This spring, actually these past 12 months, remind us, not that we (anyone) needs to be reminded, just how fragile this existence is. On the heels of a couple tragedies, I hit the pavement during Tuesday night’s training ride. Events have told us that friends and loved ones are here one moment and gone, kind of like all my General Motors’ stock, the next.
Ask any roadie about crashes and he/she will show you either where their collarbone once was or some patch of skin that has been rubbed off so many times that it is no longer capable of holding pigment. Conti has three times the breaks of Lance and remember Matrka’s ribs being introduced (rather abruptly) to the insides of his lung last year?
‘Gone in an instant’ continues to be the theme in my mind as I reflect over the events of Tuesday. It was a windy-looks-like-a thunderstorm kind of night. What started with a group of 15 behind Beehive Books got whittled down to just a few roadies escheloned clear across the road coming out of Prospect. I’ve learned a few things over the years about training/racing and know enough to follow a steady wheel, and Tuesday I was tucked safely behind farmer John and Scott-on-a-Scott. I prefer either Andy, Rea 2.o, or Conti’s wheel as they are the steadiest roadies I’ve ever met, but Mike and Andy weren’t there Tuesday and I got out of synch with Da’Godfather after an attack (that I started) just before Prospect.
I had just finished my pull up front and was drifting back to the rear. Maybe it was the wind, but I didn’t hear the shouts of “dog.” And I didn’t see the…bam I hit him broadside and was in freefall over my bars. Maybe a good thing that I didn’t have time to tense up, landing first on my head (helmet destroyed), then back and hip followed. Things went black then the stars came out, “hello Angelina, where’s Brad?,” and I think I saw Bunny from the Big Lebowski…
As I lay there, I couldn’t move my leg and it felt like my hip was broken. Ah, the immobility was due to my right foot being still clipped into my pedal. “Somebody unclips me, WAIT, if this leg is broken it’s really gonna hurt.” OK, nothing broken, I unclip (actually somebody did it for me) and I sat in the road for the next 10 minutes. Farmer John went off to make compost out of the dog (never caught him) and pound on the owner’s door. As the riders we dropped came rolling up, the looks on their faces were, I can say, less than reassuring. Maybe they were still thinking about Larry, Mike, or their own mortality as it relates to bicycles. But the ‘not again’ ghost was hovering nearby.
I know a couple posts ago that I wrote there are no other groups I’d rather be riding with through rain, cold, and crashes, but this is hitting a little too close to home!
Four hours later, I’m back from the ER, cleaning wounds and trying to find a comfortable position to try to sleep in. I’m out of the state RR and crit championships this weekend. A couple trips to the chiropractor and I’m actually feeling worse…sore neck and that old man shuffle walk.
Wait, it’s Thursday night. I’m thinking I’ll just do a little spin out of town with the regulars and see how my legs feel.
btw. those that want to see pics of my raw and skinless ass, please send $10 cash and I'll mail you them in an unmarked envelope.