I was lucky, but still…

I was lucky, but still…

My trip to Asia reached a premature end. During the descent from Hehuanshan Pass, the highest road in southeast Asia, a car going in the opposite direction suddenly turned left right in front of me. Even though I was going at moderate speed, I could not avoid it. I hit the car’s side head-first…
I was very lucky to escape without life-changing injuries, but the impact was hard enough to break my shoulder, my arm, one or two vertebrae and a few ribs. Stefan, our German engineer in Taiwan, accompanied me to the hospital, first in Puli and then in Taichung. Care in Taiwan seemed overwhelmed by these complex injuries, and I was lucky that my friend Natsuko immediately came from Tokyo and got me on a plane to Seattle. The 20-hour trip was a bit of an ordeal, and we were so happy when we saw Hahn at the Seattle airport. He already had made arrangements, so we checked into the hospital, and a few days ago, surgery bolted my collarbone back together, so that my scapula can heal as well. (Two fractures had my left arm no longer connected to my torso by bones.) I am extremely grateful to these friends who have ensured that my outlook is as good as possible. Fortunately, a full recovery is expected.
I am encouraged that all the healing happens simultaneously, so the multiple injuries don’t mean it’ll take much longer to heal. I am looking forward to riding with my Seattle friends when the new cycling season starts again.
Meanwhile, the awesome crew at Compass Bicycles will fill your orders and handle Bicycle Quarterly subscriptions with their usual efficiency. Sometimes blog comments and other areas that I handle may take a bit longer in the coming months as I focus on healing first and foremost.
As I work through this long road to recovery, I remember the great cyclotouring adventures of the past month-and-a-half. One memorable trip was a 5-hour ship voyage to a mini-Hawaii off the Japanese coast, where we spent two beautiful days of cyclotouring organized by the Tokyo Cycling Association.
I’ll think of the amazing bikes and great company at the Hirose Owners’ Meeting. I’ll recall riding a 600 km Super Randonnée with 11,000 m of elevation gain through the autumn leaves of the Shinshu and Yatsugatake Mountains. I will cherish touring through the clouds in the mountains above Kyoto.
Visiting the factories that make our Compass products in Japan and Taiwan always is instructive, and discussing new ideas and projects was fun. And even the climb up the 3,422 m (11,227 ft) Hehuanshan was a great experience until it’s premature end. I’ll be busy writing all this up for Bicycle Quarterly and this blog over the coming months.
In the mean time, wish me well, and ride safely!
Click here for an update on Jan’s recovery.

Share this post

Comments (183)

  • captain of the back seat

    Sorry to hear about your accident. Get well soon!

    November 21, 2015 at 5:29 am
    • David Brown

      Very bad news, very few people would see the positive side of multiple injuries, but Jan notes that they will heal simultaneously! Get well soon.

      November 23, 2015 at 8:15 am
  • marmotte27

    Really shocked to hear you having such a horrible accident. Get well soon and completely.
    Gute Besserung und alles Gute!

    November 21, 2015 at 5:36 am
  • Gary Lindberg

    Wow, what a story. Praying for healing and patience during healing.

    November 21, 2015 at 5:48 am
  • jeffday777

    Dear Jan,
    I’m so sorry to hear of your accident, and I’m glad you were able to get back to Seattle for its excellent health care. I hope you heal speedily and are able to get back on your bike soon.

    November 21, 2015 at 5:50 am
  • Harry Harrison

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

    November 21, 2015 at 5:52 am
  • Paul Rance

    Heal well Jan.
    Terrible news! Accidents are always awful and, unfortunately, inevitable.
    Best wishes to you.

    November 21, 2015 at 5:54 am
  • Sels

    Damn. Sounds like the accident my friend had this summer while we were descending Soulor. So I know what you and the family are going through. Rest Well and heal fast! Olivier

    November 21, 2015 at 5:56 am
  • Jeff

    Greatful you’ll be back in the saddle before long. Yes may the force be with you and all the best for a quick journey to full recovery. Take care Jan.

    November 21, 2015 at 5:58 am
  • Cecile

    Full recovery announced… Wow. In the meantime take it easy this winter, hibernate a little, cuddle up, and then come back when you’re better with all your tests and crazy ideas that make life on a bike more of a passion with each one!

    November 21, 2015 at 5:58 am
    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

      The doctors are optimistic, and the surgery seems to have gone well, but with two non-functional arms and a neck brace, the road to recovery won’t be easy. At least the ribs are healing well on their own. In the mean time, I appreciate all the good wishes.

      November 21, 2015 at 6:04 am
  • Vik

    Get better soon. I’ve had a number of close calls with left hooks on my bike and motorcycle in the past year. They are scary and so hard to avoid.
    I’m glad it wasn’t worse.

    November 21, 2015 at 6:00 am
  • David T.

    Jan, that is a bad crash and a terrible ordeal. I am really glad that you are all right; I know you will have the best wishes of so many people who have gotten to know you through the internet, not just your bikes and your riding, but you as a person.
    Take it easy, we won’t be surprised when you are back exploring the mountains.

    November 21, 2015 at 6:00 am
  • William Winslow

    Im so sorry for your missfortune Jan. I’ll pray for your quick recovery but also hope you’ll find some peace in your convalescence. Take care bud.

    November 21, 2015 at 6:02 am
    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

      Thank you for the nice thoughts. Being surrounded by such wonderful friends, as well as my parents who are coming to Seattle, makes a big difference. There are many good moments…

      November 21, 2015 at 6:06 am
  • Marco

    Get well soon, Jan!

