Then, on the fifth day, at Spartanburg, all hell broke loose. There had already been two pretty nasty wrecks, and I got wrapped up in the third. About two-thirds of the way through the race, out of the corner of my eye (on the very dangerous and fast finish straight), I saw a blurry orange and green skinsuit swing into the back of my bike. I entered a fatal speed wobble, and was kissing the pavement within about half a second. I should preface the following sentence by letting you know I’m no stranger to wrecks - while my first year racing was pretty clean as far as tarmac episodes go, I was previously a bike messenger and had met the ground/cars/small dogs plenty of times. This particular wreck scared the epic shit out of me. Normally when you hit, you slide, dissipating the impact through the grinding away of kit/flesh in a friction-filled asphalt burn. Not so, this time. Direct impact with the ground with my hip and head at 34.6MPH (per my GPS), shockwaves rippled through my body like the concussion of an artillery shell. I rolled over and tucked, feeling bikes and bodies pinging off of me. Within about 10 seconds I was up, dazed and suffering from a concussion.—Nate King