Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
You're walkin' on the fightin' side of me.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Hoy versus Hamilton cancelled
The much anticipated man versus machine race between Chris Hoy and Formula One racer Lewis Hamilton was called off in the last minute due to bad weather. The rain had made the track in Wembley stadium in London too slippery for Hoy and his skinny cycling wheels. Hoy was race on a bike, while Hamilton would have been using a street car on a parallel track.
Hoy was driven to the start by Hamilton, where Hoy then announced the cancellation in person, according to theGuardian. "I've been advised it would be too dangerous on a bike, it's like black ice out there," Hoy said over the PA system. "It's a huge disappointment and it's a big shame, but I'm delighted to be here."
Hoy, who had voiced his displeasure at the surface earlier in the day, confirmed that the decision was mutual. "It was a joint decision, it was just too dangerous," he said. "It's a shame, but the conditions are just too treacherous. I think about an hour ago really they were doing all they could to get the track safe, but they couldn't and I would have been down at the first corner.
"There were a few accidents in the rain yesterday and there has been some oil spilt on the track as well, so I was advised not to compete," said Hoy. "I was really looking forward to it, and I know Lewis was too."
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Date: Tue, Oct 14, 2008 at 10:19 PM
Subject: [Maynard.net] New comment on My angry neighbor, part two.
cyclotourist has left a new comment on your post "My angry neighbor, part two":
Hey there Mr. H., here's another person planning on murdering cyclists: http://www.
He must have talked with your neighbor...
Posted by cyclotourist to Maynard.net at October 14, 2008 10:19 PM
Saturday, October 11, 2008
I can add a comment below yours, but otherwise I am helpless to continue our contact. If you never look at that post again - and never see my comment-to-your-comment, you will think I didn't care about what you said or who you are. Not so.
First, just this morning I heard from a guy who emailed me after I described (in the Rivendell Reader) how I'd been scared off my bike in Tucson. I was straining at the leash to get out of that town. Rivendell Reader readers, 50 of them, wrote me with comments and suggestions. One of them, Don Weinshenker, wrote glowing reports about cycling in Minneapolis.
Now I hear from Don (in a comment) that he has moved here to Denver this year. Don, if you read this, send me a note at email@example.com and let me know where you're living and when we can get together for a Welcome to Denver coffee. Thanks!
More mysteriously... In the early-mid '60s, I lived in Bloomington IN and worked in the motorcycle business for Fox's Cycle Sales, offering at that time BSA, Yamaha and BMW.
I'll waste a sentence to remind you that 1964 was a long time ago. Someone who has discovered my blog (and was a motorcyclist in Bloomington in those primitive days) has posted two comments, both provocative and revealing insider knowledge, both posted anonymously.
Please, Mr or Ms Anonymous, write me at the above email address and reveal your identity. Almost no one in my life now except my old boss Boyd Fox remembers those days. Be great to hear from you...
It's cold here in the Mile-High City. I have to wear tights and long sleeves when I ride the trainer out on our patio, even with no forward motion, no breeze.
You know, I feel that I appreciate my friends as much as most people do...maybe more than some. Get hurt, become not-so-mobile, and you rely on your friends more than you ever imagined you would.
A certain amount of helplessness repositions us in relation to your world. Might be good for us once in a great while.
I've given some thought to my levels of happiness and sadness during my hospitalization and recuperation. On balance, I don't think my average relative state of happiness has changed much. I don't know that I'd have believed that about myself. Remarkable, huh?
We're far more resiliant that we know, I'm delighted to say...
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
And, I have a friend/computer tech who lives a block away; he sets up programs on your computer so he can clean it up and keep it healthy from his own desk. Great guy.
He helped me choose a new CPU and transfer my files to it. So far, so very good.
David Garbs is his name, and GruntPC is the company name: www.gruntpc.com
Those of you who read this because you like me (and generally agree with me) will be pleased to hear that I am making steady if unspectacular progress. I can walk around the house with ONE crutch! I no longer have to take an anti-coagulation pill each day; I'm mobile enough now so that blood will not pool in my legs and form clots, which may then rise to my lungs and hurt me.
