All posts by Mike

Sometimes you go boom. Sometimes hard. Black ice favors hard.

The lighter oval section is the area of the slight fracture.
Sigh. Crazy rain and wind, no problem. Snow, no problem. But a patch of black ice?

It started out like any other cold morning ride, and Kevin and I were actually thinking it didn’t seem quite as cold as advertised. We even got out a minute or two earlier than normal, so I’m thinking we can take it a bit easier to the start. Well, not when Kevin’s with me. As we headed over Jefferson past the Elks Club, I noticed that the little puddles of water along the side of the road looked a bit… funny. I was watching for ice, but they didn’t have that crusted-over look, but didn’t look normal either. I mention to Kevin to take it easy around that top corner.

And then, descending towards Canada, just before MidGlen, I watch Kevin go down. No warning, just down. Next came me. It’s possible that, had I not been watching him go down, I might not have crashed myself. But crash I did, really hard. 25 miles an hour onto black ice. Ouch. We picked ourselves up, tried to quickly assess if we were in one piece or not, but it quickly became apparent that I wasn’t going anywhere. Movement of my left leg was extraordinarily painful. Ideas of walking back up to the top of Jefferson and riding back home were gone. We called Becky (Kevin’s sister) to come get us and I gingerly squeezed myself into the car and headed home, a short stop to get rid of the bikes, and then on to Kaiser.

It was a long time there, and nobody brought up that we might be thirsty or, eventually, hungry. I was in so much pain at the time (and have been until very recently) that the combination of the pain plus hunger plus thirst was doing a number on me. It was an interesting experience feeling all that at once. Meantime I’d been wheeled into x-ray to check hips, femurs and pelvis. Eventually discover that there’s a small fracture in the pelvis. Kevin fared much better; just a bruised elbow, no breaks. Still we were both ready at about the same time, just before noon, so about 3.5 hours. Becky hasn’t billed us for the time yet.

Kevin will be back to normal in 4 or 5 days; me, not so sure yet. Have to talk with an Ortho (bone doc) guy and I suspect it’s going to be about a month. Could be worse, but I’ll be going certifiably nuts in the meantime!

Finally, a day without rain!

Beautiful day on Stage Road
I’ve often said winters here are never an excuse for not riding; on any given week, there will be at least a couple nice days to ride. Lately I’ve begun to not believe what I preach as we’ve been hit by storm after storm after storm. My “rain bike” has been getting a workout, to say the least. But not today.

There had been a slight threat of a rogue shower or two, and I could have dealt with that, but none showed up. It was time to get back to my “normal” Sunday ride. First time since January 27th. And, like that ride, this was also solo, as Kevin wasn’t feeling very “up” today (relationship issues). I chased a few people, got caught by a few people, and not-too-spectacularly made my way over Old LaHonda & Haskins to Pescadero. Took a break there for coffee (didn’t mention yet that it wasn’t particularly warm) and an olallieberry struddle and then headed north into a stiff headwind on Stage Road. I’ll admit that I was thinking how much nicer it would be to have Kevin to help pull into the wind, but maybe I needed this. After stopping for a photo close to San Gregorio a couple guys caught up with me and I tried, with success, to hang onto their wheels riding up Stage to Highway 1. They were out having an easy ride, and that “easy” pace was pretty much exactly the max I could coax out of my legs. One of the guys was from Amsterdam and “commutes” to the US on a regular basis. Been doing that for 18 years. Surprising I haven’t come across him before!

I did manage to get my best time on the infamous “Hammer of Thor” section of Tunitas since October, so I was happy for that, and found it just a bit easier to push myself than expected.

Let’s just hope… or at least let’s say I’m hoping… that the worst of the rain is behind us. I know we “need” it, but it’s the most we’ve had in at least three years, and besides the effect on my own riding, it’s not exactly the best thing for sales at a bicycle shop either. 🙂