14 July 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.

Oh well...


Anonymous said...

Well I'm glad you're alive to blog the story. I meant to tell you that earlier but it came out as "It would be a better story if you'd died." Sometimes I mix up my words due to my lack of a college degree. Did you bite the deer in half by any chance?

Mike said...

My bike gloves have a bit of fur in them, so I'd like to think that really I just really wanted to punch a deer... so really, the whole ordeal was a dream come true.

The deer just ran away, though.

Jonathan Schmitt said...

dude bad luck. this means that most of your bad karma that you unknowingly emmitted in the last bit was spent in one sha-bang. Sunny skies forecasted in MikeLand!

thanks again for the Haiku Chop support. Try to see if your roommate comedian wouldn't mind to try to be a member. Or anyone else I might know or want to know. I want a reserviour of nice and unlikely haiku.

Jim said...

Total bummer. Hope everything works out well.

Jason266 said...

D'oh! A deer! A female deer!

On my rides through the ghetto, I'm always on the lookout for meth addicts running in the road with no regard to oncoming traffic.

So deer would be the meth addicts of the nature world, I guess.

Mike said...

I wonder if the deer was on something... what would make you see a line of cyclists and then suddenly decide that you needed to dart into them? Maybe the deer was shooting for the gap behind me and got going a little too fast.

In any case, I feel for the deer, who has no doctor to investigate her injuries.

Anonymous said...

that story is so worth not finishing the ride. that's awesome.

glad you're ok


Roger said...

See the deer.

Does the deer have any dough?

Yeah, two bucks.

Hope this bit of Three Stooges humor helps you cope with the recovery. And I wish the deer had at least two bucks, preferably 500 of them, to help pay the bills.

Steve said...

Wow. I totally missed this. I'm sorry to hear about the poor deer you maliciously attacked. I'll remind Teri to look out for rampaging animals in her final weeks of training for her race. Glad you got a new bike - maybe you can sell RSL stuff on ebay to help pay for it?

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