I have acquired a Blackburn fluid trainer and installed my Rivendell bicycle on it. I'm riding it every day. I can't tell you how satisfying it is simply to pedal again. To reach out and grab the bars and drop your back down closer to the top tube. To begin to sweat in the sun that warms our patio, nine floors from the street.
I don't yet dream of riding down there, actually on that street, but the movements, the action of riding... wonderful.
My friend Brian and I have been following the comeback to road racing of 44 year-old Raul Alcala of Mexico, a star on the old 7-Eleven team. Sadly, Alcala fell yesterday on a descent and finished the stage (and his race) in a team car. Keep trying, Raul!
Back briefly to my recovery: My left middle finger, dislocated in the crash, is still swollen and not the lovely graceful digit it was. Sigh. I have now seen a hand surgeon, who told me that it is not damaged, only swollen and stiff, and it should respond to therapy. I'm seeing an occupational therapist who has given me a daily regimen of exercises.
I can grab a handlebar easily, but substitute a pencil and I cannot close my fist tightly enough to hold it.
I'll try to write further posts soon...on my whiz-bang new computer! Wheeeeee....
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
This morning, with no wide-eyed spectators present, I hoisted my own left leg over the side of our bath tub no-hands - from my position seated on a plastic stool. I heard the sound of distant trumpets heralding my triumph, but no one else heard or saw a thing. Lance won seven; Valentino just regained the World's Championship and broke lots of records, and I have lifted my leg over the side of our tub. Proud men all.
In a couple of days, I'll see my surgeon. He'll tell me if I can simply walk, or walk with a cane or walk with one crutch. If I can put some weight on my left leg, I believe I'll put my Bike Friday (because I can step through the frame to get on and off) on a stationary trainer and pedal low gears for a half hour or so each day. Pedal my way to health and vitality, I will...
Thanks to my physical therapist and the exercises she suggested, I can bend my leg and lift it from the floor. I can get around okay on my crutches. I feel sure that pedaling will help reduce the swelling in my left ankle and foot by promoting blood flow. That's the plan anyway.
If I had to fall off my bike and break my leg, I'm thankful that it happened when it did - in the first half of August, and not later. My daily walks have preserved my sanity. Had I crashed in the fall and been rehabilitated enough to get out on crutches just as the snow fell, I'd have been out of luck.
I'll write again after I've seen my doc. Thanks for reading these probably sleep-inducing reports; they seem like epic tales of One Man's Heroism and Humanity from where I sit. Hey, I got my leg over the side of the tub no-hands - this morning!
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Be sure to click on View All Comments at the end of the piece.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
But my leg! My leg is getting better! Why, the swelling is down so much that I have a visible ankle - a bony area separating my lower leg from my foot. No kidding! I'm walking a good bit every day on my crutches in lovely early fall Denver weather; I'm doing my physical therapy exercises....and getting better.
I see my surgeon on October 1st. It is my hope that he will allow me to begin to put some weight on my left leg - so that I can ride a bicycle on a trainer (in low gears) and walk with a cane instead of my crutches. The crutches have been helpful but they are not lovable. I am thankful for them, but they are as unlovable as your anti-virus programs. Almost.
I'm glad that the crash happened in August and not a couple of months later. Had I fallen in October, in December I'd be wanting to get outside for walks but the sidewalks would be icy. I don't know what I'd do. Get a ride to an indoor mall and walk around it?
I have been thinking about riding my motorcycle once I'm better but I have not been imagining riding my bicycle. I think about cycling, if I'm explaining myself accurately, but not much about my own riding.
The costs of that crash is hard to calculate in terms I can communicate to you. In terms of pain and inconvenience and time lost and strain on Tamar's and my relationship... In fearfulness and self-absorption.
I'm confident that I'll get past all this; Tamar and I will remember this as a nightmare that will fade in time. Perhaps we will forget the price we paid for my not seeing that goddamn sand.
