Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Monday Bloody Monday

What's the difference between the sound of a car coming up from behind that is going to hit you and one that is going to pass you by the legally-mandated 3-feet for a bicycle?  Absolutely nothing.

These days are all bikes and b-school and very little in between. Yesterday, however, I was able to mix it up by getting hit by a car. "Hit" is accurate but "bumped" seems more appropriate. I could dress the experience up in a dozen fancy ways but the truth is the day was simple. I woke up. It was going to be 60 degrees. I'd been off my bike all weekend and I was itching for a ride. So off I went towards Golden with intention to ride on through Red Rocks park, past the famed amphitheater, on through Morrison and back home in time to shower up before class. It's around 60 miles and on a sunny day it's pretty close to heaven. 

 My Monday's are, in the grand scheme of things, pretty great. While most of you saddle up to cubicle desk I hop on a saddle of a different kind.  I had put the defeat of slow legs from the week before behind me and I was sporting the new DU team kit (uniform) that still had the smell of being ripped from its factory plastic wrapping just that very morning.

Cars come and cars go but one particular gray Dodge truck, for reasons unknown, swerved just as it passed alongside me alongside me, consumed the little white line that guided my path and bumped me in the shoulder/hip with it's passenger side door. Why it didn't hit me dead on I don't know. Why the side mirror didn't clock me in the head I can only guess.

The bump pushed me off the side of the road and into a gravel shoulder. I have ridden my road bike on dirt roads, gravel, ice, snow, and I truly thought I might be able to keep the rubber on the road. But as I struggled to shift my weight to stay upright at about 24 mph my back tire caught patch of soft dirt and with little fanfare the bike slid out from underneath me, leaving half a butt cheek on the pavement and the other half on the gravel. I skidded across my left side for a solid ten yards (first down!) leaving a good portion of my kit, my skin and my awesome day on the road.  

In the ensuing seconds biker instincts took over:

1. Get the license plate (I got most of it)
2. Check the bike.
3 Scream Obscenities (choice dependent on results of step 2)
4. Check the body
5. Scream obscenities (choice dependent on the square root of [(Step 2)^2 + (Step 3)^2)]

The best news is that Roux (my 2011 Roubaix) only suffered superficial damage. The good news is that my body only suffered superficial damage. The bad news is my fresh kit was now equipped with a giant speed hole the size of my left ass cheek as was my wind vest, arm warmer and shoe. I was about 24 miles from home.  So it goes.

When I ride with teammates or friends and we stop in some public area I always like to say  that we are "putting out the vibe." It's all a joke, of course, because it is nearly impossible to look cool or impress anyone as a scrawny little biker dressed in spandex, hunched over a bicycle and nerded out in all kinds of gear (that is unless you are standing atop a podium. Doesn't matter what you've just won. Any podium will do). Yesterday my left cheek and I put out the vibe for all 24 miles of the ride home.
I'm a processes man these days (return of Retooling soon enough) and road rash is no different:
1. 2 shots whiskey (just to be clear, drink it, don't put it on the road rash. Duh).

2. Warm shower with excessive scrubbing to remove dirt and gravel stuck on/in you. 

3. Antibacterial something or other. (FYI: It may say on the package that your particular brand of antibacterial spray/liquid doesn't sting. This is a boldface lie. It's going to sting. A lot. Man up.

4. Cover in Tegaderm film, The second best item 3M ever invented after the post-it note.

5. Leave your road rash the hell alone. Don't touch it. Don't scratch it. Don't show it off to friends. Don't complain about it to your classmates. Just keep it covered, keep it quiet and keep an eye on it in case it gets infected (which is easy since you covered it in the clear Tegaderm film like I said, right?)

6. Replace the tegaderm every 3-5 days depending on how active you are. 2 if you're a real man and you're back riding the bike again the next day.

So there you go. Lessons on a close call, putting out the vibe, destroying your new kit and cleaning up the mess.

And to think, that was just Monday.

See you back on the road tomorrow,

1 comment:

  1. You've probably already seen this article, but in case you haven't: