Sunday, March 22, 2009

Hurtin' Unit

10 weeks to go--well, 9 now. The beginning of June is still the still the start date for cycling from Victoria to Edmonton. So it was time to finally buy a bike and get to riding.
Got a Norco VFR4 hybrid (not the disc brake model, but a v-brake one) from Mac's Cycle here in Victoria . I like the beefy frame and the fact that it's new. It rolls like a dream, and even after so long away from biking, my average speed is still 19 kph--about what it was when I last rode. I thought I'd be starting from a lot further back on the fitness scale, but on Friday (20 march ) I did a quick 27 km including hills (and swimming with Jeffery and Thomas) and still had no muscle pain the next day.
Yesterday (Saturday 21 mar) Paula and I met John and Richard at the ORS spring gear sale, and then I picked up my bike from the in-law's place and headed out for another ride. It's going to take a lot of rides between now and June to even be halfway ready (as well as quite a few trips to the gym for core strengthening). About 4 km into my ride, I pulled a John at about 35 kph.
I still don't know exactly what happened, but I was moving nicely past Reynolds School and then I was over the handlebars and sliding face first down the street, shedding speed and parts as I went.
Everything worked the way it was supposed to--my helmet took a shot (when I took it off I found some gravel embedded in the Styrofoam), my gloves shredded, avoiding serious damage to my hands, and so on. Interestingly, it was my left hand glove that shredded the worst, while it was my right hand that took the most damage (all my knuckles are skinned like I punched a grater, and the side of my hand has been seriously bruised).
And, of course, both elbows have significant road rash. The brand new (3 weeks old?) bike jacket is shredded and the zipper destroyed, but the on-sale and quite cheap jersey was left in perfect shape. So there wasn't even any dirt in my elbows.
I did head for the doctor' office immediately afterwards, as I have some quite significant pain in the right side of my neck where the muscles attach to the skull, but the doctor seemed quite unconcerned by it. The muscles over my collarbones are strained, and I appear to have really sprained the pectoral muscle on my right side, but overall, I faired way better than John did when he went over his handlebars.
The bike sustained almost no damage--some tearing to the left handgrip and I bent the crap out of my seat--mostly, I think, because the bike rode most of the stopping distance on my back rather than on the road.

Original Post:22 March 2009

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