I am happy to see the return to top-level cycling of Tyler Hamilton, Floyd Landis, Ivan Basso and Lance Armstrong. Racing will be more entertaining with those guys around. Wishing that they could just blend back into the peleton is silly, but Lance's return (to Astana) will certainly muddy the waters there.
If you were Johan Bruneel, would you rather have a superstar fan- and sponsor-magnet whose further Tour-winning abilities are unproven - or an ordinary winner of three grand tours who is merely a wonderful bike racer? Merely a winner?
Friday, September 19, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Tamar and I aren't big Dan Hicks fans, but everything else in this piece rings solid true...
Indy Recap--Deer Don't Like Dan's Hot Licks
by jim mcdermott
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Heading home thru Virginia, dinosaurs first combusting then puffing thru the twin exhausts of my bike, it was easy to let my mind wander back to a great weekend in Indianapolis. I had the cruise set to 75, it was late and used up stormheads were backlit by a huge moon. Obscured light shimmered behind the clouds, a black mother-of-pearl glow that lit the prehistorically dark hills shouldering the highway. Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks crooned "Waiting For The 103" over the stereo, a newfound musical discovery (for me) whose eclectic sound always elicits a strong response from first time listeners, either love or hate.
Like most people, I didn't really know what to expect from the first MotoGP held at Indy; the setting was never going to be as picturesque as Laguna Seca; no crashing waves, wet seals or dry lakebed. And of course, no Corkscrew. I always watched the Indy 500 when I was a kid, on ABC's tan-sportscoated Wide World Of Sports, when the race was huge and AJ Foyt owned it. Other than a few dim 70's memories of teeming grandstands on Memorial Day, Indianapolis Motor Speedway was just a name to me.
I arrived in time for first practice on Saturday. Unlike most racing circuits which are set back from main roads to help contain noise and provide parking, Indy is literally right on the street. On Georgetown Road, a hulking gray line of grandstands hang over the curb, like WWII aircraft carriers sitting in dry dock. Across the street, residents offer parking on the lawns of their small cottages, $10 on Friday, $20 on Saturday, $50 on Sunday. Some provided camping for the wet dogs who rode their bikes to the races. From gaudy trailer stands, carnies hawk hot nuts, knockoff event shirts, and send fresh marks scavenging for left-handed screwdrivers. A traffic cop thrusts a hand out to oncoming traffic, wiggles his fingers and hustles you towards the Speedway entrance. You descend just underneath the track to get inside the circuit; during practice, the MotoGP bikes roar onto the front straight, directly overhead.
Once inside, you notice the high wire fences, which jut out over the tarmac in front of the grandstands. In a high speed shunt, they'd stop a car from flying into the crowd, preventing the kind of tragedy that killed 80 spectators at the 1955 Le Mans 24 Hour race. The arms which hold the wires have been discolored by rusty decades, in fact oxidation is evident on many of the metal surfaces at the track. This is not to say that Indy is falling apart; more that it is aging majestically, like an original, unrestored Iver Johnson motorcycle. There is history in every beam here, every rivet, a presence which no other American racing facility possesses. I've felt this at Monza in Italy......Imola too. It is imbued into such places thru epic victories, heartbreaking loss and profound tragedy. If you take care to listen, the echoes of the countless millions who cheered in these seats over 100 years can still be heard, on the edge of the wind, once the motors are quiet. The wonderful Speedway museum features Indy racers from 1911 thru today, and a trove of racing ephemera, including legendary Mercedes F1 driver Rudi Caracciola's entire trophy collection.
