? The only think I can think of is that I love funky socks of all kinds, especially when no one else knows I have them on and I'm all dressed up and being proper. I KNOW I have funky socks on! It's sort of like red underwear. ;]

      March 4, 2012 at 16:25 | Report abuse |
  9. Jing Hu

    The shear will-power of this author is so inspirational! Truly! I'm glad everything was alright in the end. 🙂

    April 25, 2011 at 01:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. nyc biker

    I love being the antagonist! In response to GA Clyde, about me scrutinizing every move this guy makes, guilty as charged, I guess I didn't realize that someone who decided to become part of a story on a national forum would not expect to be both praised and criticized, silly me.
    Secondly, my criticism is not directed to him so much as the supposed "health" experts who put him in a dangerous position. I totally am rooting for him to get, and more importantly stay, in shape. But what would the feedback have been if he actually hurt himself badly (which he very likely could have done). Get in better shape in logical small steps, especially if you're that out of shape. Any responsible doctor, personal trainer or anybody involved in fitness will tell you the same thing. Learn to walk before you try to fly.

    April 25, 2011 at 14:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mike

      If he's saying 12 miles is his personal best and he had to work up to it, then he is definitely walking before he's flying. In cycling, 12 miles is like the warmup part of a casual ride. So he's made steps to getting to the average cyclists warm up distance and then he'll work up to finishing the NYC triathlon and beat his chest.

      May 6, 2011 at 16:01 | Report abuse |
  11. Micki


    So happy to follow your journey, keep your eyes on the prize!! I am an African American woman who has been involved in triathlon for 6 yrs & it is one of the best choices I could have made in life and I like to see more people of color get involved in the sport. It is not just the physical benefits you will receive from becoming fit, but the mental benefits & the life lessons you learn from challenging yourself, getting outside your comfort zone & overcoming adversity. I thought initially that you had to be a certain body type to compete, but don't let that detour you. I'm sure your physicians are providing good medical advice to you. I have been more inspired by the people who did not fit the typical mold of an athlete. You are an inspiration & your story will bring others to the sport or encourage them to get more active. Good luck on your 1st tri- Go get 'em!

    May 4, 2011 at 09:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Mike


    Triathlon is about enjoying the good and the bad along the journey to the finish line. We all crash, i did my first season several times training for a tri. NYC is sooner than you think. Keep putting time in that saddle and you'll be just fine.

    Good luck.


    May 6, 2011 at 15:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Christine

    GO KENDRICK! You are doing awesome. Hope to workout with you again soon. Keep up the great work 🙂

    May 17, 2011 at 11:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Justin Cider

    Excellent and inspiring effort, keep it up!

    Now a more serious topic, please get a larger helmet. The one you are wearing in the picture if far too small – it exposes a large portion of your forehead. In the event of a crash (which you know can happen unexpectedly or at anytime) having that much forehead exposed and injured can have very, very dire consequences. You need to be fit in a bike shop that has experience, safety needs to be a top priority!

    May 19, 2011 at 13:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Karan

      Riding a bicycle as much as ssiopble is a great idea. The article (Feb 2007) you point to on Global Warming is wrong and has long been disproved. Today even past global warming deniers have to admit that global warming is a reality. They have even given in on it being mostly caused by human activities. Now the deniers argue is that it is not as bad as scientist say. They have been so right in the past so we should listen to them now. (sarcasm) Please get educated on global warming and stop spreading the oil and coal industries lies.Check out realclimate dot org. BTW: You may want to ask your English professor about the use of the word disproved as disproven is not a word.

      March 4, 2012 at 12:06 | Report abuse |
  15. Greg Lock

    Fat man in a little hat, fatman in a little hat. Note to self, if 50+lbs overweight don't try to squeeze into wetsuit or bicycle pants! Also, notify fire service because the friction between those thighs in such tight pants will surely start forest fires or possibly ignite the atmosphere.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:26 | Report abuse | Reply
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