A 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!
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.