The stuttering report of MotoGP bikes, idling down pitlane on their speed limiters, snapped me back to 2008. The track was soaked, but riders still shot down the narrow front straight at close to 200 miles an hour thru the spray. The weather made for drama all weekend, rumors of an early race, a delayed start, a cancelled event, but Sunday afternoon came around and they rolled onto the grid. The wind picked up and made the rain hurt your face. I rolled up my jean cuffs, put on a ten dollar Indy rain parka/trash-bag with logos, and headed to the Turn 9 Grandstands for the start. Within a couple of laps, it was clear that Hayden and Rossi must have had a bigger bowl of Wheaties that morning, as neither, especially Hayden, were displaying any real concern for the awful track conditions. The rest of the field seemed quite spooked, and most looked as though they were running a tiptoe pace in comparison. Of course, Hayden's riding style is the most visually dramatic in MotoGP, sliding the RC212V thru the corners, getting out of shape and catching it without backing off. It will be a treat to see him manhandle the Ducati next year. As the laps counted down, almost inevitably, Rossi caught Hayden and won it, riding the Yamaha with finesse, control and visible genius. These two guys were in a different race than everybody else out there.
Ben Spies certainly impressed with his 6th place finish, besting many experienced riders on equal or better machinery. Earlier in the year, I thought Spies' next stop should be World Superbike, but I was very wrong. He seems to have more fire in his belly than half the guys riding in MotoGP. He didn't boast or make predictions, he kept it on two wheels and wasn't satisfied to row around in 16th place. It will be a real drag if Ben doesn't end up in the Blue Riband class for 2009.
Downtown, the place to be on Friday and Saturday was South Meridian Street, the streets closed off for bike-only parking. The crowd was similar in size to Monterey's Cannery Row during the Laguna Seca race weekend, but there were a lot more cruisers, less European bikes, even chunky girls in sweatpants riding stretched Hayabusas. And it was much rowdier - despite a road sign which flashed "Ride Proud, Not LOUD", open-piped machines rorted up and down the streets, mere feet away from the local constabulary, who didn't seem to be that bothered by the ruckus. Speaking of the streets, they were renamed after riders for the weekend, so you'd look up and see Freddie Spencer or James Toseland's name on a signpost above you. Banners advertising the GP were ubiquitous, posters in every restaurant, even the menus had the Red Bull/Indy MotoGP logo imprinted on them. This is the way races are promoted in Italy and Spain, not America....I've attended four MotoGP races at Laguna, and while they do a superb job making the event visible, this was at an altogether higher level. I stayed at The Hampton Inn, which gave each guest a laser engraved paperweight commemorating the inaugural race. Thankfully, they didn't pay for it by quadrupling their room rates.
So would I go again next year? Absolutely. Indianapolis has a totally different vibe, blues bars and ribs versus Monterey's karaoke and crab legs. Wives and girlfriends will of course prefer California, Indy being perhaps more of a man's man, pure motorhead event. The weekend was damned good fun, with nonstop weather drama- I gave BBC commentator Charlie Cox a frantic, windswept ride to the airport on the back of the Harley. Balancing a pillion on wet streets was a bit nerve wracking (must NOT dump the frakking broadcaster), but Coxie made his flight just in time. I left Indy Monday morning with a 600 mile ride in front of me, praying for dry weather. I got my wish, but I still has some drama to get thru.
Eastbound at midnight on I-64, Virginia is a deer's world, and I was just riding in it. Singing along with the CD player, no vehicles near me for miles, I almost didn't see the animal as it took tentative steps onto the highway. My headlight caught a quick glint of nocturnal eyes and I got on the brakes, hard. The bike sat down on it's suspension, slowing fast, but still headed towards the flank of the deer, as the front tire howled loudly over the music. Startled, the doe did a quick double take, then bounced back into the woods. I passed by at a walking speed, heart pounding, awfully glad for the rubber squeal which frightened the animal out of my path.
On second thought, it was probably the Dan Hicks tune that scared her off. I'm pretty sure the deer was a first time listener.
Two years ago, as Tamar and I were preparing to escape Tucson, someone broke into my tool shed and took my toolbox - and its 15- or 20-year accumulation of tools. Broke my heart.
I whined about the incident in my column in The Bicycle Paper, the Pacific NW free cycling monthly. Beth read the piece and sent me an assortment of bicycle tools, extras she'd accumulated in her years as a bike mechanic and cyclist. Beth Hamon is the real thing.
