September 25, 2004
Most of you know I race the kind of bikes powered by the Anti-Atkins diet (aka, road cycling). And most of you know that I had a nasty ol' accident at the beginning of the year that essentially took me out for the season and was nearly career ending. A long story short: I completely shredded my left knee's MCL, partially tore the PCL, blew a meniscus sack and had some bone damage.
igby goes down.
Amazingly enough, I've been able to race again this year. After surgery and many months of PT, my ability to recover far exceeded anyone's expectations.
igby gets back on the bike.
Yesterday I headed down to our last race of the season. Here's a sampling of some of the guys in the field: Colby Pierce: Went to Athen's this year. Chris Baldwin: Was a top 10 Tour of Brit this year. And 75 other scary fast riders.
The race was a 60 minute criterium (shortened from 90 min.) around a 1k "D" shaped course. From the gun, we were on-the-rivet hanging on for dear life. Every other lap and often times multiple laps in a succession were $100 primes.
Around the 25 minute mark, I thought a complete blow-up was inevitable and I'd have to drop out of the race... then I thought to myself: f*ck it! I don't care how fast we go or how hard I have to push... I'm not stopping until something wretched comes out of either end of my body.
About 10 minutes later I finally settled into a good rhythm and found my legs. I could move up in the field without spending too much energy. I even considered going for one of the primes, (LOL), but thought better of it since I would have completely blown up from the energy spent.
Here we are, mach-speed-racing around this 1k D-shaped course... at one point I felt like I was on a merry-go-round. Remember being a kid and spinning on the merry? hanging on the outside? just barely able to stay on? That's how I felt coming through the back-side apex of the "D" in the course... if we went any faster, I was going to be tossed from my bike just like when I was a kid riding the merry :)
Coming down to the last 10 laps of the race, I really started to feel good. I was moving up in the field and eventually found myself in the top 20. Our speed was severely kicking into over-drive and my legs kept pumping like a 2-stroke hopped up engine. Holding my position strong, the last lap was coming up fast and I was sitting in a position I never thought possible after being hobbled with a bum knee and surgery at the beginning of the year.
Last race of the year, last tight corner of the year. And this was no ordinary corner: The straight leading up to the corner was nice new asphalt. Just prior to the corner the surface transitioned to concrete. This was older concrete; the kind that is on the slick side. Adding to the corner's sadistic ways was a big ol' curbed/planter median that separated traffic on the street. And to top it off, the corner was off-camber with big metal barriers on the curb to keep the spectators from stepping onto the track.
We must have been going at least 30mph coming into that last corner. I was following the wheel in front of me. No more than a foot separated my front wheel from his rear. And then it happened!
igby goes down.
The guy in front of me decided he wanted to sit down for a bit. His wheels came out from under him right in the apex of the corner. Leaving no where to go. Physics prevented me from going inside of him. There was no more road left to go on the outside, just a big ugly curb in my way. I locked up my brakes for all of a 1/10th of a second before the inevitable impact.
With nothing left to do but run right over the guy on the ground I found myself in mid air going head-over-heels. Glory, glory, glory. Time came to a screeching halt. I vividly saw the guy on the ground. The big metal barriers were grinning at me with an expected collision from me freeing them from the confines of the street. Every detail around me was in high-definition. I was in the Matrix.
And just like that I snapped back into time, but this time in fast forward. Next thing I knew I was landing smack on the back of my head with my right shoulder cushioning the fall. I crashed into the metal barriers which prevented me from a further whipping of my body. The metal barriers I found myself so intimately involved with came off the ground and took out a couple of the spectators.
I'm not sure if I was knocked unconscious. But, Wow! That was fun :-D A quick inventory of my body parts. The knee I had surgery on just a few months ago was unscathed. My other knee had a nice patch of skin missing. My helmet was smashed. And my head had a nice numbing effect. Hmmm... why can't I move my right shoulder very much? Doh! I re-separated the darned thing :-(
There I lay, last lap of the last race of the season. No less than 3 paramedics pushing and poking on all parts of my body. Does this hurt? How 'bout now? How 'bout this? OK, you'll live :) After 5-10 minutes of laying there, I pull myself off the ground with a lot of help from the boys, but am able to walk off on my own accord.
On the bright side of things, nothing wretched came out from either end.
igby goes down.