Cycling Along The Way...

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Silver City, NM, United States
Riders of the wheel. Racers, Roadies, Mountain bikers, Touring cyclists, Commuters, and others. Diamond frames, recumbents, trikes, and more. Sharing a web of connections often misunderstood or unappreciated by those who don't ride. Herewith, my attempt to share some of the more rational thoughts that flit around inside my head while bicycling, knocking back a brew or three, or just thinking about life. Reviews of bicycles, gear, touring, and more, plus some unsolicited posts about people, politics, and philosophy. Other things, too. Me: retired, gave up my TV in 1988, avid cyclist, several cross country tours completed with more to come. Your thoughts?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Seven days ago, while out for a short ride checking some adjustments that I'd made to the Silvio, I crashed and burned on Rt. 180.  The Silvio felt great.  I had more control of the bike than I'd ever had, to date, and was very optimistic about the Silvio.  I still am.  Now, however, I have a greater respect for the bike and how to make moves on it.  At the time of the crash, I was ascending a small climb, shifting from the large chainring to the middle chainring, the chainring locked up just when I applied considerable torque to the left crank.  Down I went.  In a heartbeat.  Sliding along the road bed, I was saying to myself, "This is going to &%^$*#@ hurt."  Extricating myself from the bike, I checked out the areas on my body that had made contact with the road bed, a.k.a., "blacktop".  They were red and I knew it would get worse.  None of my cycling clothing had ripped.  I was wearing my Smartwool Flagstaff merino wool bib shorts and a lycra cycling jersey.  I thought for sure the bib shorts would have ripped.

Better part of valor was to head home.  On arrival, I immediately grabbed 800mg of ibuprofen and took it with some yogurt.  Intent was to start control of pain/inflammation right away.  The next day, I didn't feel too bad.  The day after that...ooooh, I was in pain.  Over the course of 7 days, I have continued with the ibuprofen and have used aloe vera gel and vitamin E oil on the worst of the road right, upper hamstring and outside of the upper right leg immediately below my right butt cheek.  Sensitive is hardly adequate to explain how it felt.  It is a part of my body that moves quite a bit with any activity.  When it does, the area of the road rash that was scabbing over would pull apart and the nerve endings would scream.  I kept the area moist with vitamin E oil and it has improved immensely over the past several days.  I have been on my bike several times since the crash to stretch my legs.  As you might guess, the bruising has been significant and wide spread.  That didn't appear for several days.

Since about 12yrs of my work career was in hospital ERs and intensive care units, primarily with the burn and trauma service, I was not overly worried about the road rash or bruising.  As long as it didn't get infected, I was okay with the progress of the wound. Burn, actually.  My wife, Eileen, on the other hand, has not seen a lot of injuries, so, to her, it was "horrible".  I did manage to get her to do a few things for me so I didn't have to get up from the couch where I was reading.  That won't last much longer.  To be honest, I had several very uncomfortable days with this road rash.  While I am much more mobile now, I still experience pain when moving around initially.  Then, it calms down.  Keeping the really red area moist with vitamin E oil helps quite a bit.

So, for those interested in the gore...a couple of photos..

This is ONE WEEK later.  From a wound perspective, this looks great.  From a personal point of view, it still HURTS.  The far left side of the photo shows the lower portion of my right butt cheek; the far right side of the photo is towards my right knee.  The bruising extends a bit farther down the leg toward my right knee.

This road rash looks much improved.  Because of the location, it doesn't hurt when I move my arm.
There is another road rash on the same arm, only on my tricep, but it's very minor and practically healed.
Obviously, my ride schedule has been interrupted.  I try to get on the bike, despite these injuries, to exercise the leg.  The red area on my leg, I think, will heal faster than the bruising will disappear.  At first, I thought the pain was only from the road rash, but the bruised areas and the hamstring muscle were also sore.  It was difficult to differentiate what the exact source of all the discomfort, I know.

The truly amazing part of all of this ... this was my first EVER fall on a bicycle of this magnitude.  Sure, as a kid, I'd fallen, but that really doesn't count.  As an adult, I'd only done the usual antics...come to a stop with  one foot unclipped only to realize that I had shifted my center of gravity and I was going to fall because the foot that I needed to stop the fall was still clipped in.  This fall was so very different.  Immediate is the word that I'd use to describe the speed with which this happened.  Before I could do anything, I was on the road, sliding.  The rest is history.

Ok, now, a tune...Queen, yes, the obvious.."Bicycle Race"...always wanted to be a member of this racing team.