Here's the note:
Dear friends -- I almost NEVER send out public service announcements like this one. In fact, I think this may be a first, or only a second, I dunno.
If you drive to work, your gasoline and a significant portion of the costs of maintaining the roads are subsidized by the government and/or the automotive and petroleum industries. If Americans paid the true cost of owning and driving a car every day, most would end up broke and/or unable to afford to drive.
If, like me, you ride to work, you bear ALL of the costs of purchasing, maintaining and storing your bicycle. On top of that you may also get grief from co-workers and employers who frown on your sweaty arrival at work each day, and who sneer at your requests for more secure bicycle parking.
But I digress.
A tax credit for those who cycle to work daily wouldn't amount to very much money, especially when compared to the zillions in subsidies that car drivers currently experience; and because adults who ride bikes for basic transportation are still greatly outnumbered by folks who drive cars every day.
Earl Blumenauer (D - Oregon) would like to see bicycle commuters get a "thank you" for helping out the planet by getting a little tax relief. If you want to find out more, read here:
...and if you think you'd like to get behind this (by contacting your elected officials), read here for more info:
(End of my public service announcement. I promise there won't be another for at least a year or more. If getting this really bothers you tell me and I will not include you in future PSA's.)
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Tamar and I are back from a four-day trip to Indianapolis to visit my family and to spectate at motorcycle races on Saturday night and Sunday.
If you have never passed through an airport or the gigantic Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a handicapped person, I can assure you it is an eye-opening experience. There are dozens of people in the airports whose job it is to assist folks who need help.
And at the Speedway? If you've wondered what it's like for the Stones to arrive via limo to an arena show... That's what it was like.
All in stark contrast to trying to negotiate your neighborhood sidewalks in your wheelchair. Those sidewalks are an obstacle course - often nearly impossible to use. But in the airports? And at the Brickyard? Wonderful.
Terrific as it was, I would not suggest breaking a bone to experience that luxury. Just take my word for it.
I'll try to post a photo or two of the race on Sunday, held in awful, hostile weather. And maybe one of Tamar and me with my family, huddled under an awning during the lapse between the shortened 125cc GP race, the cancelled 250cc GP race and the shortened MotoGP.
Monday, September 8, 2008
This piece, No Need for Speed, suggests that building 300hp cars, trucks and SUVs for roads limited to 75mph may be (uh...) counterproductive.
Soon, said the blooger as he knocked on the compressed sawdust of his $40 American Furniture Warehouse desk, I'll be able to sleep as I always have. Tamar will be able to return to what we call "our" bed.
Think of it. Well, don't, but imagine me thinking of it.
I walked with the crutches again yesterday, maybe almost a half-mile. The rubber pads at the tops of the crutches chafe my rib cage on both sides, just below my armpits. I'm sharing this intimate detail with you because I know you care. You do care, right?
My hands get tired from the crutch handles, which as I did not know, support your weight as you move from place to place at dizzying speeds. While I am speeding down the sidewalks and across the ped-Xings, I am afraid of everything: passersby, dogs, traffic, uneven sidewalk slabs, sandy patches...
Every short walk is an adventure.
My left leg is still swollen but you can see a knee there. My left foot is fat, fat. My physical therapist says the swelling will remain until I can walk on the leg. It's the last to go, she says.
Thanks to a phone alert from my friend Aaron in Boulder, I watched the last miles of the US Pro Cycling Championships from Greenville, SC, yesterday. Tyler Hamilton won. I like and admire Tyler, who has probably strayed from what we'll call the Straight and Narrow and paid the price. He's back, entitled to race, and he's still the prince-of-a-guy he's always been. Bravo, Tyler!
During that race, one of the guys in the break crashed suddenly for no apparent reason. Perhaps he rolled a glued-on tubular tire off his rim. I couldn't watch the result. Too real. Too close.