    November 21, 2015 at 6:02 am
  • rorymcdonagh

    I’m so glad you’re alive but feel so sad for your injuries. Will say a little prayer (though I’m not particularly religious) Heal quickly Jan Rory McDonagh
    Sent from my iPhone

    November 21, 2015 at 6:07 am
  • ewalstad

    Ugh, so sorry to hear about this. Wishing you a speedy recovery and best wishes.

    November 21, 2015 at 6:11 am
  • somervillebikes

    Get well soon, Jan. It’s good to know you have a wide community of friends, family and supporters to rally you through your recovery. Will be looking forward to more stories…

    November 21, 2015 at 6:23 am
  • Rod Holland

    Jan, best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery! One wonders what some drivers are thinking… and then one realizes they probably weren’t…

    November 21, 2015 at 6:23 am
  • Joe Ramey

    Speedy healing Jan! If you have to get hurt, late autumn after PBP is about the perfect time to do it. We know there are risks in cycling and we accept them for all the wonderful benefits. Enjoy the holiday season without having to worry about finding time to ride your bike. 🙂

    November 21, 2015 at 6:29 am
  • Tony P.

    Fast recovery. As you said, recovery won’t be easy, but as long as the Sawbones did his part and you do yours (physical therapy) it’ll be complete.
    Enjoy your time at home.

    November 21, 2015 at 6:34 am
  • David T.

    And let me be the first to add: How’s the bike? 🙂

    November 21, 2015 at 6:38 am
    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

      It was a replaceable carbon-fiber Giant, so it’s natural that the bike escaped with minor scratches. When I pulled on the brake levers instinctively, I had no time to brace myself against the (low) handlebars, so I launched forward and off the bike. The bike probably was cushioned by my body.

      November 21, 2015 at 6:53 am
      • David T.

        A glimmer of humour is the first sign or recovery… 🙂

        November 21, 2015 at 9:57 am
  • kentsbike

    You have a great attitude and a persistent spirit. Heal up soon, my friend.

    November 21, 2015 at 6:46 am
  • twc

    Here’s to a full recovery. I once hit the front corner of a car as I was descending at moderate speed. (As in your case, the car turned left in front of me.) The bike took the brunt of the initial impact with the car. The next major impact was me against the windshield (which shattered inward). Then up and over the car to land on the ground behind it. I was fortunate to have no broken bones, just two major hematomas and sadness at the realization that I would not be able to participate in a significant sporting event for which I had been training the better part of six months. And this was in the days before the texting epidemic. Now I am three times more careful, but probably (still) twice as much at risk!

    November 21, 2015 at 7:32 am
  • Bryan

    SO very sorry to hear this but glad the prognosis is good. You have a great attitude, one I can only hope to emulate after such a frightening and painful experience. Your support network of friends is remarkable. In that respect, you are the most fortunate man on the planet. My thoughts are with you for a quick and full recovery.

    November 21, 2015 at 7:42 am
  • Bob

    Wow! So sorry to hear this. But glad it wasn’t worse. Recovery will take time. And you’ll probably be good at predicting rain.
    Have a speedy recovery.

    November 21, 2015 at 7:44 am
  • Richard

    I was hit by a car last June while riding. The all too common “right hook”. I suffered a fractured wrist and some abrasions. Fortunately, after surgery, I was back riding in late July.
    Sometimes it’s just impossible to anticipate what a driver will do. Be safe out there.

    November 21, 2015 at 7:46 am
  • Eric Steig

    Jan. Wow. You do indeed have a great attitude and a persistent spirit. All the best.

    November 21, 2015 at 7:47 am
  • Brian

    I’ve never met you, but you are an inspiration. Thinking of you during your recovery!

    November 21, 2015 at 7:49 am
  • Harth

    This was truly shocking to read! I have no words to add that haven’t already been said. Still, I offer my best wishes to your healing through the recovery process, both mentally and physically.

    November 21, 2015 at 7:51 am
  • Bob

    Wow! Sounds like you’re very lucky! It must be a nightmare for a guy like you to be immobilized. I’d be glad to take you and a companion tooling around downtown for a few hours on my pedicab gratis. You can soak up some Christmas cheer, perhaps blast to the Space Needle and back so you can feel the wind on your face again. Or if necessary I can ride you guys gingerly so your bones don’t jar. You inspired me to ride the Oregon Outback, and it was one of the greatest things I’ve ever done, so I’m indebted to you!
    Here’s to a speedy recovery, and happy holidays.

    November 21, 2015 at 7:52 am
  • Kitty

    Hi Jan, wishing you a speedy recovery and return to full activity ASAP!

    November 21, 2015 at 8:07 am
  • Doug M

    Sorry to hear about this. Attitude and motivation can often make a huge difference. Motivated and otherwise healthy patients are the absolute best so you have good reason to be optimistic .

    November 21, 2015 at 8:08 am
  • B. Rainbow

    Glad to hear you were quickly and expertly tended to immediately following your unfortunate collision. Wishing you a full and speedy recovery.

    November 21, 2015 at 8:13 am
    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

      Well, it took getting back to Seattle to really receive expert care. Without Natsuko, I’d be in a hospital in Taichung trying to recover from an operation that the experts in Seattle not only considered counterproductive, but also extremely dangerous. She came from Tokyo, encouraged me to get out of there and then took me to Seattle by train, bus and airplane. I cannot express my gratitude enough.
      My ex-wife in Seattle also has been incredibly supportive and helpful. I owe her as well.

      November 21, 2015 at 12:47 pm
  • Matt

    So sorry to hear about your accident. Those broken ribs can certainly be painful. Best wishes with your future recovery. Sounds like you will have plenty to keep yourself occupied until you heal. More importantly it seems like you have a wonderful support system of family and friends.

    November 21, 2015 at 8:17 am
  • Darren

    Shocking news! What an ordeal. Wishing you a full and speedy recovery. All the best.

