I was riding in a single paceline with about 10 riders. We were cruising at about 22 MPH, and had just passed the 1st rest stop at about mile 17. We didn't stop, so I decided to have a Clif Shot Gel. I was 2nd from the end of the paceline, so it was as safe as it could get. I heard someone call out "road", and noticed a shattered 2x4 strewn along the shoulder of the road. We passed the road junk, the line reformed, and then I crashed.
Or, rather, we crashed. The rider directly in front of me touched wheels with the rider in front of him and went down. Since I was riding with one hand eating gel, I didn't even touch my brakes. I hit him and his bike, and went over the handlebars. Somehow, I turned over in midair, and landed on my back. My head slammed into the pavement. It didn't hurt, but the impact force was as high as any I can remember, even going back to junior high football. I yelled a gigantic curse word, got up, and started checking for injuries. I realized I was still holding the gel, and in anger flung it into the roadside weeds.
My left arm had about 8 inches of typical road rash. The middle finger on my left hand felt either 'jammed' or broken (I now think it's not broken). My jersey had several shred holes on each shoulder, although I wasn't bleeding and didn't seem to have road rash on anywhere other than my arm. I took off my helmet, and that's when I realized the magnitude of the impact. The back of my helmet was destroyed.
After I looked at the helmet, I realized something was wrong with one of my shoes. One of the cleats had ripped off the screws, and was still attached to the pedal. This is mainly because I was using a three-bolt pattern adapter, but this still amazed me. Also, both carbon bottle cages broke into pieces upon impact with the road. My bike has the typical damage: torn bar tape & torn saddle. I'll check for cracks in the carbon frame, but I couldn't find anything.
I decided my day was done, and hitched a ride with the SAG wagon. Once home, I started cleaning things up. My back doesn't have road rash, but it's basically one big bruise from the impact. Same with my hip and upper left arm. I'll probably be sore tomorrow, but I took some acetaminophen and for now I feel okay.
Lastly, and probably most importantly, the other rider was having serious back pain, so we called an ambulance. Didn't seem like a spinal injury, but rather muscle spasm or strain. He was transported, and is hopefully okay.