Get health insurance. (Winston Salem G&G post race)

I pinned Winston Salem gears and guitars weekend as a season ender, and transition to Ironman triathlon training next year. I started the year as a cat 4, am now cat 3 starting this race with 28 points (and finished with 28).

Streets of Fire / Friday night
They had a new event downtown which were standing sprints for 250m or so, lots of fun. Organizers took too long between heats so it was a lot of standing around but they were probably figuring out how to send matches off faster. It was elimination style, and it seemed like it was a crowd pleaser. Couple gnarly crashes though, one of the pros snapped his chain and a few novices hit the ground pretty hard too.

Crit Race Saturday Afternoon
Wet. It was raining all day! This put the organizers behind schedule and races were an hour or more behind schedule. The course resembled a figure 8 as a bridge allowed the course to loop over itself. Mens cat 3/4 started at 3pm for a 30 minute race. A technical and wet course, it was extremely important to stay in the front 5. I ignored flyers but trusted the field braking hard into every corner would attrit people off the back. Sure enough, lap 2 we already had substantial separation and lap 3 was the breakaway with myself and 3 others.

Fast forward to the last lap. The lead cyclist slid out in corner #1 and I over-corrected on the slippery paint and brick crosswalk, went down at 25mph and slid into the curb. Ironically if I held my line and ignored the crash, I probably would have been fine since the crashed athlete slid to the outside of the course. I got up and managed to pedal to the line after I caught my wind, but honestly I was looking for and shouting for medical. Since we lapped the field, I got 11th.

Medical Bits
Road rash is fairly shallow. The puncture on my right knee however was not. I had something popping out of my knee that should not have been, but nobody knew what it was. Turns out it was just fat, but my tendon was exposed. Took me to the OR to get it surgically cleaned and I was discharged 6 hours later with a $21,000 medical bill. Thank God for my employer’s medical insurance.

The part that doesn’t heal as fast as physical wounds is mental and emotional. I would have absolutely been on the podium and secured points to cat 2 (though, transitioning to triathlon wouldn’t have taken it)

I’m still trying to deal with and figure out how to adapt my personal competitive goals. Not running a marathon in November, probably going to cancel the Ironman next July. A part of me wants to just be a hermit and train through 2023. Still figuring that part out.

Anyways, if you don’t have insurance, at the very least sign up for spot when you race. The amount of money they could’ve charged me uninsured feels criminal. $21k. Oof.


Doesn’t your usac license include medical?

Oh man… 21k bill is steep!
Glad you have insurance.

And like you said, recovering from the mental scar of an accident is though.
It not comparable, but I broke my ACL back in 2007, and to this day I still afraid of playing basketball.

My 10 yr old was playing ice hockey last week, fell, broke his arm. Took him to hospital, X rays etc and in a cast for 6 weeks. Total bill = nil. Love the UK NHS. :joy:


I bet. From I can gather i great for emergency situation, but people dont love it for non emergency things.


Today I learned there’s ice hockey in the UK. It warms my Canadian heart.


Looks like does! I thought it was just for races because that’s where I see the spot notification. Read up on the FAQ and it’s a USA cycling benefit.

Still. Same message to anybody who’s not covered.



For Ride and Race+ members, Spot Insurance is included. If you get injured while riding a bike, your Spot policy reimburses you for out-of-pocket medical costs up to $25,000 with no deductible, whether you have health insurance or not. For injuries big and small, Spot’s got your back


Resident of Winston-Salem here.

The weather was crud for most of the G&G weekend. When it wasn’t actually raining, the roads were either (1) drenched, (2) wet, (3) slick, or (4) dangerous. And that course, even on the dry tarmac has some ‘interesting’ pavement, corners, curbing, and bricks.

I applaud your grit in racing, willingness to push over the line, and steely-resolve in the face of stratospheric medical expenses.

GWS ! :slight_smile:

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I was a huge fan of the figure 8. It looked like it eased up for the fondo though!

Man, the worst part was missing Tonic on stage. The 90s rock music was fun. Gonna come back next year with a vengeance :grin:


Sounds like maybe you’ve resolved your training target for next year :slight_smile:

As someone who has gone through injury/surgery recoveries previously, and is currently going through a lengthy recovery (hit by a car two months ago) I’d encourage you not to overly plan your path forward. See how your body responds and leave yourself options until you see what your physical condition and limiters will be. Obviously, do all of this in conjunction with your medical team

As a (well) insured American - I’d say it isn’t worth racing if you don’t have medical insurance. I personally think our medical system in the US is a joke and puts us on par with developing countries, but that turns into a political conversation that we probably don’t need to have in this thread

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Billed and allowed amounts on hospital bills are very, very different and importantly so, especially when dealing with big places like hospitals.

Fractured hip 85 miles into 100-mile century in June. Earned a ride to Stanford in an ambulance. Hip surgery for an intramedullary rod in my femur + 3 nights, 4 days at Stanford Medical. Lots of painkillers those first two nights.

$250,000 price tag. Insurance covered all but the deductible.

I think that is a very true assessment. In an emergency or for something serious it is amazing. For less serious things waiting times can be v long to get it fixed.

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Very much niche sport but my son loves it and we have a local team (Bristol Pitbulls) who sell out nearly every match for the national league games.

Cries in American…

Hope his arm is doing better soon.

There is some subtlety in the USAC insurance coverage. The USAC insurance has two tiers. If you have a “race” license there is coverage during the event with a deductible. If you have a “ride” or “race+” membership/license they you get spot insurance which covers up to $25,000 of out of pocket expenses. The nice thing about spot is that it covers you pretty much anytime you are on the bike. The one exception is if you are riding in a non-USAC race.

I always opt for insurance especially mtb races. I have a high deductible plan and the insurance acts as primary so it’s a win for $13. I’m also an insurance guy(not sales). You spend more on rice crispy treats covered in bird seed(skratch)

As a Brit, I’d say that’s a fair assessment. In case of acute injury, you get very fast, world-class treatment for free. But for non-life-threatening chronic conditions, or non-urgent but painful problems (think planned hip replacement, for example), you can wait a year before finally being treated.

For example, we ended up paying privately for my wife’s carpal tunnel just because it was taking so long to get anywhere, the hand was slowly worsening, and we essentially got a ‘sorry we can’t help you any faster’ from the authorities, even though she was struggling to work (as a paramedic). Similarly, I have a ganglion cyst which needs a very simple aspiration: 2 months after seeing my GP, I have an appointment with a consultant in … March. The GP pointed out that he used to do these himself, but is now not allowed to!

The elephant in the room with the NHS is a rapidly expanding elderly population, many of whom have chronic health problems, which is a) hugely expensive and b) overloading the system. Nb - to be very clear, I’m not at all knocking older people, nor in any way saying they shouldn’t be treated, but rather my point is that it strikes me that the system as it stands is unsustainable. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we move towards a semi-insurance based system in the next decade.

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Not to get too far into the weeds, but with my private (employer) health insurance here in the US, I have to schedule regular check ups 6-9 months in advance–same just to get a referral to a specialist, then another many months (depends) to see that specialist. Maybe it’s just where I am, but I’ve never understood why people think US health care works significantly faster for non-emergencies.


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