Sunday, February 22, 2009

The "Oh $%#@ !!!" Moment

Yesterday the weather was pretty decent as compared to recent history, for winter. It was actually close to 40 degrees, ( I think it was like 36 but you know round up and all) So Phil came up with the idea of actually going for a ride outdoors. This is not an unusual thing for us. Last year we started riding pretty early also. But I was not really ready with my gear, in fact this would be my first ride back since my accident in July 08. So some things were just not available like a Helmet. I have not replaced my old one that had a crack that ran up the left side from the accident.

Phil offered to lend me one, so with no other reason really not too I did it!

After a 45 minutes rummaging around for my winter riding gear ( Booties, winter cycling jersey, long thermal tights, gloves etc), prepping the bike like switching the trainer flat bald tires with the less bald road tires ( and then changing the tube that I flattened during the process of putting on the new tire) I was FINALLY ready to go. After cursing myself out thinking this kind of stuff only happens to me, I threw everything into the back of the car and headed out to Phils. Once there I discover he was having similar problems. I got there just in time to see him put in a tube and then somehow rip the valve causing it to flat (which felt really familiar ;).

Anyhow we finally got all systems check and the green light at around 11:30. We headed out for a 2 hour Hilly Ride that we did plenty of times last year. Its a great early season ride because it short but Hilly, so you get a good workout. We were not really pushing too hard because we were just sorta shaking out the cobwebs so to speak.

I discovered early on that I a good strong core is extremely important for hill work. In my case I felt my lower back spasm badly after only 20 minutes. This is actually an after affect of my accident that broke my collarbone. Many months ago, I had in essence thrown my back out lifting a fairly light but oddly shaped box. But I had only one arm to do it with so I took an unusual angle that hurt my back. I had never ever had back problems in my life, but the doctor told me its not unusual for this to happen to people that have an injury over long periods of time, because the body sort of loses its "balance" so to speak. In my case my left arm and associated muscles are overcompensating for the lack of being able to use my right arm.

Anyhow I have my arm back, but my back muscles are still sore ( and sensitive), as was now clearly evident. But this really did point out how important the core is to cycling. This is the type of thing that is not really worked on in a trainer. The pedaling may be your legs, but stability and bike handling is all core. So now I have to put a lower back focus on my core work.

Anyhow the rest of the ride was beautiful. Riding around the reservoir and such the hills were a good workout. Generally the rode was uneventful. Which was a pleasant surprise. I was kind of expecting to be a bit shy on the bike after my accident but in reality I was quit comfortable. I had only one moment of minor panic. We were headed down a long hill with a gradual curve at the bottom. Just like the type of turn I went down on last year. I had picked up some speed down the hill and then when I saw the turn coming, I tensed up and my arms basically refused to turn the handlebars. I was steaming towards this curve and my mind was saying TURN!! but it was on a turn that my bike went out under me when I hit gravel, and part of me wanted nothing to do with any turns, so I had to literally force myself to turn. It was strange, I never encountered something like that. I really did feel like I was fighting myself.

My rational side was saying "TURN!!!"

My subconscious said "FUCK YOU!! I don't wanna!!"

My rational mind was saying "IDIOT!! YOU HAVE TOO!!!"

If you could look inside my head you see both me's fighting over the gears and cranks that keep me moving, sort of like one of those pirate movies where you see the Good guy and The Pirate fighting over the ships wheel.

Anyhow the rational side won, it really was a second, but it was an interesting second. After that there was no more issues during the ride. I really had to laugh at it.

Overall it was a great ride, and a good thing to do in order to gauge where I am at right now.


Philip LaVoie said...

It was a great ride (i luv that route) and you did awesome considering the conditions of the road AND it being your first time back outside bud! Lots more to come ;)

Kellie said...

I am very glad your rational side won :) That would have really suxed if it didn't!! So you broke your collarbone last year?? OUCH! We are two peas in a pod, huh? This year = injury free and no calf cramps! Glad you had a great outdoor ride! Soon you will be enjoying many more.

Javier said...


I broke and I broke it Good! See

for a more definitive look see

Jackie said...

Welcome back. It's just like riding a bike... Ha! Ha! ;) Missed you at Rockies this weekend.