“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll fall amongst the stars.” I don’t know who wrote this but OBVIOUSLY they never fell off a bike. I didn’t fall amongst the stars but I did see stars. Stars and birds and the tops of trees as I came crashing down to earth like the space shuttle on re-entry. Yesterday was supposed to be my first century ride. I was ready but should have known it was going to be one of those days. Got to the site, all the air gone out my back tire. Gone. Flat like snakeskin road kill. No puncture, everything in tack. Get out the pump and I’m pumping and nothing. The tube isn’t catching, holding air. Thankfully Ed- the bike mechanic was on site. This caused me to miss the century start but I was going to do it anyway, just start later. Met up with some RWB people I know and rode out with them. Hadn’t even gone 10 miles, coming up the hill and I couldn’t tell you what happened to save my life. I was spinning, moving and all of a sudden that Ninja who jumps out and trips people, yeah, I think he got me. Tire went one way, bike went another and over I went. I was clipped in and the bike skidded out from under me and I thought my leg was getting detached below the knee. The pull from the bike pulled my left calf so hard, I fell back and landed on my elbow, butt/back. I was in a bike figure four. I hit the ground so hard my body looked like a chalk outline. Tried to get up and the Ninja grabbed that calf with a hot pair of tongs. You just don’t realize how secure you are clipped in to the bike until it’s time to fall. I hobbled out of the road and got myself together. Off we go. I got separated from the RWB group and at the second rest stop I checked to see the damage. Bike was fine, there was/is a clicking that wasn’t there before so getting that looked at but my elbow was bleeding. Cleaned it up and went in my way. These weren’t hills. Nothing like what Atlanta has but they are false hills. You think you’re at the top, nope, not even close. Everything tightened up and I ran off the side of the road. Y’all know ain’t no curbs or shoulders on these rides. Lost the cap on my water bottle, nutrition splashing everywhere, lost then found my phone. After the time spent searching for the bottle cap then the lost and found phone, I knew I wouldn’t make cutoff for the century so I decided to finish up with the metric. 13 miles left and there’s another false hill. Had to walk it. I felt like I was on the Autobahn, so many twists and turns. There was a turtle in the middle of the road, just chilling and I damn near ran off the road again trying to avoid him. About 3 miles left and I hear a truck coming up behind me. No big deal but dude didn’t get over as much as he could, so I was treated to a pebble shower. Now I have a knot and road rash on my elbow, my left side feels like I was at 2-a-day football practice and the bruise on my butt and hip looks like I was branded. Wait, looks more like a medium done steak. Just enough pink in the center and yes, quite tender. Bright side is I did better my time from when I did 65 on my hybrid. Even though I was busted up, still had my gloss cuz, you know, I got priorities. . Oh and did I mention the bees that took a liking to my bike and ride with me, yeah, like I can out run a bee. It has been a day but I did not die. .
I’m always up for getting out of my comfort zone. Getting out of my comfort zone shouldn’t involve bumps, bruises, slips, trips and falls; at least not to me. Didn’t think I fell that hard but my body proved me wrong. Another good thing is, since I was going to miss the century cutoff, I really got plenty of opportunities to practice shifting. Yes, I got it down. Coming off a nice descent, I was able to shift and maintain going up the hill. SCORE!!
You should learn something every day. I learned: my nutrition program works, a little salt in my hydration won’t hurt, my shifting practice paid off and hills will always humble you. John Mayer said it best “Gravity. Stay the hell away from me.” Now to sit back and re-evaluate, re-strategize but for now, I’m going to relax and ice my numb parts, massage the sore spots and continue to be a bright spot. #whatails – a sore arm, hip, butt among other areas.