A long road back for Kevin

IMG_1215coastA bit of catching up to do; this is the week where it became a make-or-break situation for Kevin and the upcoming trip to France, after the car tossed him off the road a few weeks ago. Tuesday the doctor said he could ride if his hands weren’t painful, but it’s become clear that some soreness in his hands is just something he’s going to have to live with for a while. If there’s a legit case to be made for “pain & suffering”, this is it.

We considered him trying to ride Thursday morning, but the prior-day’s “test ride” commuting to work had left him convinced that wasn’t going to be a good idea. So we re-wrote the plan, and did an easy Portola Valley loop Friday morning, just barely tolerable, then Saturday, 4th of July, a day when we’d normally do something epic, we instead did a torturously-slow ride up Old LaHonda and… that’s about it. We had hoped to do a bit more but Kevin wasn’t feeling up to it. But, that laid the groundwork for today’s ride, the first “real” ride since the accident. And of course that would have to be a run to the coast, up Old LaHonda, over Haskins to Pescadero, Stage to Tunitas and return.

Except even that had to be modified! His hands protested every bump in the road, so instead of doing Stage we road north via Highway 1. Smoother, but not nearly as nice due to heavier traffic. On the other hand, as you can see in the photo, it was a beautiful day out there!

What's wrong with this picture? A: Kevin's resting his arms on the bars, so his hands don't hurt. B: He's not riding his regular "kit" clothing, which was shredded when the car pushed him off the road. C: He's riding a 'cross bike because the accident trashed his Madone road bike. What's "right" is that he's actually on a bike, finally.
What’s wrong with this picture? A: Kevin’s resting his arms on the bars, so his hands don’t hurt. B: He’s not riding his regular “kit” clothing, which was shredded when the car pushed him off the road. C: He’s riding a ‘cross bike because the accident trashed his Madone road bike. What’s “right” is that he’s actually on a bike, finally.
The plan was to take it easy up Old LaHonda so Kevin would have something left later in the ride, but that didn’t work out; Kevin motored up Old LaHonda at near-normal speed (which leaves me gasping for breath). That was very encouraging, except that I had concern, later validated, that he wasn’t in shape for such an effort… that he was burning more matches than he had. The climb up Tunitas was almost as slow as the climb the prior day up Old LaHonda! Kevin pretty much died, taking just over an hour to cover a distance that he’d normally do in about 48 minutes. But… he did it.

His hands felt fine after the ride, so he’s definitely mending, although it’s clear he’s going to have some pain with him for quite some time. Self-inflicted pain is fine (the sort of pain you get from riding really hard). Pain from doing something stupid, like riding too fast through a corner and crashing, can also be rationalized. But it’s really, really tough to deal with long-term pain caused by someone else’s negligence. But I’m confident he can make it through France, less than two weeks away.

Print Friendly

No Kevin quite yet

Kevin made his first, brief appearance on a bike, two weeks after the car knocked him off the road, on Wednesday, riding to work. It wasn’t much fun for him riding home; standing on a climb does a number on his right hand. The hope was that Wednesday we’d see that he was ready to resume the regular Tuesday/Thursday-morning ride, but not quite yet. Close, but not there.

So this morning it was just me, Eric, Karl, Karen… and Todd. I was keeping an eye on the rear, from the rear. Nobody was going to slip (backward) past me! This I am good at. About 3/4 of the way up the hill I had an excuse to stop for a bit, helping a woman who’d gotten a flat from a carpet tack. Just like Eric had half an hour before (Eric often climbs Kings before our ride, and then again with us… as if once up Kings isn’t enough?). It appears these carpet tacks are deliberately thrown onto the road for the “benefit” of cyclists, making me a bit reluctant to want to descend Kings anytime soon. Climbing, no biggie, a flat tire climbing isn’t going to be too dangerous.

Despite not feeling fast and the delay to help with someone’s flat tire we still ended the ride just a couple minutes behind schedule, but I suspect we’ll see a bit slower pace as Kevin returns, finally, next week.

Print Friendly