    November 21, 2015 at 8:30 am
  • Guy Washburn

    Hard news. Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

    November 21, 2015 at 8:57 am
  • Richard

    Get well soon, sir! I fractured my right shoulder (humerus) in three places about 20 years ago and, coincidentally, broke my left clavicle in August when I was doored by someone exiting a cab on the Central Park West bike lane here in NYC. Surgery was not possible on my shoulder, and it was not called for on my clavicle. I lost a bit of range of motion in my shoulder, but as a southpaw, it doesn’t affect me much in daily life. More importantly, on my bike – a Boulder All Road 650b – neither injury has any impact whatsoever on my riding; in fact, when riding, both injuries just… disappear.

    November 21, 2015 at 8:58 am
    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

      Sorry to hear about your accidents, but glad that the long-term prognosis I am getting seems to be borne out in practice. Stay out of the door zone, please!

      November 21, 2015 at 12:48 pm
  • zachhale

    I’m sorry to hear of this awful accident but glad to hear you’ll recover. I’m thankful for all the work you do with Compass and Bicycle Quarterly and wish you the best with your healing.

    November 21, 2015 at 9:02 am
  • John Le Marquand

    I was shocked and sadden to read about your accident. Having gone through an accident myself this pass summer I know there isn’t much one can do or say to make things better. Just put in the time to convalesce which for an active person like yourself will be hard to do. Four and a half months after my accident I am now achieving my bicycle fitness that I should have had in the summer. Long haul but worth it.
    Best wishes Jan and speedy recovery.

    November 21, 2015 at 9:14 am
  • Leslie Bright

    Ack! Best of thoughts w/ you as you heal.

    November 21, 2015 at 9:28 am
  • Jason Marshall (@jmarshall312)

    Really sorry to hear about your accident Jan. Get well soon but please be patient and let your body heal.

    November 21, 2015 at 9:33 am
  • Bob C

    A horrible accident and here’s hoping your recovery goes faster than expected. Rest assured that all of us who have benefited from your work on cycling would be happy to help in anyway we can. We’re all in this life together.

    November 21, 2015 at 9:40 am
  • Patrick Moore

    Yikes! I’m glad it wasn’t worse, and that the bike was disposable. A prayer for a fast and full recover.

    November 21, 2015 at 9:53 am
  • Wolfgang

    Best wishes for a full recovery and not so much pain from Germany too. I have had a severe bike crash last year myself. So I think I can imagine what you are going through.

    November 21, 2015 at 9:54 am
  • Stephen Breacain

    You traveled back to Seattle in that condition? You’re a better man than I am. Must be the super hero gene. Get well soon, Thor.

    November 21, 2015 at 9:59 am
    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

      I had little choice once I realized that my outlook in Taichung was less than stellar. It wasn’t easy, but pain is the same in a hospital bed or in an airplane seat. And as I said before, my friend made the entire voyage possible in the first place.

      November 21, 2015 at 12:50 pm
      • thebvo

        Jan-chan odaijini! Feel better soon! I’m glad you’re ok.
        Natsuko 様優しいね。すごい優しいよ!ヤンちゃんはすごくラッキーだね。いい友達ね。手伝ったよかった‼️ なっチャン is super kind and you are so lucky to have people like her to depend on. Its good to know that many people are sharing their heart with you.
        Take care and enjoy you day!

        November 22, 2015 at 12:21 am
  • Ted Herman

    I use Compass tires on my touring bike and enjoy them. Most of us have taken biffs and still ride. Although I admit cold weather discourages me (at age 80).
    All the best.
    Ted Herman

    November 21, 2015 at 10:00 am
  • VincentB

    Get well soon! I was in a similar situation, a car suddenly changed direction, and had the luck that I could just escape from a horrible accident. Since then, a few months ago, I’m not relaxed on the bike anymore. I’m scared and see an accident at every crossing. So take care of mentale health as well Jan!

    November 21, 2015 at 10:11 am
  • sisyphus

    Gosh, Jan, rotten luck, but with many silver linings. Heal well, keep your mind engaged, and enjoy the good will that is delivered to you.

    November 21, 2015 at 10:24 am
  • Bryan Willman

    Here’s wishing you a full and speedy recovery.
    And I urge you to rest, and be patient with your body, and do such things as physical therapy as directed.

    November 21, 2015 at 10:49 am
  • Lyle F. Bogart

    Here’s to a speedy and complete recovery!

    November 21, 2015 at 11:04 am
  • Calvin Rocchio

    Jan! Even with this momentary pause in your ventures, you will never seize to truly inspire with tales of your rides and incredibly positive outlook. Thank you for all of your efforts to bring us the timeless stories and information that you do, and please please please feel better as soon as possible. We’re all thinking of you and so very grateful for everything that you do!

    November 21, 2015 at 11:16 am
  • Dan

    Please, please, please, do all you can to avoid sneezing!! (ask me how I know…) praying for you.

    November 21, 2015 at 11:52 am
  • Oreste Drapaca

    Very scary. I hope for your full and speedy recovery. “Hals- und Beinbruch” a bit too literally, this time…

    November 21, 2015 at 11:52 am
  • michae wellman

    Very sorry to hear this. Wishing you a speedy recovery. Hopefully in ten years or so most cars will have auto pilot and accident like these can be avoided.

    November 21, 2015 at 12:04 pm
  • Owen

    Gute Besserung Jan, hope your recovery is complete and speedy!

    November 21, 2015 at 12:25 pm
  • Todd

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

    November 21, 2015 at 12:37 pm
  • Peter Mullin

    We’ll be thinking of you, and hoping the road to recovery is smooth, reasonably straight, and as easy a cruise as possible.

