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I fell off my Bike - So what else is new?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I am pretty banged-up. My wife told me that if I were a horse I would have to put down! My latest adventure was about a week ago. I fell off my bike. I have a Specialized Stumpjumper mountain bike I call "Stumpy". This is a pretty fast bike, which is not what I really need.

I bought some new cleats for my bike shoes. Although I am pretty sure it is a bad idea to use pedal clips where I ride, I like the little bit of extra "umph" the clips give me. The cleats are Shimano SH56 SPD that are supposed to release in multiple directions. I had just been using the single direction-release cleats.

Armed with my new cool cleats, I headed to Slaughter House trail. I have found there are are certain places to avoid based on the name. Any ski slope nick- named the "Jaws of Death" is likely to be a unique experience. Trails named after fighter planes, outlaws or train wrecks may also tend to be difficult. Certainly a trail with the word "Slaughter" in the title should be avoided like the plague!

Of course, I am attracted to such places like a moth to a flame! With much the same results - crash and burn!

I tried the new cleats in the garage on Stumpy. Everything was great. I didn't even take any tools to adjust the pedal tension. Rookie mistake! I think the new cleats were just a tad bigger than my old cleats. at a critical juncture, there was a slight delay as I tried to kickout of my right cleat. Here is a photo essay.

This is Stumpy. Stumpy is a Plain-Jane bike that has subtle silver graphics. Bikes from discount stores are prettier.

Slaughter House trail is actually in very pretty country. I tad steep but very scenic.

Trail conditions on Slaughter House go to mildly rocky.

To insanely rocky. My Garmin shows that Stumpy and me hit 36.5 mph over some of this terrain.

Here are the predictable results. My right foot needed to come out of the pedal clip. The right foot did not come out of the pedal clip because the clip spring tension was too tight. By the time I kicked my heel out of the pedal, it was too late.

Here is another photo of my leg. This sorta hurt! The bruises are not quite visible.

I came home and adjusted the spring tension on the pedal. The spring tension was way too tight. Me and Stumpy are having fun. Today, I need to do some high-altitude running. I plan to run to Chicago Lakes on Mount Evans. The trailhead starts at 10,650 feet and tops out at 12,000 feet. I am pretty well healed. I few stumbles on the rocky Chicago Lake Trail will take care of my recovery.

Moth to a flame! Thanks for reading my Blog.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ELASTI-GIRL 7/20/2011 7:12PM

    Awesome injuries! I do trail races in our region that can leave the legs looking almost as bad, depending on how technical the terrain. I've thought about the quick-release shoes for biking but I'm chicken! After looking at your pics, I think I'll stick with my routine. Great report!

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BLACKROSE_222 7/18/2011 10:17AM

    I'm sorry you hurt yourself, but I have to laugh - as far as clutzyness is concerned, we were separated at birth. Hope you are healing well, and ensuring your wife you are okay! emoticon

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WEEZIE30 7/18/2011 9:06AM

    Oh no! At least you didn't break anything!

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CAROLYN1ALASKA 7/17/2011 8:50PM

    Hope you heal quickly!
I hate when you buy new pedals and/or cleats which either release when you're climbing a really steep hill, (using one to catapult onto the top tube with incredible force), because they're adjusted too loose, or cause you to have the kind of accident you had because they were too tight!
That (the first example) happened to me this spring and made me feel very fortunate to be a female rider. emoticon

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KA_JUN 7/17/2011 8:43PM

    Ha! Nice pics! Really like how you contrasted the trail to the trail with the jeep on it! Heal up fast, those are some fast speeds on trail, for sure! emoticon

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LKEITHO 7/16/2011 10:46PM

    Definitely does not look comfortable! Hope everything works alright for the run.

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KKINNEA 7/16/2011 10:19PM

    Crazy - you take a licking and keep on ticking!

