Monday, September 22, 2014
I haven't been very active on SparkPeople and the blogs, because on July 18th of this year I was involved in something that all active cyclists dread - a high speed bike crash.
How bad was it? Well, as soon as I hit pavement, I blacked out, and did not 'come-to' until I had been in the emergency room for about 30 minutes. I fractured my skull (yes my helmet did save my life - that I'm sure of), broke my wrist, had a wound open near my right eye requiring 45 stitches, and broke my collarbone so badly that it required ORIF surgery to fix it (basically they had to put in a plate with six screws). I was in and out of the hospital for about two weeks, off work for another three, and am just now getting to the point where I can sleep in a bed, instead of a recliner.
It was an accident that could not have been prevented - the only variable was the speed. I was coming down a fairly sizable hill on my side of the bike path, when, without warning, an older Korean man decided to do a U-turn on the bike path - which put him square in my path. The only thing I could think of was to avoid him at all costs - which I did, but in the process of trying to avoid him, I hit the brakes hard - real hard. As I am left handed, I squeezed the left brake a lot harder than the right one - and, you guessed it, went right over the top of my handlebars - with the injuries that I mentioned the result.
It has been over two months since the accident, and while the pain is a lot, lot less, I still am trying to recover full motion of my right arm, and I have not gotten to the point where I can go 24 hours without taking some type of pain medication. Fortunately, I am now down to using only Tylenol - only about once a day - and I have been able to wean myself off the heavier pain drugs. But my recovery is still a work in progress.
At this point, you might be wondering, "Will Dave ever get back on the bike?" Honestly, I don't know. At the height of all my pain and suffering I almost sold my Cervelo, but my wife talked me out of it. She thinks that at some point my itch to ride will be too great, and she thinks I will really regret selling the bike. Honestly, I was surprised that she didn't want to ban me completely, but she has taken the pragmatic approach of "Accidents happen." She does want two conditions for all future rides, however. One is to slow way down on all my rides (no problem!), and two, never, NEVER go out on a ride alone (it was the fact I was riding with a cycling colleague that saved my life). Again, I have no problem with the second condition either.
Again, will I ever get back on the bike? I honestly have to reply by saying "I don't know". I have a whole lot of physical therapy to recover my arm before I can even think about it. In the meantime, I think I will stay with safer forms of exercise for now, like walking, or swimming.
Ever onward! ALWAYS, ALWAYS wear a helmet - I am absolutely convinced that, had I not been wearing one, I would not be alive today to be writing this post.
Sunday, June 01, 2014
On Saturday, May 31, I turned 60 years old. In America, this is not a big deal, but here in Korea, it's a VERY big deal.
So as I approached my 60th birthday, I wondered what to do to make it special. Then I hit on a great idea - why not do a 60-mile bike ride?
And so, the '60 for 60' idea was born.
I have recently lagged on my exercise for reasons that are too numerous to mention, so I had been thinking of a way to focus my exercise efforts and start to get back into shape. What I came up with the idea of doing a 60 mile bike ride as a way for me to refocus my efforts and at least get back into some semblance of shape.
While I was really busy with some other events that really threatened to undo my efforts to do this ride, I was able to make a couple of last-minute warm up rides to ensure I had the endurance for the ride. A week and a half before the '60 for 60' , I was able to get in a 50 mile ride done in about 3 and a half hours. This gave me the confidence that I could finish my ride.
We started out at 7 AM so that we could finish the ride at a leisurely pace. I went out with about 5 other riders from work, and we were absolutely blessed by some of the best riding weather you can imagine! Going out to the west on the Han River, we had a morning 'easterly' at our backs, and when the wind shifted back to the west, we were almost ready to 'turn it around' and come back. For at least 50 of the 60 miles, we had the wind to our backs. Around these parts, you can't ask for better than that.
The ride was great up until the last hour and a half. Then the day just got too hot (it was in the upper 80's) and the last part of the ride just became a slog. I overheated a little at about the 50 mile point, and had to cool off with a lot of water, and take several breaks, just to make it back OK. I have to tell you, the cold beer I had when I finally got home never tasted so good!
It has taken me about a day to recover, but now I'm headed into the gym for some light weight work-outs tonight. I have been very consistent about my cardio as of late, but have not really gotten into working with weights - something I know I'm going to have to do, if I want to shed some pounds at my age.
Anyway, it was a GREAT ride for my 60th birthday - and it's good to be back on Sparkpeople to blog about it!
Thursday, January 02, 2014
Happy New Year everyone. Time to get re-sparked!
I have been really slacking on both exercise and nutrition lately, and of course, that caused a serious relapse in conditioning and weight. But it's a new year and time to get re-energized and re-sparked!
I could not believe my good fortune today for January. It was a nice sunny day, the winds were calm, and the thermometer climbed over 40 degrees today - I just had to ride! It isn't often we have weather that great in January and I really needed to make use of it.
I got out about 45 minutes before sunset and spent the time before sunset going out into the wind. I knew it was going to get cold once the sun went down so I wanted to have the wind at my back once it got dark (in January, if you get out after work, you will spend a lot of time riding in the dark).
It was a nice ride (especially for January!). I was a little chilled once I stopped and took a short refuel break, but I had worn enough layers that it really wasn't an issue. I also wore some new booties that I got from REI - having your bike shoes in some really nice GORE booties makes all the difference in the world. I really didn't notice any cold feet - something that I can't say when I've gone out in the 40's with only tennis shoes on.
Anyway, it was a GREAT way to start out my 4th year as a serious cyclist. Onward!
Monday, October 14, 2013
While I had to work today (not enough vacation time built up), I did manage to sneak one last warm weather ride in on the holiday.
Tomorrow, the spandex is gone until next spring - no more bike shorts. Our local forecast predicts 49 degrees by tomorrow morning and the high not reaching above the mid - 60s. Time for the parkas and winter bike pants.
But it also means that we are into a dry spell - so I have been so busy riding lately, I have not had much time to update my spark blogs. (I've ridden 9 days out of the last 14). Oh, well. I feel a little guilty for not updating my blog, but I rather be riding than blogging - so I don't feel too guilty :-).
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