    November 21, 2015 at 12:43 pm
  • Ted Durant

    It’s always cars turning left. Even in Taiwan? SO glad you are ok and recovering!

    November 21, 2015 at 12:50 pm
  • Peter Naiman

    Jan, very sorry to hear about your accident. Heal quickly and hope to see you at Cirque in June.

    November 21, 2015 at 12:54 pm
  • Mark Petry

    Jan, I am so sorry to hear of this but glad you are at least well enough to write. You’ll have the holiday season to rest and recover and back on the bike early in the new year. Hope you feel better soon buddy !

    November 21, 2015 at 12:59 pm
  • Gary Bunn

    Dear Jan,
    I certainly hope that you make a full and speedy recovery from your injuries!
    I really enjoy reading about your adventures and benefiting from the results of the research that you carry out and generously share.
    Cheers and well-wishes from Ballarat, Australia.
    Gary Bunn.

    November 21, 2015 at 1:00 pm
  • Doug M.

    I had my first broken bones from MTBing this summer, and while the break was refreshing and allowed me to ‘come back’ to cycling, gosh it was hard. Wishing you a full & fast recovery!

    November 21, 2015 at 1:14 pm
  • Andrew

    Hi Jan glad to hear you made it to Seattle to get things sorted properly. It’s times like this that give you perspective. I’m sure in your case that despite the pain you must feel happy to be still alive. Wishing you a smooth recovery.

    November 21, 2015 at 1:14 pm
  • M & J

    Jan, You are an inspiration on and off the bike! We are thinking of you and wish you a speedy recovery!

    November 21, 2015 at 1:28 pm
  • DDDDer Pedersen biker

    Jan, I’m so relieved to hear that your impact wasn’t worse, and that you received such timely support.
    Here’s to as full and speedy of a recovery as can be imagined, and to your feeling better with each passing day.
    And, as a reader of Bicycle Quarterly, I will very much look forward to your being able to resume testing and reporting, as you become able.

    November 21, 2015 at 1:36 pm
  • Kyle Brooks

    Jan, wishing you the best, and a speedy (and thorough) recovery. Thank you for all you do. Yours truly — Kyle Brooks, and The Retrogrouch Blog.

    November 21, 2015 at 1:43 pm
  • Paul

    Oh man, sorry this happened. Hope the healing goes well.

    November 21, 2015 at 1:44 pm
  • Roger

    Disappointing news indeed!
    It is fortunate that you have excellent fitness and cycling ability. I’m sure your experience had something to do with avoiding even more serious injuries and your fitness will help you heal.
    I’ve been both impressed and inspired following BQ as you test bikes and enjoy great long rides. I look forward to being equally impressed with your recovery process.
    May you heal well and discover many more “gifts” along the way.

    November 21, 2015 at 1:48 pm
  • Pam K

    So sorry to hear about your injuries, but you are indeed lucky to have such fast friends around the world.

    November 21, 2015 at 1:50 pm
  • David Jablonka

    Best wishes for a full recovery

    November 21, 2015 at 1:50 pm
  • Michael Seguin

    Sorry to hear of your injuries. Heal quickly. God speed.

    November 21, 2015 at 1:54 pm
  • joe in pdx or

    So happy to hear that all ended well. I’ll keep your story as a reminder to savor every ride and not to take for granted that I’ll get another ride tomorrow. Tailwinds in your recovery.

    November 21, 2015 at 2:08 pm
  • Oli Brooke-White

    Oh Jan, this is terrible news! I wish you all the best for a full and super rapid recovery. As someone who has been through a similar bunch of injuries I know that patience and fortitude will be your friends, and you have those in spades. Kia kaha, Oli

    November 21, 2015 at 2:11 pm
  • starostneradost

    Get well soon, Jan. Horrible thing to have happened, makes my hair stand on end just to read about it.

    November 21, 2015 at 2:14 pm
  • Chris V.

    Here’s to a quick recovery! Glad you made it home safely!!

    November 21, 2015 at 2:16 pm
  • Sebastian Taege

    Gute Besserung, Jan.

    November 21, 2015 at 2:18 pm
  • John Le Marquand

    I was shocked and sadden to read about your accident. Having gone through an accident myself this pass summer I know there isn’t much one can do or say to make things better. Just put in the time to convalesce which for an active person like yourself will be hard to do. Four and a half months after my accident I am now achieving my bicycle fitness that I should have had in the summer. Long haul but worth it.
    Best wishes and speedy recovery.

    November 21, 2015 at 2:39 pm
  • Steve Chan

    I hope the healing and PT goes smoothly. If you really want to ride, a recumbent might be usable before a normal bike (perhaps Alex W. has one in his garage someplace…)

    November 21, 2015 at 2:41 pm
  • Tom

    As one of the bin there, done that guys on bike crashes, I feel your pain. Get well soon. Hopefully you won’t spend 3 mo. in a wheel chair like I did.

    November 21, 2015 at 2:45 pm
  • Gregory Birch

    Wow. Not much that I can add other than I hope you recover quickly.

    November 21, 2015 at 2:55 pm
  • calcagnolibero

    What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. You’re really lucky to have such a good friend as Natsuko. Family and friends are the most important things in life. Get well soon Jan!

    November 21, 2015 at 3:31 pm
  • Simon Wagstaff

    Dear Jan,
    Wishing you the best and speediest possible recovery. You are an inspiration!

    November 21, 2015 at 4:06 pm
  • graveldoc

    Once again, I’ve learned another valuable lesson from you, Jan. The best way to recover from a negative event is to focus on positive memories. I’ll be praying for your complete recovery in the days, weeks, and months ahead and toward future fond memories.

