Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I had a relatively eventful week last week, highlighted by running my bike into a tree at 24 mph Tuesday evening at Memorial Park. I was trying to squeeze in a quick bike ride before swim practice, so I only had 30 minutes to ride, and since I had an olympic-distance triathlon scheduled for Saturday, this had to be my last hard ride of the week. I was determined to make the most of it, and really hammer (for the half hour I was out there). I was having a fantastic ride, averaging well over 23 mph, and I was feeling pretty excited about the weekend's upcoming race. I was heading into a 90 degree turn at 24 mph (it could be argued that that's a reckless speed for a turn), when a cyclist in front of me abruptly slowed from about my speed to nearly a stop. I slammed on the rear brake, and my rear wheel immediately locked and started to slide, so I released the brake, realized that there was no way I was going to make the turn, and looked for somewhere else to go. The turn was lined with vertical pylons that would have mangled me and my bike if I'd gone down, so I aimed between two pylons and managed to successfully exit the pavement before ramming my right shoulder directly into a tree.
I lay on my back in shock for a couple of minutes, then got back on my bike (the front end was mangled, but there was no other visible damage) and rode back to my car. My shoulder was really swollen and virtually non-functional, but a quick trip to the ER (yep, I was lucky) confirmed that I had no broken bones (lucky again), so I spent the rest of the week (and this) with my arm in a sling hoping that my shoulder will start functioning again soon. I'm extremely lucky to have hit the tree with my shoulder and not my head (I was in aero position, so I charged into the tree head-first), and not to have broken any bones.
Friday night I spent about an hour trying to see if I could still ride my bike with my bum shoulder, but a little experimentation proved that it would be unwise, so I attended Saturday's triathlon as a spectator. It was great to see all of my friends, but it was really tough to miss out on a race I had been anticipating so much.
Today I got my bike back from the shop (the front end repair required special parts that I don't carry in my personal shop), so now I'm ready to get back on the horse as soon as my body will let me. I did a little one-armed swimming on Monday, and one bright spot is that I definitely have an opportunity to strengthen up my weak side while my dominant arm is out of commission.

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