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ELYMWX 7/16/2011 6:47PM

    Those cuts are nothing - I should show you the back of my leg where my front chainrings ran into them last Wednesday after I hit a rock with my pedal. The bike stopped, I didn't, then the bike bounced off the rock and hit me. And it was when I was getting out of the parking lot, no more than 20 feet from my truck!

The bruises, on the other hand, I have nothing to compete with.

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MEGA_MILES 7/16/2011 6:31PM

    Conversation starter???

Looks like no one will get a word in emoticon

I'm glad to hear your back up and out.

Ride on!!!!

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ARCHIMEDESII 7/16/2011 3:48PM

    Any fall a rider can walk away from is a good one !! So, I'm glad you're okay even if you're a tad banged up.

A co-worker of mine was riding his bike on the street when he hit some sort of bump in the road. Well, the bike suddenly stopped and he went up and over the bike handles. broke both his elbows. Now that was an unusual fall.

Yeah, I'm a big believer that if you can walk away from any kind of accident, you're doing okay.

Hope you're feeling better ! Just look at those cuts, scraps and bruises as a great conversation starter !!

emoticon emoticon

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MAGGIENCALI 7/16/2011 3:35PM

    Ow, Bruce. Got to be careful. I have to admire your tenacity.

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SLENDERELLA61 7/16/2011 2:42PM

    Sorry, Bruce, that your search for health led you to injury. However, seems like you are recovering well and not going to let it stop you or even slow you down! Keep up the good work -- moth to the flame and all!

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L3DESIGNS 7/16/2011 2:25PM

    Ouch! Looks painful... Hope it is healing...

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CBAILEYC 7/16/2011 1:54PM

    I recall chuckling at your final comment on one of your blogs a bit ago that your wife is worried you'll fall off a mountain. The more you post, the more I understand your wife LOLOL

I'm glad you're back up and going again, and hope you experience LESS bumps along the way!

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    I still use toe clips and straps as well. Put them back on my bike after trying to go clipless and ended up pulling lots of gravel out of my leg/knee/arm/elbow.

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KCNEWF 7/16/2011 12:57PM

    Nice work! I still use toe clips and straps but am tempted to go clip less. Do you really see the overall benefit of going clip less in your mountain biking?

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Skinny Colorado and Bicycles

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Part 1: We Are Getting Fatter

I recently read that Colorado has the lowest obesity rate all the states at 19.8%. Mississippi has the highest obesity rate at 34.4%. The study defined "obesity" as a BMI over 30. The bad news is that Colorado's obesity rate has doubled since 1995! The study also stated that 20 years ago no state had an obesity rate greater than 15%.

The United States is getting fatter. No surprise there! Colorado has a mild climate. People tend to move here to Colorado that enjoy the outdoors. Skiing, biking and hiking are big here. The population of Colorado is urban, affluent and educated. Mississippi's population tends to be poor and rural. The study says there is a correlation between income and obesity. Less affluent people have higher obesity rates.

I think that we here in Colorado have nothing to brag about. Colorado is getting fatter just like every other state.

Part 2: Bicycles Are Expensive (Maybe Not)

There is a joke here in Colorado that most bikers spend more on their bicycles that they spend on their cars! We have four good mountain bikes. Added up all the money we have spent on Bicycles and accessories. The total is $4,505. I know that a single bicycle can cost more. I was shocked to find our expenditure total to be so high.

This is a Specialized HardRock. The HardRock is considered to be an entry level bike at $420. This bike has an aluminum alloy frame, 21-speeds and good components. This bike belongs to my 19 year-old son, Andy.

Here is the bike my 21 year-old daughter Katie uses. She rides this bike all over her college campus. This bike is a Giant Boulder SE that goes for $380. This bike has an aluminum alloy frame and 21-speeds and is similar to the Hardrock in quality.

This bike belongs to my wife, Annette. This is a a Specialized Women's Myka Elite that lists for $940. This bike has a light-weight aluminum alloy frame, 27-speeds, disk brakes and great components.

This is my first Mountain Bike and is as reliable as a Swiss watch. This bike is a Giant Boulder SE that lists for $380. This bike has an aluminum alloy frame and 21-speeds. This bike has good components and has always shifted nicely. This was the first high-quality mountain bike I bought that started us all down the slippery slope of quality bicycles.

Now we get to the money pit. This is a Specialized Stumpjumper Comp that lists for $1,900. This particular bike is highly customized and has an extra $500 of high-end components. I got "Stumpy" for $1,600. A guy bought the bike and brought it back to the bike shop for refund. The bike was slightly used when I bought it. This bike is light and fast with 30-speeds, fork lockout and hydraulic disk brakes. It shifts like lightning even under heavy load.

Here is the advertising for Stumpy.

"The Stumpjumper makes no sacrifices in terms of weight, efficiency, agility, or ride quality. As the most technologically advanced cross-country hardtails available, they are ruthlessly built to pedal hard, climb fast and beat everyone on the World Cup circuit or local trails. Out of the box and race ready for XC, the Stumpjumper are for riders looking to climb fast and rail twisty singletrack."

Note this glowing description does not say "rocky trails". The ultra light tubes and tires went bye-bye after a few rides on rough trails. The sidewalls got destroyed. I bought Maxxis Minion tires for Stumpy.

These tires are tough!

Unfortunately, these tires weigh 8 oz more than the original tires. Total investment in tires, tubes and mounting was $123.87! Because Stumpy has odd-ball Presta valve stems, I had to drop $75 on a new tire pump. My total cost for new tires and a Presta tire pump was $199, which is more expensive than most entry-level bikes.

This is a Schwinn Sidewinder mountain bike available at Walmart for $164. This bike weighs about 36 to 40 pounds and has twist grip shifters, 21 speeds and linear pull brakes. It is rated 4 out of 5 stars on the Walmart site. Walmart sells a tire pump that would fit this bike for $21. (this bike has the standard Schrader tire valve so any tire pump will work). Total investment for bike and pump is $185 or $14 less than Stumpy's tires.

Now you cannot" ruthlessly pedal" with a Schwinn Sidewinder. Twist grip shifters are vague and the chain tends to rattle when changing gears.

If you are still with me I am trying to think up a point to all this. Inexpensive bikes may not last as long as the high-end bikes. But if you have a Schwinn Sidewinder you will not have to replace bikes as often as Stumpy needs new tires. You will be dollars ahead. Stumpy is a money pit.

Thanks for reading my blog.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LUKEDADDY 7/12/2011 11:15AM

    I bought a Schwinn Mesa back in '04. It came with a pretty decent setup of Shimano Deore components...MSRP about $500 but I was working at a company that had an Employee Purchase program with Schwinn...got the bike for $250.

Over the years, I have replaced just about everything. New Wheels (original MTB tires though), upgraded to Avid BB7 brakes, upgraded Shifters and Rear Deraileur to SRAM X7, Azonic Big Drop saddle (a lifesaver for us non-stick figures), next up is a new fork...but my Manitou 6 is still holding in there. Considering that my weight has fluctuated between 225 and 280 since owning the bike...I would say that is a pretty good endorsement for my low end Schwinn!!

Point being, even if you want the high end components, you can always buy a lower end bike and upgrade!

For anyone having "Flat" issues...the easiest fix for this is to put more air in the tires. My bro was complaining that his roadie was eating tubes during rides. I asked him what his pressure was and he told me 120psi. My bro is about 215lbs...I told him to pump it up to 140psi or so and his issues have gone away. Road tires should be hard, and you should check the pressure before EVERY ride...they tend to go flat quickly.

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ITSHOWYOULIVE 7/10/2011 9:16PM

    I have a Univega mountain bike with twist shifters and it has been enough for me for something like 15 years. Now that I am looking at a hybrid or street bike I can still get into an entry bike for well under $300. It will be enough until I decide whether I will be a casual rider or want to seriously look at tri's. Bikes are a great way to get fit and our air quality would be soooo much better if more people used their bikes for simple trips/errands. I'm looking forward to the day when I'm not required to carry three children with me everywhere I go (all 3 will be in school full time starting in 2012) and can use the bike for more errands and small trips (library, fave out of neighborhood runs, etc). Great info-thanks!!

Comment edited on: 7/10/2011 9:17:40 PM

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HARRINGTON5 7/10/2011 5:47PM

    WOW, I had no idea what bikes cost these days. My bike has a hugh seat and fenders (just so you know my frame of reference).
It does make sense that lower income families would be heavier because the cheapest foods are the worst ones for you. Interesting facts about us fat Americans though. I have drastically changed the way I eat and to tell you the truth, I thought I would be way skinny by now. I know I am healthier, but I want to lose this last twenty pounds and it is taking forever. If slow and steady is the answer, I should get there eventually.

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SHRINKINGSHERI 7/10/2011 12:35PM

    I have two "cheap" Schwinn bikes...a road bike and a hybrid. I love them both. The only problem I have had with the road bike is it eats tubes. I had to invest in some good rim tape and the self-sealing tubes.

I love the hybrid except for the fact that it weighs so much more than the road bike. On the upside, I do get a much better leg workout on it. emoticon

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LKEITHO 7/10/2011 12:05PM

    Just as bad as my road bike for expenses! Glad to know I'm not the only one in this boat. I haven't gotten into mountain biking at this point, so at least I don't have two different money pits to worry about. Could be worse, I guess. Besides, I think we are better off spending the money and getting all the health benefits than if we didn't do it!

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ELYMWX 7/10/2011 11:52AM

    I'll stick to my Diamondback :-)

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GRATEFULBOB 7/10/2011 11:46AM

    thanks i am in the market for a bike with not alot of money to spend

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C25K Rehab - W3D1 - A bit of Speed

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

I want to RUN! I want to really turn loose and a fly. I want to have miles melt behind me and feel free! I want the exhilaration of taking on high mountain trails where angels fear to tread!

But I can't. I am hurt.

I am working slowly to get back in running shape. I fell back on what turned me into a born-again runner - the Couch-to-5K program. I am currently on week three, which is an interval workout. I am pleased with my progress. The intervals are based on time or distance:

Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
Walk 90 seconds
Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
Walk 3 minutes

Here is how I did:

Total distance: 2.3 miles
Total time: 20:53

Average Pace: 9:08 min/mile

Walking Pace: 13:21 min/mile
90 Second Interval Pace: 5:29 min/mile
3 Minute Interval Pace: 7:04 min/mile

Temperature: 69 Degrees F
Humidity: 34%
Elevation: 8,030 feet

Location: Resilient 400M High School Track

I feel pretty good about this pace, however, this is on a flat track under good conditions. The good news is that I didn't hurt myself.

Thanks for reading my blog.


April 15, 2010 - This is one of my better high-altitude 5K times. This 5K was at 8,600 feet over moderately hilly terrain on dirt. I am not even close to this fast now.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LKEITHO 7/5/2011 10:36PM

    Great job!

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    Sounds like you are doing well recovering. Keep up the good work :).

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RWALTON730 7/5/2011 1:48PM

    Glad to see you are taking it slow, and back to running. I take it the injury is getting better. Keep up the good work and you will be flying through the trails in no time.


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SLENDERELLA61 7/5/2011 7:56AM

    You are doing great!! Sounds like you are being smart and doing rehab the right way! Keep up the good work. Soon you'll be letting lose and seeing those miles fly by! -Marsha

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GRATEFULBOB 7/5/2011 4:52AM

    still not bad . great job emoticon

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C25K - W2D1 - What??

Sunday, June 26, 2011

In March I signed up to run The Mount Evans Ascent, which is one of the meanest and nastiest road races in the world. This race starts at 10,600 feet of elevation and ends at 14,260 feet. The race is 14.5 miles and is all uphill.

To cut to the chase - I didn't run the race. $75 shot to heck!

When I registered for the race in March I had four months to get ready. At the time, I could do 5K at 8,600 feet of altitude in a tad over 26 minutes. I trained hard. By April I could run 16 miles at an 11 minute pace at 9,000 feet. I knew I needed to train at higher altitude. There is a lot of snow on the ground in April in the Colorado Rockies.

This is a photo of my deck in April.

I wanted to at least get up to 11,ooo feet. On April 17, I decided to run Webster pass. I managed to get to 10,800 by running through some snow drifts. Webster pass is pretty steep and mostly up hill. I the good news I ran 9 miles up the pass at a 12:07 min/mile pace.

Steep hill at high altitude - fun! (NOT)

On the way down the pass I stepped in a hole and partially tore my ACL.

Sayonara left knee.

My doctor told me to stay off the knee for 4 to 6 weeks. My left knee had been taking a beating my whole life. The first injury was in 1976 when I took a block below the waist during a college football game and suffered a traumatic meniscus tear and torn ACL. (BTW - I stayed in the game after the injury) Darn did that hurt!

The next blow came at Steamboat Springs on a ski slope when a binding didn't release. Bye, bye medial collateral ligament! Another blow came at Copper Mountain in 1984 during a slow twisting fall. So long posterior cruciate ligament.

I like this quote from Raiders of the Lost Ark:

"Marion: You're not the man I knew ten years ago.
Indiana: It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage."

Two weeks after I hurt my knee on Webster pass I ran the Long Scraggy 4.25 mile race on April 30th. My knee was pretty wobbly but I managed a 10:06 min/mile pace. I just couldn't go any faster. A week later I ran the Lake George 5K at a 9:01 pace. That was everything I had. I came in 14th out of 100 runners.

I still had two weeks until the Mount Evans race and I am thinking I have a chance to make it. Then I hurt my back. I don't even know how I hurt it. I went to bed feeling fine and woke up injured. I could train on a wobbly knee but I could barely walk with a hurt back.

I just started running again following the tried and true Couch-to-5K program. I am back to square one. I think I can make a 4th of July 5k race. I am registered for the Leadville 10K on August 14th. I should be able to make that race.


My wife thinks I am clumsy. She is afraid I will fall off a mountain some day. She may have a point!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HARRINGTON5 7/1/2011 1:36PM

    OMG! You always amaze me. I struggle along and I don't have any injuries to speak of. You sound like you have one banged up body. I don't see how you can continue to run at those altitudes at that speed. I am finally getting a little faster. I know it is easier to run on a treadmill, but I actually broke a 30 minute 5K. And, kind of know what it feels like to run a race at that speed. You know my goal has always been to do that in a race. I just turned 63, so I am thinking I better get a move on!

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MOMONTHERUN1 6/28/2011 10:30PM

    Be safe and that does seem like one killer of a race!

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TEDDYBABE 6/28/2011 10:20PM

    You are so awesome. Such try and determination! A real winner! Thanks for the inspiration... we gotta keep swinging! Right? ( Speedybabe)

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ITSHOWYOULIVE 6/28/2011 12:26AM

    Love C25K :). Going back to the beginning is not a bad thing. You'll probably end up even faster :). Hope all goes well and you can run your upcoming races :).

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SUZWARNR 6/27/2011 8:46PM

    Please take care of yourself. Don't overdo anything. The C25K program is a great one. It got me started last year. Now look where I am? I ran 11 miles on Saturday. I hope all goes well for your knee and back.

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KKINNEA 6/27/2011 11:37AM

    Need to use more Velcro to stay on the mountain. I think this year is a temporary setback for you. Keep rehabbing everything and you'll be back to the trails before you know it.

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CBAILEYC 6/27/2011 11:19AM

    Oh gosh. I'd wondered where you'd gotten off to. So sorry to hear about the back on top of the knee. I do hope you heal and feel better soon-soon! No falling off mountains, please LOL
Take care of you!