    November 21, 2015 at 4:10 pm
  • Mark in Beacon

    I will add my best wishes for a full and healthy recover. As you have said, how very fortunate to have a friend who not only steered you away from questionable medical care, but also accompanied you on the long journey home. I am glad to hear the prognosis is good.
    It is always upsetting to learn of a cyclist injured by a car, even more so when you know the person, or it is someone well known in cycling circles, as in your case. With the change of season, darkness and challenging weather confront many of us who commute. Let’s do what we can to stay safe out there.

    November 21, 2015 at 4:15 pm
  • Preston Grant

    Jan, I am extremely sorry to hear of this misfortune, and wish you a swift and complete recovery. Since I am overseas several times a year, I subscribe on an annual basis to an air ambulance service, AirMed, which will bring me back to the United States from any foreign nation in an actual
    flying ambulance jet aircraft. The cost is reasonable. I would recommend that you investigate and consider such a service. It certainly gives me some peace of mind.

    November 21, 2015 at 4:34 pm
    • Natsuko Hirose

      Actually, we thought about using a flying ambulance service. So we asked the Taiwanese doctor about it. But unfortunately the doctor recommended to get on a “normal plane”. Because they did not find any problems except break his shoulder and his arm. Then, we believed what the doctor said. So we tried to return to Seattle as soon as possible. We had no choice. I wish… “Never again!”
      Natsuko Hirose Tokyo / Japan

      November 25, 2015 at 5:21 am
  • Marie autrey

    I’m so sorry for your ordeal, but relieved that it wasn’t even worse.
    Be careful with the painkillers. They can sneak up on you. I had morphine and oxycodone after my hip replacements, and it could have turned into a problem.
    Here’s hoping your recovery proves a fast one.

    November 21, 2015 at 5:26 pm
  • hogan46

    Jan, I am so sorry to hear about this – it is great that you were able to tough it out to get back to Seattle for treatment. Good thing you have enought time to recover before the PBP 😉

    November 21, 2015 at 5:36 pm
  • John Siemsen

    Best wishes for a full recovery, Jan. Sorry this happened, but heartened how friends near and far came to your aid.

    November 21, 2015 at 5:42 pm
  • Wayne

    Good luck and get well soon.

    November 21, 2015 at 5:42 pm
  • Mark

    Sorry to hear about your crash! I hope you heal fast. In 2008 I had a motorcycle crash and shattered my right arm into hundreds of pieces. I posted the story to the Bob list, you might recall. I got a titanium plate and 13 screws about a week after the accident. It was recommended to me that I take the homeopathic remedy symphytum 30c by Boiron. It is indicated for bone meshing. It is non toxic and after finishing two bottles (little pellets you take every few hours), I went back to the surgeon for more X-rays. This was two weeks after the crash, and he cleared me for work (I am a chiropractor , which is not easy on the arms!). The doctor was surprised, as was I. I was back on my bike two weeks later, never looked back.
    Best to you!

    November 21, 2015 at 5:48 pm
  • Eric

    Omigosh Jan. I’m a doctor (but not in Orthopedics or Trauma), and I suspect you are stoic by nature and inclined to downplay things, but that is a very serious collection of injuries. I’m sure you will recover, but good grief you really got clobbered. Given your large number of fans, I hope you update your recovery now and again here. We’ll all have you in our thoughts. Are you out of the hospital now? I know the Seattle medical community a bit, which hospital had the good fortune to patch you back together (unless you’d rather not divulge). Yours, Eric

    November 21, 2015 at 6:08 pm
    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

      I was released from Swedish Hospital Saturday.

      November 24, 2015 at 5:01 am
      • Eric

        Two thumbs up for Swedish — nice folks over there. Also two thumbs up for your Japanese friends (our son is a college student but is fluent in Japanese and spends summers and semesters there when he can, and the Japanese people always been wonderful friends).

        November 26, 2015 at 12:10 pm
  • Don Genovese

    You have my sincere wish for a quick and complete recovery.

    November 21, 2015 at 6:15 pm
  • Nick P

    All the best and a speedy recovery! That plane trip must have been excruciating…

    November 21, 2015 at 6:37 pm
  • Ed B

    I’m speechless. I feel bad and can only wish you the “speediest” recovery possible. I’ve fractured a lot of those bones but not all at once. You are a tough dude to fly back to Seattle broken into pieces.

    November 21, 2015 at 6:51 pm
  • DavidM

    Dear Jan,
    So sorry to hear about your accident. This website and the Bicycle Quarterly are ongoing sources of cycling inspiration for me. Please take it easy and heal up soon!
    David Mathews

    November 21, 2015 at 6:57 pm
  • Drew Carlson

    Wow, Jan, I’m happy that you had good friends near enough to help you get back home. I wish you a speedy recovery, and a great riding season in 2016!

    November 21, 2015 at 6:58 pm
  • Mark Foltz

    Sounds like an ordeal but glad you were able to get back home quickly for treatment. Best wishes for a speedy and full recovery, and return to the saddle.

    November 21, 2015 at 6:59 pm
  • Bernie Burton

    Jan, So glad you made it home and will be all okay in several months.I can’t wait to read your story on PBP, and why it took so much longer than your last several attempts.You gave a hint in a previous note- social riding can be so enjoyable.Here’s to you having many great rides with your friends next year!

    November 21, 2015 at 7:01 pm
    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

      Jan’s PBP is in the Winter issue of BQ, and I believe he answers your question. The printer delivered the Winter issue to USPS earlier this week, so subscribers should start receiving it soon. Hope you enjoy it!
      Compass Staff

      November 21, 2015 at 7:50 pm
  • Ross

    All the best to you and yours! We’re lucky to have you in any form.

