14 July 2007
RAIN RIDE 2007
I've been having a pretty rough couple of months on the bike. Although my average speed has been higher this year than ever, I've had plenty of problems - 6 flats in the last two months (most guys get maybe one a year), a noisy wheel... but going into the RAIN ride I felt like I had everything sorted. I had installed new tubes and tires, the bike was shifting nicely, and I finally had gotten over the burnout that had started to creep into my training rides.
So when my riding partner, Dave, started to worry about this year's ride, I tried to calm him down; we were going to be riding with people that were a bit faster than us, but I felt like we had the training in to stick with the pack. And we did out of the gate - from the start we were moving at 23+, but closer to 25 mph. We rode through Terre Haute with the police escort, and as we made the turn onto Route 40 the pack split up a bit, but the lead pack was within our sights.
We had caught on with a group of cyclists from Nebo Ridge bike shop - about ten of us in a double paceline, me on the back at about mile twelve.... and then the deer ran across the road and collided with my bicycle, breaking my front wheel, twisting my stem, throwing my bicycle across a lane, throwing me onto the pavement, cracking my helmet, and leaving me with road rash across my back, and scabs on my wrist, knee and ankle.
I couldn't really tell you how it happened... I heard someone call out "Deer!", I saw the deer and the
next thing I knew I was trying to pull myself out of the traffic lane. Someone picked up my bike and pulled it to the side of the road, and my riding partners Dave and Dale stopped to make sure I was ok. I told them to go on, thinking that I was hurting but ok, not realizing the extent of the damage... as I gathered my wits I considered trying to get back onto the bike, then realized my wheel was destroyed. I called my support vehicle and sat on the side of the road watching the remaining 80% of the pack go by.
I can't help but wonder what might have been - we were definitely on course for a record time - and although Dave abandoned when he met me at near my house (which is right on the route) at mile 90 due to frustration (and loss of his riding partner), Dale pushed on and finished in 8 hours even - a speed I'd like to think I could have maintained with him.
I guess we'll find out next year.
My bike is now at the bike shop, with a tore up new Specialized Toupe seat (which I bought a month ago), a taco'ed front wheel... something's wrong with the back wheel as well... all in all I'm guessing it's going to be a $500 bill.
In addition my back is stiff, my foot is swollen, I'm scabby... but in good enough spirits anyway. Of course I'm frustrated that I put in all the training and then had the results taken away from me. And I'm pissed that deer don't generally have insurance. I'm anxious to see what the doctor will find.