Pedal Another Mile

Bicycling, death, life after death.

Three weeks. THREE WEEKS?!?!?

RAGBRAI starts in three weeks already??!??  WTF!!!!

Okay, okay... my last post was two and a half months ago and it was complaining about the horrendous "spring" weather we were experiencing.  I really meant to make some more posts between then and now, but life, work, and training for RAGBRAI had other thoughts about that, and that's okay.  This post will catch up.

The weather obviously improved, somewhat.  I had many very cold rides early on. Weekday rides are exclusively before work, starting at about 6:30 am. it wasn't too uncommon to start my ride in temps in the low 40s.  There's been quite a bit more rain than normal, sometimes resulting in flooded, impassable trails.  There's been days with temps in the upper 90s and heat indices in the 110-115 degree range.  Despite all of this, since the day of my last post, I have ridden 53 times totaling 1,332 miles.  Not too bad, considering I have a full time job with a 2-3 hour daily round trip commute. 

Highlight of these 53 rides include three metric centuries (100km or greater), riding down a trail for a few hundred yards with deer on either side of me not more than 20 feet ahead (I wish I had the GoPro on for that!), and...

a pretty nasty crash three weeks ago, to which I am still bearing damage.  I was two miles from the end of a 31 mile ride on Sunday June 10th.  The pavement was damp the entire ride due to overnight rain, and I thought I was being cautious enough.  Apparently not.  I approached a 90 degree left turn, slowed considerably (not enough) and entered the turn.  The next thing I know I'm on the ground, bleeding, and my left hip/thigh is screaming in pain.  The bike seemed okay, except the front brake hood/lever was knocked out of alignment.  I determined it was ridable and finished the last two miles on adrenaline.  I had road rash on my shoulder, elbow, and knee, but none of these were too bad.  The elbow bled a LOT, but no stitches were required.  My big worry was going to be my left thigh.  Before I even left the parking lot, I knew I was in for a long period of discomfort.  I only hoped that I'd be able to resume riding quickly, as RAGBRAI was a mere six weeks away.  I went home and immediately began ice and tylenol treatment.  The following week was pretty uncomfortable, especially sleeping.  I am a left side sleeper most of the time, and the size of the hematoma on my leg was not going to permit left-side sleeping anytime soon.  Oddly enough, the only activity that did not hurt on Monday was the three minutes I spent on the indoor bike trainer.  I reluctantly decided to not ride Tuesday morning, but by that afternoon decided I'd give it a go on Wednesday.  Everything went well on that ride, and each one since has been fine as well.  95% of the bruising is gone, but a sizable swollen lump remains.  A doctor visit resulted in assurances it was normal and would recede with time. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here is a pic of my leg at it's worst, about 10 days after the crash:

The bruised area was about 12 by 6 inches.

Like I mentioned, most of the color is gone now, and I'm patiently waiting for the swelling to recede.  There's no pain rmaining and I can sleep on my left side again.

So that's what has been going on, cycling related, since my last post.  I'll be making an effort to update more in the next three weeks, and then, if there's a cell signal, I'll be posting daily from the trip.

In much more important news, I'd like to thank everyone who has already donated to team Pedal Another Mile at Stand Up to Cancer, as I am attempting to raise $10 donated for every mile ridden on RAGBRAI.  This would bring the total raised since 2010 over $20,000.  There has been over $1,000 raised since March - so over $2.50 per mile has already been donated!! Thank you all SO much!  If you haven't donated and would like to, I thank you!  Just follow this link.  Even the minimum donation amount, $5, means a little over a penny a mile, and every penny counts!!