    November 21, 2015 at 7:02 pm
  • Don Compton

    All the best. Hope for a full recovery. And again, thanks so much for your addition to the cycling community.
    Sincerely, Don Compton

    November 21, 2015 at 7:15 pm
  • Pondero

    Jan, I want to join the chorus of well-wishers. As you know there is a wonderful community of passionate cycling friends out here pulling for your complete recovery, and quickly. I am confident that you’ll have a new level of appreciation for being out on two wheels.

    November 21, 2015 at 7:33 pm
  • Brian

    I’m very sorry to hear about your crash, and glad to hear you are on your way to mending. While accidents do happen the goal is always zero accidents. You once wrote a letter (before BQ days) about safety while riding, maybe this accident, just like that letter can be used as a way to raise everyone’s safety consciousness.

    November 21, 2015 at 7:48 pm
  • Frank

    Such bad luck and good luck at the same time!
    Maybe if you used tyres that were a bit more sluggish you could have avoided the dingle! (that’s a joke …)
    Best wishes for your recovery … strong body to match your strong head and spirit!

    November 21, 2015 at 7:54 pm
  • Francisco

    Dear Jan,
    Wish you a speedy recovery. Good readings and I’m shure we’ll benefit even from your forced rest because of your never resting-investigative mind.Good wishes from Brazil.

    November 21, 2015 at 8:37 pm
  • Alexander Fine

    Wishing you a good recovery. My Dad was hit in a similar way but at lower speed, fracturing only his shoulder. He is fine now and we rode today as usual. Recoveries like this are inspirational to others. I look forward to reading the upcoming posts.

    November 21, 2015 at 9:37 pm
  • InvisibleHand

    I’m quite pleased to read the positive prognosis. I wish you a speedy recovery.
    I always thought of Taiwan as rather advanced. That your friend Natsuko correctly assessed that the care would be dramatically subpar there is eye-opening.

    November 21, 2015 at 9:46 pm
  • hughsmitham

    Reblogged this on velocipedemusings and commented:
    Even though the bicycle has it’s healing properties, still we are essentially naked out there. And we must be vigilant at all times. My hope for Jan is a speedy recovery with no long term lasting effects from the injuries he sustained.

    November 21, 2015 at 10:57 pm
  • hughsmitham

    Speedy recovery Jan. Glad you’ll be rolling again soon.

    November 21, 2015 at 10:58 pm
  • billiam

    Heal up fast, buddy! I’ve been off the bike for two months myself due to a broken collarbone, but the form returns quickly.

    November 21, 2015 at 11:53 pm
  • B. Carfree

    I’ll add my best wishes for your full recovery. You definitely ratcheted up your hard man status to on beyond super-hero by travelling in that condition.
    What happened to you makes me feel so fortunate that the one time I was unsaddled on a bike, by a motorist who pulled in front of me and gave me a brake-check complete with a thirteen foot long skid, I was only going 20 mph on flat ground. My bike was totalled, but I somehow managed a full flip with a double twist and stuck the landing in sandals. I can’t even conceive of dealing with a left cross at your descending speed. You’re some kind of super athlete, that’s for sure.
    I look forward to your “first ride” write up sometime in the new year.

    November 22, 2015 at 12:15 am
  • darelldd

    Wishing you the speediest of recoveries, Jan.
    Now… Can we *please* stop calling this an accident? This was a crash. A collision. “Accident” implies that this was unpredictable and unpreventable. Our government agencies have stopped using “accident” in all cases. Now it is time for the press and for *US* to catch up. Crashes are not accidents.

    November 22, 2015 at 12:27 am
  • Steven Sweedler

    Jan, Wishing you a speedy and complete recovery. Steve

    November 22, 2015 at 1:10 am
  • ascpgh

    Very unfortunate to read your account and injuries. Please accept my hope for your forthright and complete recovery, Physical trauma isn’t at all like the movies. I’ve tested that as extensively as you’ve tested tires.
    You exhibit grace in the description of your incident, nothing to gain when injured by pointing fingers while yet you demonstrated much for which to be thankful.
    Thank you for your lessons and example through this application of hardship to what we publicly know of your busy, productive life. Speediest of recovery.

    November 22, 2015 at 4:10 am
  • ORiordan

    That’s really awful news Jan and I hope you are back on your bike soon.
    I hope your insurance covered the flight back and it is worthwhile emphasising the importance of good insurance cover when travelling abroad.
    About 10 years ago I broke my leg quite badly in a fall from a MTB in a somewhat isolated area of Mexico and like you, was not confident entrusting myself to an operation in the local hospital. My travel insurance justified its price many times over by paying for my flight back to the UK with the additional saving grace that it was in business class as you can’t fit a leg in a cast into an economy class seat!

    November 22, 2015 at 4:14 am
  • Gert

    Sorry to hear of your accident, but happy that You will recover.
    Best wishes for your healing. Wish You a speedy recovery and many great rides ahead.

    November 22, 2015 at 4:17 am
  • Cornelius Strohm

    Best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery.

    November 22, 2015 at 6:17 am
  • nagomano

    What an ordeal Jan! So sorry to hear of your injuries. So glad they are not worse and that you will be able to make a full recovery. Looking forward to seeing images of you back on the bike.

    November 22, 2015 at 7:55 am
  • Lynne Cooney

    I was hit in a similar manner about four years ago. It changed me forever. I love bicycles too much to stay off them, but I do not ever really feel comfortable now. And yes, the unlicensed, speeding, passing on a curve, not wearing his glasses, and on new medication driver apologized and told me “he didn’t see me.” Well that makes it ok.
    Here’s to getting back to riding soon.

