What a better way to update an un-updated blog that to describe complete and catastrophic failure on a number of levels. Wednesday cross practice at Wrentham. There’s a tree in the way. No problem. I have a chain saw. I’ll just cut that thing and move it. Right? Wrong. Chainsaw refused to cut, leaving me looking like a total dumb*** with my manly Craftsman chainsaw. After repeated attempts, a lot of smoke from the burning wood, and finally the thing thankfully running out of gas, the tree remained. It wasn’t until three or four guys just moved it out of the way that the obstruction was no long a nuisance.
So, after FAILURE #1, onto bigger and better things. After only getting 1/2 lap warm-up because of my woodsmanship, I lined up for the first lap. No problems there as I was able to maintain a pretty good pace with the front group, and was generally feeling good for a change.
Onto the second interval which was two laps of the course. Again, good start, grooving through the sections, feeling fine. Until the second time around I nailed something and started to hear that familiar *hiss* of air escaping my tire. Just to make sure I flated, I nailed another something and finished the deal, proceeding to run my bike through the woods. That makes for FAILURE #2. Thankfully I just bought a bunch of tubes, so I was stocked and ready for tire-changing action. After a quick change, onto the last interview of THREE laps.
Started out fine again, in the first 10, feeling pretty good. That is besides my Michellin Jets sketching out all over the place. Bad tire selection, but good for bike handling skills. As I make my way up the short power climb out of the saddle. I am suddenly left holding my handle bars which ceased to be connected to my bike. That would be wrong. FAILURE #3. Handle bars should be connected to the steering tube when trying to ride the bike.
Since I was out of the saddle, I immediately went forward, nearly impaling myself on the newly sheared tube. I sat on the ground, inspecting my new wound (future scar), waiting to see how much blood was going to come out. It is that moment in between the injury and the realization of the extent of the injury. Nothing really hurts yet, nothing much is happening, except there is an opening where there previously wasn’t an opening.
Luckily, no major bleeding and not much of a gash to speak of. As I hobbled over with my broken bike, one of the spectators mentioned she is an ER doc, and she could look at it (thereby saving me three hours in an ER and a $75 co-pay). No stitches needed (although certainly an option. Just enough to cause some pain and discomfort, along with ripping my shorts so that I need a new pair. Without any substantial medical equipment, I irrigated with a water bottle and then some basic dressing. Not a bad job, considering I could have de-balled myself, cut into my leg in a bad way, and/or impaled myself onto the tube completely.
Or, I could have pulled one of these: