Sunday, April 13, 2014

Just About Perfect

The air was warm and silky. The dirt was smooth, fast, and tacky. Twenty of us rode for almost three hours at a good pace. Fast enough for an occasional burn, but slow enough to avoid any risk of a season opening blow-up. It was a long steady draw-down of the tank. EXACTLY what I needed to clear the cobwebs from a tough winter.

Watching the train of bikes ahead, snaking through the woods, was sublime. It was one continuous train, with each bike hooked to the one in front by an imaginary bungee cord gently pulling each rider along. The bungee cord was made by mother nature from the love of riding. It was perfect.

That's not my knee, that's where the top
tube smashed the inside of my tibia.
Well, almost. I rolled up behind a pileup in the chunnel and chose a bad line (there were no good ones left). Thankfully there was about a foot of water running through the culvert so as my tire slid out on the slimy algae coated metal sidewall of the culvert, my left pedal was filleting open my shin and the top tube was smashing the inside of my tibia and my leg was bathed in refreshing bacteria-infested farm runoff.

Back in the lot after the ride, Susan hit me with some sort of disinfecting spray. She said it was "for kids." The irony of that was not lost on me and I wouldn't have it any other way. "Perfect" I said.

Every year we have one of these rides. You never know when or where it's going to happen. But it's the first perfect ride of the year, and you know there is a full riding season of them ahead of you. And that is one pretty incredible feeling.

Chris

"There is nothing, absolutely nothing, quite so worthwhile as simply messing about on bicycles"
     -- Tom Kunich

Friday, April 11, 2014

Scene of the Crime

Scene of the crime, we will never be able
to look at that spot the same way again.
February 19 was the Chinese New Year, celebrated with parades and fireworks. April 11 was the local Mountain Biking New Year, celebrated with bikes and beer and jocularity and just a pinch of debauchery.

There is nothing like that first FHHR of the year, tying a bow on the workweek, welcoming the weekend, and looking forward to the months of Fridays to come.

Chris


Friday, March 21, 2014

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Fit for Duty

Great news. As I predicted last week the doctor rubber stamped me today saying the bone is officially healed. He said I'm a good radiologist and an even better healer but qualified the "fit for duty" part by saying something about needing to strengthen the atrophied tendons to avoid re-injury or some such nonsense (Mom I'm just kidding). Weight bearing starts with the therapist next week.

I did treat myself to a fat-bike-road-ride when I got home so I could assess my fitness (I have none) and my wrist (it doesn't like bumps or the flat bar).

A couple other observations:

  • My right hand is pasty white and the skin is softer than a baby's bottom. It is really weird when I rub my hands together, because one hand feels soft and smooth and the other hand feels rough and leathery. That's how it feels and it is really weird. 
  • There is nothing quite like immobilizing your wrist in an anatomically neutral position for two months then going for a short ride to show you how anatomically incorrect flat bars are. I see some risers or maybe Marys in my future.

With the spring equinox just two days away I cannot over-emphasize how incredibly awesome this news is.

Chris

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Declaration

I went for CT scan today and came home with a gazillion images on CD. I have carefully reviewed all of them and concluded that I am fully healed, so I am declaring myself fit for duty. Next week I will see the doctor for his rubber stamp. Looking good, the fat bike will get dirty soon.

Chris

Sunday, March 9, 2014

I'm Getting Fat

The dark days of winter always mean weight gain and conditioning loss. This year's record snowfall has accelerated the decline and this broken wrist has dashed any hopes of even slightly bending the curve. But of course I can still drink beer (and I have found a limited supply of my new favorite Limbo IPA) so my spirits are high but it's bending the curve even further in the wrong direction. 

So I've had a few Limbos. I've cleaned and lubed the bikes twice since January 17th. I'm replacing the fork on the Inbred SS but that is a story I will save for another day. And today I am officially announcing that I am lazy, I am soft, and yes I am fat.

Yes, fat. 

So imagine my surprise this morning when my girls rolled out my birthday present. It was in a big box that looked suspiciously like a bicycle shipping container and on the side was printed "Part Number NB-BFAT" and all I saw was blah-blah-dash-blah-FAT

Yep, I am now the proud owner of a spanking new fat bike (or as Ruth would say, "clown" bike)! This XL porker weighed in at 38lbs with pedals (tubeless conversion, drilling the rims, and replacing the seat and post may drop that closer to 35). The steep head tube makes for amazing slow speed handling (in my living room at least) and the olive drab paint job is bad ass!  

Thank you ladies for making me glad to be fat. 

Chris

"I have too many bikes
     -- said by no cyclist ever

Monday, February 10, 2014

Unveiled


Corina asked "are you ready for the 'grand unveiling?'"

After ten days in those bandages with a useless club for a hand I was definitely ready. "Yes." And a minute later it was unveiled. What I found was a series of pleasant surprises:

  1. The incision was pretty small. I will never know how he managed to get in there with the pin, k-wire, screw, and a cordless drill. I suspect there was some stretching involved.
  2. The screw placement is pretty good on the x-ray, right through the core of the navicular. 
  3. I can now wash my right hand.
  4. I am back in the custom spica splint, but four times a day I take it off and do some therapy. Nothing terribly ambitious - wrist bends and touching my thumb to my pinkie -  but at least now I can do something.
Also lots of good material in the Rider Down forum on mtbr.com. Great advice for wrist (and other) injuries but more importantly a reminder that there are a LOT of people who are battling back from injuries and illnesses much worse that a busted wrist. MUCH worse, not even close.

Both sobering and inspiring.

Chris

"If you're lucky enough to be in the mountains, you're lucky enough."
     -- Unknown