Dang It All!

Got all geared up to ride at 6 a.m. this morning with some of the MRC guys and about 5 minutes before I had to leave the house, I remembered that I cut the adjustable strap on my right Specialized bike shoe when I crashed because the release had completely come off.

I rushed to the basement to take the SPD pedals off the old Bianchi (in hindsight, I should have just rode THAT bike) and then up to the garage to put them on the LeMond. Thing was, I simply could not remove the KEO's from the LeMond: my shoulder hurt pretty bad as I tried. If I want to get the pedals off, I'll have to remove the cranks, put them in a vise and get some extra leverage using my long torque wrench.

Very frustrating. Silly of me not to remember about the cut strap.

After some foot stomping and mild curses, I headed inside to look online to see if I could get replacement parts for the shoe. Specialized has the buckles in stock but no straps in black... why in heavens name would they not allow online shoppers to backorder parts that are out-of-stock is beyond me, especially since their current shoe line uses the same straps. There are no other online sources for the straps and buckles in the U.S.

I could order grey/white straps which might look a bit strange, but I held off since it's Sunday and who knows WHEN I'll actually get the parts. I'll check in w/Landry's later today. While a new pair of shoes would be tempting, I'd rather put the $$ into some Speedplays...


Now, I'll tip-toe upstairs and change into shorts & t-shirt and try to adjust my attitude by running a few miles.


UPDATE 8:00 a.m. - Felt like I could run 4 miles but my right calf started to hurt right as I finished one lap of 2 miles. And I still need to mow the lawn today.


UPDATE 5:30 p.m. - Landry's came through again: got me a new strap and buckle for the damaged shoe. I was so happy, I bought some Speedplay Zeroes.

Tomorrow, back on the bike!


On Foot

Two weeks after the crash and I'm healing pretty well. Put the sling aside over the weekend and managed to get a couple of 2 mile runs in with no incident. Managed do the route at 7' 30" per mile pace. Shoulder movement has improved quite a bit but a photo assignment last Saturday revealed that if I go beyond my current range of motion, it hurts pretty bad.

Running out of Vicodan, which I've only been taking before bedtime, but I seem to be able to sleep through the night now without rolling over on the injured side and waking myself in extreme pain.


6/22: I'm writing this from Baltimore Airport, waiting for a connecting flight to Louisville to visit the in-laws. Plotted out a nice two-mile loop in a residential neighborhood across the way from the hotel where we are staying and packed some running duds but, as we pulled into the airport parking lot in Manchester, NH, I realized that I did not pack my running shoes.


The hotel is a stone's throw from a sprawling shopping mall, so I'll probably go buy a pair of shoes later today. I'm planning on returning to training on the bike when we get back home this weekend. It really sucks to get hurt just as I was nearing peak fitness and getting used to dicing it up in races.

Meanwhile, this past Saturday, two of my MRC teammates did very well in the Purgatory Road Race: Doug K won the Cat 5 35+ quite handily and Len E took 4th in a very strong Cat 4 35+ field. Great job, guys!


6/26: Leaving KY in a couple of hours. Got some decent New Balance running shoes and a Timex Triathlon watch that has an HR strap, have done 3 runs of varying distances/speeds over fairly hilly terrain. Anxious to get home and get back on the bike tomorrow if the weather allows...


Nutmeg Classic Criterium - June 12, 2010

Alternate title: "4 Hours of Driving, 16 Minutes of Racing"

Pre-race: Arrived at Walnut Hll Park in New Britain, CT for the Nutmeg Classic Criterium at about 8:15 a.m. rested but not quite ready after an extremely busy week of work, including a couple of all-nighters. As I wandered about looking for where to park, I saw fellow MRC'ers, Bill T and Rob F warming up and they told me where to go. Got parked, registered and on my bike by about 8:30 and started doing loops on the neighborhood roads adjacent to the course.

Newbie racer lesson learned: use 8 safety pins, not 4 to attach your number to your jersey: with 4 pins, the flapping of my number was sure to drive me batty during the race. My Minuteman Road Club teammate, Stefan, also showed me a better way to pin the number on as well.

After lowering my coefficient of drag, I resumed my warmup. Every lap around, I got a view of Stefan jamming to who-knows-what on his iPod as he warmed up on his trainer. Couldn't tell if he was singing out loud...

As we rolled up to the start of the 4/5 Masters 30+, the 4's race was just finishing and about 10 riders from the front, mid-pack, two guys crashed HARD 10 yards from the finish line. Hate to see that right before you start your own race.

Stefan got a good slot at the front and I was right behind him. I was feeling pretty confident despite the lack of training this week. We started off pretty briskly and I set to the task of looking for some good wheels to hang onto. I had this big truck of a guy in front of me for a while but then found myself inside and in the wind (which Stefan came up behind me to alert me to, thx!). Got in the draft of some heavily tattooed guy who looked pretty strong and hung with him for laps 2-3.

Lap 4, I'm finally feeling pretty settled in, maybe just ahead of mid-pack. There were already a couple of half-hearted "breaks" and I noticed this one African-American guy who I remembered from the Thompson Raceway bike race last year and thought, "HE's who I should stick with".

After we came around the long, sweeping left that leads to the start/finish straight, I was on the outside and accelerating when I heard that sickening sound of bicycles tangling/crashing. Looking ahead and a little to the left of me, I saw the blur of cyclists going down and thought I would be able to squeeze through between them and the curb, about 18" to my right.

Sadly, their momentum took one of the bikes directly in front of me and I hit it, went over the bars (letting out a stream of expletives as I "flew") then down pretty hard. In that instant, I prepared for the next guy behind me to run me over - luckily, this never happened. I grabbed the top tube of my bike and dragged it and myself off the course and sat down in the grass to triage myself.

A little road rash here and there but my left shoulder was hurting pretty bad. One of the other two guys who didn't resume racing was still on the course with little birdies flying around his head (it turns out, he did split his helmet nearly in half). The third guy was on the side holding his RIGHT shoulder. I think two others crashed but tried to rejoin the race.

The on-site doctor thought I might have a slight dislocation but recommended I get an x-ray at the conveniently located Central Connecticut New Britain General Hospital: 3/4 of mile away on the other side of the race course, visible from where I crashed.

I hung out with an ice bag on my shoulder as Stefan, Bill and Rob finished and then Stefan drove me over to the ER. Outcome of ER visit: AC Joint Sprain, Motrin and Vicodin (whee!). I'm definitely going to visit my primary doc asap to get his opinion as I think something is definitely going on worse than a mere "sprain".

Bike triage: as far as I can tell, my bike survived unscathed. I fully expected a twisted up front wheel but everything seems fine. No head contact and my kit has no tears. The surprise happened when I walked back to my car after the crash and went to take off my bike shoes: the little release lever on the ratchety strap on my right shoe had been completely torn off. No matter how I tried to get it to release by prying at it with a screwdriver, I could not get it to release - so I reluctantly cut it off with my pocket knife.

At a clinic I participated in this spring, the lead teacher told us, "There are two kinds of bicycle racers: those that have crashed and those that will." I am now a member of the former group.

4:47 PM UPDATE: A little online research and comparison to my x-ray makes me think I've got a Type II AC Separation, but hey, I'm no expert. I'm waiting for a call from a sports doctor my primary physician recommended.