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“It’s like riding a bike…”

Well, I got my bike back finally. Oh yes… maybe you didn’t hear that I got violently launched off my bike during an organized charity ride on September 18th.

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I happened to be cruising with a mini-peleton of about 20 riders when the cyclists 2 bikes ahead of me slipped out of line causing the guy to his left to wobble and slide sideways. In a matter of seconds, due to a 24 mph pace, I slammed into the guy turned sideways and was launched off my bike and onto the asphalt and a bike frame/handlebars (bringing a 60-miler best ride in 2:44 to a quick 42 mile halt– based on the time finishing time of a friend I was riding with).  About 10 seconds later, after realized I was awake and alive, I sprung to my feet to see the guy who I collided with wailing in pain. We would later come to discover that he’d broken his collarbone, 7 ribs, and punctured a lung. Here is a similar wreck I found online… imagine me as the guy in the black and white jersey who goes gymnastic in the middle of the pile except I wasn’t as agile and landed on my back.

I, on the other hand, was rattled and bruised; as well as friend of mine named Randy who had cut his ear pretty bad. And though at first I thought it wasn’t that bad, a trip to the doctor that afternoon was still needed.  My abdomen muscles wouldn’t quit cramping, making it difficult to breathe or sit, lay down, or move. It was sharp and sudden pain for sure. I better understand why they call the muscles in that area your core– they are core to almost every movement!

My bike wasn’t so lucky in the whole ordeal… it lost a collarbone. Or as we call it in the bike world, a fork.  The front fork of the wheel sheared off completely. The replacement finally came Friday.  In addition, the rear wheel and derailer got pretty shook up, and one of my box-shaped metal petals was actually bent and rounded on impact (that’s how quickly I and the bike stopped).

I’m recovering nicely, just stiff now and again. Spin has been good for the legs and lungs, but I’ve been without a bike for 2 weeks now. Needless to say, I was eager to ride today. “It truly is like riding a bike” (ha ha), it comes back to you.  Everything went great until I lost 2 tires, 1 tube, and one spoke (ugh! bad luck day! Shout out to Dave Meyer’s generic bike shop!).  My bike is now back in the shop getting wheels trued.  Outside the bike crud, the 63-miler was made worth it due to riding with Gavin (a fellow vegan experimenter like myself lately– although I’m more of a lazy vegetarian).

I’m just glad to be pedaling, upright and on my bike… Ole Gray and I have been through a lot together in 2 years, 2 months: near 8,000 miles, 3 wrecks, and trips all around the great state of California and the tip of Nevada.

Next weekend I ride the Riverbank Cheese and Wine Century for the fourth year in a row.  My goal… daring myself to type it... is to finish in 5 hours and 45 minutes.  That would make for 4,000+ feet of climbing over the total 107 miles for an average speed of 18.6 mph.  It won’t be easy, but I haven’t been training for easy.  We’ll see… 10.09.11 is only a week away.

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