Monday, June 19, 2017

A nice ride and a minor injury

First the nice ride. Mary and I both had the day off today. So we took advantage of the beautiful late Spring day and rode the White Pine Trail north to Sand Lake. Apparently it was "Retiree Cycling Day" on the WPT. Practically every cyclist we saw on the trail was older than we are. Admittedly we were out riding in the middle of the afternoon on a Monday, so most of the younger folks were probably working. It was kind of cool to see dozens of older folks on their bikes.

As rides go it was pretty uneventful. 36 mile round trip with a stop for lunch at Rockford Brewing Company. We did climb the Childsdale Hill on the way home, because we need to get more hill work to be ready for Colorado.

Now on to the minor injury. On Thursday night I was going to do a quick 15-20 mile solo ride. I was about two miles from my house on Belmont Avenue when something kicked up from under my front wheel and hit me in the left shin. In the brief flash that I saw, it I thought it looked like a lens from a pair of eyeglasses. I was concerned that it might have damaged my front tire. So I pulled over and examined the tire. It was fine. I happened to glance down at my left shoe and saw that my sock had turned red with blood. The cut was only about an inch wide, but bleeding like crazy. Luckily there was a nice woman (Thanks Deb) at the house I stopped in front of. She helped me put a bandage on it. We both thought it looked like it might need some stitches, so I decided to ride home.

My shin and the 4 stitches.
When I got home I noticed the the edges of the bandage were starting to turn red, so it was time to head to Urgent Care. As I was sitting in triage the blood started pouring out from under the bandage. They changed that, but it bled out again in the patient room. Apparently I had nicked an artery and no amount of pressure or bandages were going to stop the bleeding. The doctor put four stitches in my shin and that did the trick. It was amazing that a tiny cut could bleed that much. Luckily it doesn't bother me to ride, but I can't submerge it for 10 days which means no swimming. So it's not my worst cycling injury, but it may be the silliest.

"My scars tell a story. They are a reminder of the times that life tried to break me, but failed."  
- Steve Maraboli

Monday, June 12, 2017

Hot rides

Even though summer is still officially a week away, the temperatures have been quite summer-like recently. Being this hot before the body has acclimated can make for some strenuous riding. No complaints though, I love hot weather.

On Friday I rode out to my parent's farm, north of Lowell. I take Cannonsburg/5 Mile Road when I go out there. It can be a busy street, but it has a wide shoulder and gets lots of cycling traffic. However, on Friday there was lots of vehicular traffic, more than you'd expect in the middle of a workday afternoon. It was a 32 mile round trip with over 1,100 feet of climbing. It doesn't seem like that much elevation gain when you're driving in a car, but we've learned that cars and bikes see the road differently.

Yesterday we had a JDRF team ride that left from Wahfield Park at 8 Mile and Alpine. It was very hot (90+ degrees) and windy (15 mph steady with gusts). But we had a good turnout and rode past the apple orchards of Alpine Township on our way to the Musketawa Trail and the city of Ravenna. The weather was not our friend, but we had a nice pace line and kept up a pretty good clip through most of the ride. We rode through three different counties, Kent, Ottawa, and Muskegon. In all, 44 mile with just over 800 feet of climbing.

I keep mentioning the amount of elevation gain, because our JDRF Ride in August will be in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and we'll have over 5,000 feet of climbing to do on that one. So hill training is critical right now.