Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Saturday, Ugly Saturday. Sunday, Bloody Sunday.

This past week has kinda sucked in the staying upright department. I hate even admitting this all, cause I'm a grown man and there is no reason I shouldn't be able to keep myself off of the ground, but the admissions are coming.

On Saturday, I went out with a couple of the HoCo cyclists for what was anticipated to be a 30 miler. I figured that I wouldn't even talk about this ride, but I guess I must. Before I left the house, I finagled with the front derailleur to get it to shift onto the small chain ring. After 10 minutes of playing with it, it seemed that all was good and my nine easy gears would be rejoining me on my rides.

We set out a bit after 9 and I never got a good feel about my gearing. About 6 miles in, heading uphill (what else?) I was nervous about using the small chain ring and wound up with another clip less fall. Same basic fall, as Wednesday night, same elbow and left knee spot. Pretty soon I figure I'll be down to the bone.

Back on the bike and all was well until we headed up the biggest hill so far and that's when it happened. What seemed like a dropped chain and I quickly disengaged from the pedals and kept myself upright. YEAH! Then, the bad news. Matthew rides by, asks me if I'm okay and then says "that doesn't look good." What? My chain just dropped. "No, your rear derailleur is on the ground." WHAT? I get off the bike and there it is. The whole damn chain and derailleur are on the ground. Crap! Not going anywhere now.

We're 10 miles from our start in very rural part of town. I call Deb, to no avail. Too bad I didn't have Verizon service! I try her on Matthew's phone and get through.

At that point in time, a guy that Matthew knows pulls up. Seems this guy was in a spin class that Matthew used to teach. "Do you need help?" Yeah, can you get me back to Columbia? "Sure -- I live a mile from here, let me drop my stuff and I'll be back in 5 minutes." Could this be some kind of divine intervention? Crazy, really. Matthew hadn't seen this guy in some time and had no clue that he lived near where we were. Before long, I was on my way to the bike shop. Hope to have it back in a week, good as new. So much for 30 miles, but I was safe and sound.

Sunday's original plan was to hit the B&A trail for a couple of loops -- ideally 50 relatively flat miles. That wasn't happening, so I hit the gym for an 8 am spin class followed by a kids last-day-before-school fun day. Lunch with dad at Subway followed by putt putt golf and the batting range. Matty had a mid-afternoon play date so I told Zach I'd go for a ride with him on my hybrid bike.

We hit the road and, as we were approaching our pool, he asked if he could do a lap for his own little pedal and paddle. Absolutely!

After Zach's lap, we headed out to the bikes and just before we got there, SPLAT! No, let me make it SPLAT! Who splatted? Well, that would be the coordinated one, ME! There was a section of concrete askew and I didn't see it. I went down, hard. Where did I hit? The same left elbow and the same left knee. Of the little falls of the past week, this was by far the worst. The most blood. The most pain.

The lifeguards could care less. After a minute or so, "are you okay? do you need anything?" No, you ding-a-ling, I have blood pouring out of me, but I'll be fine. We were just a couple of miles into our ride and we'd have to turn back. Zach was a real trooper. He got me a gauze pad from the lifeguard. He understood about going back home. We had no choice but to ride. The worst for me was the wind generated by the ride. It felt like sandpaper on my open elbow.

We got home and I explained to Deb what had happened. She missed the part about this me being on foot. I think she assumed I once again fell off of my bike. No, I explained, not so. The sidewalk just jumped up and tripped me. She didn't work very hard to conceal her amusement. It is a pretty nasty sight, though.

Still living though. I made it through Monday without shedding a drop of blood, so that's a good thing. Now trying for two days in a row!



jaybird said...

Well I'll say one thing for you, son, you have more guts than I do. Talking about it, I mean. Real men don't fall down. I certainly remember when I started using clips: same terror, same unsteadiness, same results. Same Mr. Cool suddenly Mr. Fool. Funny thing is I'm going through the same thing again, only I'm 30 years older. Just added clips to my old tri bike and the terror has returned. Main difference is, that bloody elbow that used to heal in 20 minutes now lasts 20 weeks. Stay with it (as you already know). It's worth it.

Amy said...

All I can say is WOW.

I haven't had an injury like that since I was like 12, and I cannot imagine the sheer torture you must be going through!

Here's to a speeeeeedy recovery!

bigmike600 said...

Hope your bike is o.k. :) Seriously be careful. You will get so you can unclip and avoid anything. It just takes time.

J-Wim said...

Well, keep at it with the clipless pedals, it gets easier.

I got two words for you though buddy- elbow pads.

Take care and stay upright!

Andrew is getting fit said...

Sounds to me like you need a full set of body armour!

Dodger said...

Beats doing a header on a diving board. I agree with Jaybird - takes real guts to admit it to the entire world. Then again, the entire world should have half the guts you do. To echo J-wim, "elbow pads!"

Terry said...

Jeff- what can I say my friend- OUCH- hope you feel better soon.

I have known you longer then I care to admit, as that would make me old, and I don't recall you being so accident prone. Take care

CoachLiz said...

Dang, it is too bad you did not get the t-shirt and little bag of cookies with those blood donations.

Hang in there, as everyone has said it will get better.

Dan Seifring said...

Jeff do we have to get you a suit of armour? Well hope the bike comes back better than new for you.

Chubby said...

Actually, I think when you become a grown man, the reasons you can't keep yourself off the ground usually involve alcohol.

Everyone takes a clipless digger. My first came in front of four other cyclists during a break in a group ride. We were talking about the route, I forgot I had my right foot clipped, and shifted all my weight to that foot. Heh. I figure if you don't have people to laugh about these things with, what's the point?

Pokey said...

Dang Jeff....be careful out there!!

I always knew that biking thing was hazardous ;)

J~Mom said...

Oh boy! Sounds like an adventure that is for sure!!! Hope you are ok now!