    November 22, 2015 at 8:23 am
    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

      Compass staff are thinking the same thing this week: pretty rattled, plus the insight that we need to be more aware, both while cycling and driving.
      Hope you get it back. Faith is likely the hardest aspect to recover.
      Compass Staff

      November 22, 2015 at 8:31 am
    • Tom Knoblauch

      Those of us who have been through it are all obliged to convey our thoughts & feelings, however difficult that is. The search for words, descriptors, advise is but caring for others.

      November 22, 2015 at 1:48 pm
  • Rick Smith

    Get well soon, Jan! Best wishes from the Kickstand Cyclery:

    November 22, 2015 at 8:52 am
    • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

      That’s pretty special! Thanks, Rick!
      Compass staff

      November 22, 2015 at 9:07 am
    • Mitch Thompson

      It’s nice to see Yehuda reading something other than the Lauterbrunnental Leaflet.

      November 22, 2015 at 12:12 pm
      • Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

        I assume that was meant to be a nice comment 🙂
        Compass staff

        November 22, 2015 at 1:41 pm
      • Mitch Thompson

        Oh yes, Barbara, just a bit of an inside joke for YM&KSC readers. Sending positive thoughts to Jan.

        November 27, 2015 at 11:58 am
  • Charles Nighbor

    Yes same thing happened to me A car approaching me decided to turn left in front of me into her driveway. I turned some to the right to try and avoid her but hit her right front fender One cracked pelvic bone later I was in the hospital No surgery required. On You tube some where is a video by British Motorcyclists about how animals and humans will after a short time dismiss moving objects coming at them..
    They and we are programmed to dismiss non threating moving objects and look instead for those that are a potential danger. On the video they recommend weaving the motor cycle just a bit side to side to alert the on coming driving you’re there

    November 22, 2015 at 9:03 am
  • Jan

    That’s awful news! Hope you’ll be back on track soon!

    November 22, 2015 at 9:09 am
  • Bill Gobie

    My best wishes for you to make a thorough recovery, Jan. You’ve had a heck of a shock; go easy on yourself.

    November 22, 2015 at 10:03 am
  • Mike S.

    Jan, heal up fast. I am sad to hear you were hurt but am glad to hear that the prognosis is good.

    November 22, 2015 at 10:25 am
  • Errin Vasquez

    Best wishes for your recovery Jan! I broke my collarbone this year as well. I’m just getting back on the bike after a rough year and the recent Bicycle Quarterly’s have been a big inspiration to me.

    November 22, 2015 at 11:06 am
  • Jim Langley

    Sorry to hear about your crash, Jan. Take it easy and heal up and you’ll be back on the bike soon, I’m sure. Sending speedy healing thoughts your way – and mega thanks for sharing all the amazing bicycles and riding. Every story is like being there with you.

    November 22, 2015 at 11:20 am
  • Wesley Hatakeyama

    Jan, Wish you a speedy recovery from all of us at Eroica California.
    Glad to hear that you are back safely and getting the care you need.
    Please take care.
    Hope to see you in April.

    November 22, 2015 at 12:19 pm
  • Todd Teachout

    Sorry to hear about this, Jan. Hope your recovery is full and speedy. Was the automobile driver turning onto a driveway or a side road? Do the Taiwanese deal with fault and liability like Americans? Is there insurance involved? Who’s insurance? How much damage was done to the car? I agree with the earlier poster that suggests that what happened would be best to be called a collision and not an accident. How much was unfamiliar equipment a factor? A CF bike with skinny tires and different gears and brakes handles much differently than your 650b Herse and other bikes that you seem to ride. Rest well and deeply.

    November 22, 2015 at 12:23 pm
  • Tom Knoblauch

    A friend in need is a friend indeed.

    November 22, 2015 at 1:25 pm
  • the coasting Frenchman

    Je vous souhaite un prompt rétablissement, Monsieur Heine. De tout coeur.

    November 22, 2015 at 1:27 pm
  • katzenfinch

    Wow! Sorry to learn of your accident. May you heal quickly and completely.

    November 22, 2015 at 1:42 pm
  • Francisco

    Having recently gone though a very similar experience I reacted at a visceral level to the news of your accident. Wishes of a speedy recovery!

    November 22, 2015 at 1:56 pm
  • Julie jacobs

    Oh man, I’m so sorry about your nasty accident. I’m so glad you expect full recovery. WE need you back on the bike. Your in my prayers for quick healing. Hang in there.

    November 22, 2015 at 5:27 pm
  • Pat Marek

    Jan, I just happened to be looking at your blog today and want to wish you a strong recovery. I’ve survived a nasty accident myself, and can say from experience that the healing powers of the human body are quite amazing.

    November 22, 2015 at 6:22 pm
  • Stan Cooper

    Jan, I’m very sorry to hear about your accident, but heartened that the prognosis for a full recovery is good. Here’s wishing you speedy healing.

    November 22, 2015 at 6:30 pm
  • Stephen Bryne

    Sorry to hear about your accident Jan. Wishing you a speedy recovery and hope you are back on two wheels before long.

    November 22, 2015 at 8:10 pm
  • Paul Ahart

    I was shocked to read your account. Maybe my friends are onto something when they ride with obnoxious strobing front lights. Heal well. Your adventures, products and insight into cycling are treasured. Best wishes!

    November 22, 2015 at 9:20 pm
  • Bert Paul

    I wish you a speedy and full recovery. You have opened the doorway to wide tires and now vintage bicycles. Thanks so much, it’s not every day you re-experience the joys of riding again as you did when you were 6 to 12 years of age.

    November 22, 2015 at 10:55 pm
  • David Smith

    Heal well and quickly

    November 23, 2015 at 12:27 am
  • Heikki Rautanen

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

    November 23, 2015 at 12:48 am
  • Jack

    Jan – all the best in your recovery. As a recent follower of your blog (and consequently ordering BQ back issues), your insight and wisdom is inspirational and BQ is a work of art. Ironically whilst recovering from a far less serious accident I was lying in bed reading BQ dreaming about the next big ride..