I also watched the Superbike races (motorcycle road races) from Donington in England. The track was drenched by heavy rains all through practice and qualifying; many riders fell, one guy (a great rider) six times.
During the event, a racer's engine blew. The exhaust spewed oil mist all the way around the track. Lots of guys fell off on that oil. I had to look away from the screen.
I've never liked watching crashes but I just can't do it now. When I fell, I wasn't going 28mph like the poor guy who fell at the Pro Championships - or 80mph like the guys who fell at Donington. I hope the cyclist jumped right back up, sore but uninjured. The Superbike riders wear armor and leather; the slickness of the track and its design mitigate against serious injury.
You don't have to look deep between the lines here to realize that I'm good-'n'-spooked. When I ride in a car in city traffic I feel I'm in Hyperspace with Han and Chewbaca.
Just human nature, right? I'll get over it soon enough, right? If you have been in this fearful state of mind, please contribute a comment or send me an email. Your blogger, never brave, hates to feel he's the scared-iest cat ever...
Saturday, September 6, 2008
But I'm doing better now, having figured out how far apart to plant the tips and how far in front of me to swing them and...some other stuff that's equally or even more boring if you aren't hurt.
This morning, Tamar and I walked the five short blocks (Denver city blocks are indeed short, not nearly a tenth of a mile) to a coffee place. The day was perfect and I didn't even nearly fall down, not on the way there or on the way back.
That little walk gave me a glimpse of the legendary light at the end of the long, dark tunnel. I can imagine that eventually, weeks from now but not forever from now, I'm going to be okay.
My left middle finger will need some help, perhaps a small surgery to correct cartilage damage it sustained when I rudely dislocated it. But I can walk about half as fast as I can normally. It feels fast to me. It is way faster than I could go behind the walker.
I've heard via email and phone from friends, many of whom have related accident stories of their own or about their own friends. Maybe it's true: Maybe a bit of misery loves a bit of company.
As I walk now with my crutches, guys walking with canes, guys in wheelchairs and guys on their own crutches always say hi and often pass along a few encouraging words. There's an invisible fraternity of hurt folks that's been invisible to me. I see it now.
My time in the trauma hospital and in convalescing has been eye-opening indeed. Much of it has been nothing at all like real life. If you know someone who's been hurt and had to depend on the kindness of white- and green-clad strangers, ask them if it wasn't a series of small but poignant epiphanies.
I would not re-break a femur to re-experience the epiphanies, but maybe they're the silver lining that reputedly lurks behind even the darkest cloud.
Oh, Steve Braun of Tucson AZ: Comments to posts on my blog are blind. They cannot be responded to. Your email address has changed as I discovered when the fine note I sent you was returned. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can re-send it. Hope you're doing great, Steve!
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
I'm getting range-of-motion back in my knee and my hand, but it's slow. My therapists do a house call or two a week. I do my exercises and watch more CNN than is good for me. I'm Wolf'd half to death.
As this is written, the Republican Nat'l Convention is happening in the Twin Cities. My nephew Nick lives there but sent me this marvelous link to the web site of a Denver-based bicycle racing team, Garmin-Chipotle. I live here but I'd have missed this. Thanks, Nick!
Last week as you'll recall, the Democratic Nat'l Convention brought those shady tax-'n'-spend lefties to Denver. Jonathan Vaughters, prime mover of the Garmin-Chipotle team, our American team based here in the Mile-High City, had a chance to ride with one of the Democrat heavies.
He's 65, he fits into racer-cut medium jersey and shorts, he can ride a bike set up for a pro, and I'm proud to say I voted for him. Maybe he really won in '04. Both presidential candidates ride bikes. Maybe they should have sprinted it out, one on one, after 50 rolling miles...
Sunday, August 31, 2008
It'll warm your heart; I guarantee it. Tamar found this. She's tired from working and taking care of me. I'm tired from the effort involved in most any action. We both felt re-energized after watching this slide show.
Friday, August 29, 2008
We all recognize this phenomenon and have vaguely shaped hunches about it. I believe that reading Mionske's piece will enlighten us and go some distance to explaining why....