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BLACKROSE_222 6/26/2011 11:26PM

    Oh, I'm so sorry, but glad you keep trying and putting in the effort. I totally understand your wife - my hubbie thinks the same thing, and actually bought me ice grips for my birthday, and hiking poles for my anniversary! LOL. I guess we are two peas in a pod!

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LKEITHO 6/26/2011 10:18PM

    I hope the leg and the back settle down for you and you are able to (confortably and safely) run your races!

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ELYMWX 6/26/2011 10:16PM

    When I noticed last week that the Mount Evans Ascent had come and gone, that there was no "I did it blog" and that you weren't mentioned in the Male 55-60 finishers, I had guessed that in the end your injuries had got the best of you, but to have it be your back? Ouch.

Good luck, and I'll echo my wife's comment; Be Safe.

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HALFBYAUG 6/26/2011 9:38PM

    Wow! Good job on hanging in there with so many injuries! It can get so frustrating. That high altitude running is HARD! I live in Utah at about 4600 feet, but we vacation in Colorado every year and try to get some runs in. The hardest I ever did was 3 miles in Silverton, it's crazy what altitude can do! Good luck on staying healthy!

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L3DESIGNS 6/26/2011 9:33PM

    Great job getting back into the running... Be safe.

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GSCOTTC 6/26/2011 8:38PM

    Last time I ran at those heights I wouldn't have been surprised to see my shoes come out my throat. As for the snow I have seen snow in every month of the year including July and August. The joys of living in the arctic.

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How is the knee?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Since I ran the Lake George 5K I have not taken a single running step, nada not a one! I have been trying to heal my left ACL. My knee was unstable during the race and hurt really badly.

I think I can start slowly working the knee. I am going to do cardio on the elliptical. The Mount Evans Ascent is in three weeks. The problem I face is I am not in good enough shape to run 14.5 miles starting at 10,600 feet and ending at 14,264 feet of elevation. I was really doing well before I blew my knee out.

I have my work cut out for me.

Highest road race in North America. All uphill!

"Race course" 3,000 feet higher than trees can live!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ERLYWA 7/4/2011 12:59PM

    Be very careful with your knee and this ascent. The hip injury I am struggling with now happened while doing Kitt Peak Ascent here in AZ, and it was only 10 miles (of which I did 7.5 before hip totally gave out).

Thanks for your comments on my blog this morning, added you as a friend :)


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RWALTON730 6/7/2011 11:04AM

    I hope your knee is getting better. Staying off the trails for a while is probably best. I know you will be great at the Mt. Evans Ascent. Do what you can, don't push it. You don't want to injure the knee further putting you out for a longer period of time. Listen to your body.


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CHANGINGHORSES 5/30/2011 10:04AM

    Sometimes listening to our bodies is just not what we want to do, is it? I know where you are coming from and I hope that you are back on the trail soon.

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LKEITHO 5/29/2011 10:23PM

    I hope the knee cooperates with you! All the best!

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NWFL59 5/29/2011 8:46PM

    respect the knee emoticon

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TRILLIUM22 5/29/2011 8:42PM

    Yikes that sound tough

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MAGGIENCALI 5/29/2011 6:56PM

    Sounds like a plan. Best of luck with the training and keep taking care of that knee. emoticon

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ITSHOWYOULIVE 5/29/2011 6:10PM

    Glad that the knee seems to be doing better. Mt. Evans seems to be quiet the race!! If you start and don't finish at least you would have a gauge of how things are going with the knee. I'm pretty confident that if it is doing well you'll be there though and finish too :).

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ELYMWX 5/29/2011 5:38PM

    What's the race policy on walking? What about motorized wheelchairs?

Good luck, Bruce!

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SUZWARNR 5/29/2011 5:36PM

    Sounds really painful. Start off slow and don't push it. You don't want to make it worse. Hope all goes well when you start running again.

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    Yikes. You are one tough guy. Good luck with that and remember to pay attention to your body!

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