    November 23, 2015 at 5:23 am
  • mimitabby

    Get well soon, so sorry to hear you are hurt!

    November 23, 2015 at 6:27 am
  • Pete

    Wishing you the mightiest of “tailwinds” in your recovery. Thanks for all you do and have done to change the cycling…for the better.

    November 23, 2015 at 7:04 am
  • Adam Blumenthal

    Sending voluminous healing wishes your way Jan. I hope you are able to rest and recover on the most supple of surfaces!

    November 23, 2015 at 10:46 am
  • Leighton Bohl

    Dear Jan — Very sorry to hear about your accident. Here’s hoping that you recover completely with no ill effects. I’ve had a couple of ‘corkers’ over a long cycling career but so far I’ve managed to miss the car and land on my head instead! Not sure which outcome is to be preferred. In the meantime, many thanks for all the brilliant research and writing that goes into BQ; oh, yes, Natsuko sounds like a top girl! All the best from Manchester, UK.

    November 23, 2015 at 11:25 am
  • Chris Archibald

    Wishing you a speedy recovery.

    November 23, 2015 at 11:51 am
  • john strizek

    Dear Jan,
    I am relieved that you are apparently not injured for the long term. I wish you a speedy recovery and a long, happy, and healthy life in the future. Having read your posts on the CR list for years and your articles in BQ I don’t claim to know you but I do feel connected to you.
    john strizek
    sacramento california, USA

    November 23, 2015 at 1:37 pm
  • Jon Spangler

    Jan, Best wishes to you in your healing! I broke my back and right foot in a 1970 rock climbing fall, so I have endured a similar (but not as serious) shock. I will keep you in my prayers as I train for Eroica California 2016, April 8-10. I hope to see you there!

    November 23, 2015 at 1:47 pm
  • Julie Jacobs

    Jan, I’m so sorry to hear about your nasty accident and grateful you had such good support. Here’s praying for a full and speedy recovery. Get well soon, we need you back on the bike.

    November 23, 2015 at 3:43 pm
  • Phil Tomlinson

    Get well soon mate. Like the person who made the above post, I can’t claim to know you, but I too was shocked when I read about your accident. Hope you’re able to make a full and swift recovery. All the best from Scotland

    November 23, 2015 at 5:09 pm
  • Rakesh

    Hi Jan
    Really sorry to hear about the accident. Wishing a very fast recovery. Kudos to your fighting spirit.
    Bangalore, India

    November 23, 2015 at 7:30 pm
  • David

    Best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery, Jan!

    November 23, 2015 at 7:48 pm
  • mark schneider

    So sorry to hear of your accident, I look forward to hearing of your full recovery.

    November 23, 2015 at 10:36 pm
  • Alan Bergamini.

    Very sorry to hear of your ordeal and happy that you have good prospects for a full recovery.
    Please use your convalescence to learn to type with a chopstick or something, not sure I can go without a regular fix of your blog…!

    November 23, 2015 at 10:44 pm
  • mike

    Get well soon, Jan.
    Those things happen and luckily you had good friends to help you.
    All the best from Germany.

    November 24, 2015 at 12:32 am
  • Antoine

    Jan, I wish you a good recovery and many great rides to come.

    November 24, 2015 at 2:24 am
  • MattA_UK

    Get well soon Jan, wishing you all the best with your recovery!

    November 24, 2015 at 2:41 am
  • D Stelvio

    So sorry to hear of your injuries from your crash. Praying for your continued recovery. I echo everyones’ well wishes and hope that you take as much time as you need to heal you body and mind. I appreciate your sharing your cycling and life experiences thru your blog and became a recent BQ subscriber. You’ve certainly opened a whole new perspective in my enjoyment of cycling. Many thanks!

    November 24, 2015 at 8:42 am
  • Corwin Booth

    Wow, just a few days ago I was think how horrible it would be if you were in some kind of accident, given all the miles you log! There must have been a disturbance in the force.
    Reading this blog entry, I uttered out loud, “wow, he is something” when you immediately turned to all the great times you had had on that trip. I hope I can be so positive in the face of a challenge like you face.
    I’ll definitely be thinking of you, telling my friends, and wishing you the very best recovery!

    November 24, 2015 at 2:21 pm
  • Kevin Solsten

    Jan, I hope you have a full and uneventful recovery. Your work in this world of bicycling and bicycles has created a foundation for the next generation of cyclists. Thank you for all the work you have done…..and keep up the good work for many, many years.

    November 24, 2015 at 5:58 pm
  • jmr

    dear jan,
    so sorry to hear of your crash.
    how in the world did you endure that post-crash plane flight??!!!
    best wishes,

    November 25, 2015 at 6:14 pm
  • zundel

    How incredibly unlucky.
    How very lucky. That was no gentle tap.
    After various much less severe crashes, especially those not self-inflicted, I’ve had to find space to recover from the residual shock, fear, and anger. The trauma of my body stayed inside my head. Probably you need that recovery too.
    As a practiced athlete, you know to have the least sedentary recovery possible, but worth repeating that activity heals.
    Have an interesting, stimulating recovery: read, think, plan great new ventures for the business and great rides.
    Be well — even in this: it is your nature.

    November 25, 2015 at 9:58 pm
  • theeverydaycyclist

    So sorry to hear about what sounds like a scary accident but relieved to hear that you’re destined to make a full recovery. Heal quickly Jan.

    November 26, 2015 at 8:39 am
  • Barb Kelly

    So sorry to hear about your accident. I wish you a full and speedy recovery!

    November 27, 2015 at 8:26 pm

Comments are closed.