He’d finished the first leg of the Santa Rosa Island Triathlon, a 600-yard swim, was peddling through the 16th mile of an 18-mile bike course and was thinking ahead to running the final 3.2 miles to finish his first triathlon.
He shouldn’t have looked down, but he did.
“I guess I learned this a bit too late,” said Nettleton, 67, on Monday. “It’s a cardinal rule of bicycling: Look up, not down.”
Nettleton checked his heart monitor, saw his heart rate was good and decided to pick up the pace. But as he started peddling faster, he looked down at the ground. When he looked up, he had drifted right and was headed straight for an orange safety cone — “that’s a bit of an oxymoron,” he says now.
Nettleton and his bicycle crashed over the cone. The Oct. 2 accident crushed his left hip and the planned payoff for more than five months of training.
For more on this story, check out the Oct. 28 edition of the Navarre Press or subscribe online.