18 June 2011

The Friday Top Five

The Top Five Things I've Learned After Falling Off My Bike Going Over 20 M.P.H.

5) You're a Long way up! :  You don't really realize that you are atop a small pony on your saddle. Instead of legs that could carry a grown man down the side of the Grand Canyon, you are praying that your 23 cm tires can withstand that small pebble for a few more seconds on your way down a hill going 40 m.p.h. with nothing between you and your chiclets but five feet of air which you catapult through at a speed that can only be calculated by a high-tech NASA computer that has yet to be invented.

4) Road Rash Sucks: Holy Burning Flesh Batman!  I remember getting road rash as a child, but never to quite the degree that I received from my fall this week. Road rash can only be described as feeling like your skin is on fire for several days. Showering was dreadful all week. In fact—as gross as this sounds—I managed to avoid showering for a couple days following the crash. The first time I did, I thought that I would have rather have been subjected to listening to Lady Gaga for 12 straight hours (minus the apparatus to keep my eyes open like that scene in a Clockwork Orange. That was just weird.)
The good news? I was coaching my son's LL team just hours after the crash. The wifey came up to me and said "... you are so macho" and gave me a little wink. I thought... "hell yes... hell yes, I'm macho." I then cranked some Justin Beiber on my stereo when I got home.

3) Get Back Out There Right Away: When I was playing Little League as a kid (I am now coaching my son's Little League team—that is a WHOLE other post!) I got hit by a pitch right in the ribs. I did not think I could breath for what seemed like hours. My father made me get right back out there the next game and stand in the box. I am glad he did. It took a little bit of time before I felt truly comfortable hitting or catching a line drive hit 60 feet away, but I eventually managed to conquer those fears. I got right back on my bike the very next day and rode... slowly.

4) It's Okay To Be Scared: I have been a tad tentative on my rides this past week. You know... when the wind blows I am thinking, "Oh dear Lord, please don't let me fall off and break something." Nothing really hampers your season like breaking something.

There should be signs like this one warning
unassuming cyclists of unmarked potholes!
5) It Will Happen Again: Look, I am no moron. I do not welcome death. No one does, but we all cheat it. Everyday. I am smart enough to realize that it is not a matter of "if" I am going to take another spill, but "when." The best I can do is minimize the amount of damage I do to my body by making sure that my bike gets regular service (it is a good thing to check those brake lines and pads occasionally), and realize that going 45 m.p.h. down a hill when you have five children is just not necessary. Honestly, 35 m.p.h. is fine. Every once in a while I think about how fast 40 m.p.h. is on a bike and think about falling at THAT speed. That scares the hell out of me. I am still a bit tentative after the big fall, but I am sure that I will lose some of those inhibitions soon enough. I have been a lot more careful about looking well ahead of me for debris and unmarked potholes all week. The blood has almost stopped seeping from my knee.

THE KNEE: I may have finally had a bit of a revelation about my knee. The thing about an injury is that you really have to determine how the pain started developing. Post to follow.

Train Smart!



See my post three back... My turn came 3 weeks ago. One week after IMTX in a little community tri with a 3 mile bike, no less. The last time I went down was 1989 at Bud Light New Orleans Oly. BUT, since I wiped out going by transition it wasn't so bad.... Bud was sponsoring the tri (if you get my medicinal jist).
Hope you heal up quickly, I am still around 2 weeks from not having to use second skin...

Heather said...

Yet another reason to be glad the only hill I live near is a highway overpass!!
I hope you are getting feeling a bit better though!

I still have road rash scars on my shoulder and leg from skidding down the Alpine Sleigh Ride (of Death) in WinterPark ten years ago.

Colleen said...

This is a great list... especially about getting back on the bike. It's hard to do when your skin was on fire for a week and there's a chance it'll happen again! :)

Hope you are feeling better!

Kiersten said...

Holy burning flesh Batman!Thanks for the great post. Definitely a little freaked about my first ride on a tri bike this weekend.