On Saturday, I had a fairly miserable ride. I was hit with a strong headwind for about four miles. While I intended to do two 6.5 mile loops, I bailed after the first one. I spent the rest of the day in a funk for quitting because of such a minimal obstacle. So not the behavior of someone with ambitious goals.
Yesterday morning, I went out for a redemption ride.
[I’ve been dealing with some mysterious foot/ankle pain for several days, hence the cycling on what should have been a long run day. Bummer.]
Things got off to a bumpy start. I arrived at my starting point and my tummy freaked out. The situation was so…emergent….that I literally drove the twenty damn minutes home to use the bathroom. SO ANNOYING. Sidebar: I have a tremendous amount of sympathy for people who deal with IBS or worse, Crohn’s or Colitis. Tummy problems regularly interfere with my training and I know my problems are nothing in comparison!
Anyway, I drove baaaack down and started the ride. After the friggin’ drawbridge came back down.
You’d think I’d have sensed that this ride was not meant to be but after feeling like a quithole all day Saturday, I was committed.
The first loop was uneventful. A bit of wind (it’s a bike, after all!) but not a bad ride. For some reason, I wasn’t really enjoying myself but it wasn’t miserable. More experimenting with shifting, a bit of “sprinting”, the usual…
I began the second loop feeling great. Figures.
Near the beginning of the loop, there’s a fun descent, a somewhat tight turn and then a really tight turn between two short polls that spits you onto the main road. These poles are the bane of my cycling existence. Usually, I have to stop and walk through them but I recently discovered that someone dug a gravel path next to the poles and my road bike can handle it.
Do you have enough context? Great. So, coming down the descent at about 15mph, I rode STRAIGHT INTO THE POLE. I crashed into it, was thrown from my bike, landing on my left side. It hurt. I’m scraped up on both knees and my left quad and glute feel worse than after a half marathon. I can barely bend my leg, the quad is so pissed.
Some lessons I learned:
* People are really awesome. Several people rushed over to help and weren’t satisfied with my protestations of “I’m fine!” They insisted on checking me out and checking on my bike. I dropped my chain and as I was shakily trying I get it back on, several cyclists stopped and asked if I needed help. Very classy, folks!
* Take nice people up on their offers for help. I was not able to get the chain back on and had to walk my bike 1.5 miles back to the car. Bleeding.
* You will ride where you’re looking. If you’re attempting to avoid an obstacle and you STARE RIGHT AT IT, YOU WILL RIDE RIGHT INTO IT. GAHHHH.
Important lessons learned. The most important thing that happened yesterday was getting right back up. Had I not dropped my chain, I would have finished the ride. That would not have been the smartest choice but at least the heart and resilience I didn’t have in the face of the wind are within me.
Arriving home, my dude was a bit freaked out. I texted him right away leading with I’M TOTALLY OKAY but he does not like when I come home with these:
I medicated with cold deep dish pizza and excessive Oscar Twitter snarking.