Monday, September 01, 2008


This weekend I was scheduled to do 120+ miles on the bike. Not a ton for a regular rider, but a bunch for me. Saturday was the regular shop ride. They took the long way (80+) and I took the short way (50). Nice though. I got to ride with Andy a bit. He's an old salt of a rider. I think he pointed out (again) that he's been riding this one nasty hill for over 20 years. With him by my side, somehow the hill didn't register as all that bad.
The next morning, I got up at 5:45 to get me and Joseph to the start of another ride. Since it was Sunday and Kim wanted to take the kids to Sunday School, I had to leave by bike. Did I mention that the Suburban has a bad fuel pump? We're down to the blurple van. The only bad part about that is that it only seats seven and our family numbers eight. Oh well. The Suburban will be fixed by next weekend probably. So Joseph and I had to scrounge for some headlights and leave by 6:30 to get there at the start time of 7.
Then I fell. We took a shortcut through a concrete drainage ditch under the railroad tracks to a bike trail. It's the closest way. As I came down the ditch, I noticed that there was a tree branch blocking some of the first portal under the train bridge, so I took the second. Then I noticed the slick, black sheen of scum/mud that crossed the road. Actually I didn't notice it until my wheels had left the road and my right hip had joined it. Hard. Ouch.
So I get up and notice my chain fell off. Not a bad deal. I got on the bike and started spinning and turning the shift lever for the front derailleur. I got it back on and started out of the ditch. There's a sharp incline at the end, but it's really no problem, you just stand up on your pedals and you'll be fine. Of course, if you backside is barking from falling 15 seconds before, you might be tempted to get all the way up still in your seat. Bad idea. I tried that, got to the top, and fell over on my left hip. Ouch. Fortunately it was in grass, so not so much pain. Just shock. I don't fall. The last time I fell was over a year ago and it was because my cleat popped out of my pedal on a hill. So I take a deep breath. We haven't gone a half mile and I've fallen twice. There's still 40+ miles to go.
So I get back on and start across the grass for the sidewalk bike trail. As I get there, I notice that my wheels aren't perpendicular to the sidewalk, but fairly close to parallel. Actually, I didn't notice it until my rain and mud slick tires hit the sidewalk, bounced off, and dumped me over on my left hip. Fall #3. And this one really hurt. Truly an inauspicious beginning for a Sunday morning ride. Maybe Jesus doesn't want me skipping out on Sunday School any more.
The rest of the ride was fine. My hips both ached. My left palm is swollen a bit. I discovered that I can't quite climb stairs with my left leg, I have to push myself up with my right. In fact, I am a bit concerned. Near my right hip I'm getting a nice (or nasty) bruise. But on my left side, the side that hit the hardest, no bruise. The pain is actually coming out of the hip itself.
To top it all off, this morning I wake up with a stomach virus. Oh, the sheer, unadulterated joy.
I did get to see another step on my wife's path to sainthood though. Last night she juggled on nine year old with the stomach flu, today myself and the 18 month old joined her. Kim was able to get all of us settled, and make meals, and do grocery shopping. I've said it before, I won the lottery when I met her.

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