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Each day, I get a tiny bit better. Now by myself I can get my left leg down from our high bed so that my foot is on the floor. I can get my leg into and back out of the bathtub much more easily.
I have leg exercises and hand exercises. I do them as directed and sometimes I can sense that my fingers and leg are gaining strength and range of movement. Yesterday, I took the wheelchair down the elevator to the lobby to get Tamar's and my mail. I'd never noticed how quickly the elevator doors want to close as you try to get on.
Since I began putting these updates on my blog site, I've received comments from many of you that have cheered me and even sent thrills down my spine.
Over the years, as you'd imagine, I've met dozens or hundreds of cyclists and motorcyclists. I never feel that I am the guy (in person) that my readers would like me to be - that I fail somehow through preoccupation with myself or inability to get into the minute so I can listen to others with full focus, with all my attention.
At the computer, it's easier to be the guy you want to be, the even-handed, thoughtful friend.
When I get wonderful, supportive comments as I have this last week, I am encouraged. I think: Maybe you weren't such a disappointment after all - or not always. Thank you.
I figure that most of my (blog) readers also read Dave Moulton's posts. Since I became aware of his site, I have read him faithfully. As you surely know, Dave insists that he's pulling the plug: He's done posting to his blog. I hope Dave is not as set in this as he sounds.
I can get to my computer more easily now via walker and wheelchair. But if when I get there there are no new Dave Moulton comments to read and ponder... Come back, Dave... Come back.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
I'm walking behind the walker, doing laps of our floor here in the building. I'm doing the exercises suggested by my physical therapist. I get a tiny bit more mobile each day. Thanks as always for your kind thoughts.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
When I did see it again, maybe Thursday of the following week, it looked fine. I think the EMTs, several of whom were riders, knocked an STI lever back into place. Otherwise, I took the punishment, not my bike.
Repair to the bike: $10 for handlebar tape. Repair to me: As yet untold thousands. Thank God for Medicare and the Veteran's Administration.
The EMT put an IV in me and cut off my socks, shorts and jersey. I got my helmet and Oakleys off. Everything went in a bag for safekeeping at the hospital. Maybe at that point they started giving me painkillers. I don't remember our arrival at the ER...or not clearly.
Tamar called while I was in the ambulance. She had not listened to my voice mail message so when I said, "I'm in an ambulance; I've broken my leg," that was the first she'd heard. She said she'd see me at the hospital.
I passed through the ER, the pre-op room, the operating room and the post-op room before being deposited in my own room, my home for the next eight days. From that day, I remember the ER and perhaps the pre-op room. That's all.
In the ambulance, fearing that the pain in my leg was so severe that I would not notice pain around my head or neck, the EMT put a collar around my neck. He also put an oxygen mask on my face. Wearing the two devices, I could not turn my head much. Flat on the gurney, I could only see ceilings, a square of stainless steel in the ambulance or acoustic tile in the hospital.
In the ER, maybe a dozen or 15 people worked on me. I could see no one's face. All that activity, and I wouldn't recognize more than one or two individuals today. On the way from one room to the next, perhaps to the operating room, as I rode on the gurney the walls of what seemed to be round hallways rolled around me.
When given the choice, Tamar and I opted for the complete anesthetic. I could have stayed somewhat conscious for the surgery, but we decided against it, I'm happy to say.
The drugs make you accepting and warm. Hey, whatever. As the days passed in the hospital, I tried to minimize my use of the painkillers. I was stupid. I quickly got afraid of the pain that I was making sure I'd feel. Gosh, I was hurt badly. The pain and my fear of it slowed my healing, I'm sure. If I had it to do over again...
More soon. Thanks for walking along next to my gurney....
Friday, August 22, 2008
We'd had a powerful rainstorm a few days previously. The rain had washed rocks and gravel onto the streets and bike paths, and it had left patches of pretty deep sand on the low-lying paths, which run alongside creeks and the South Platte River. I've seen city employees scraping the paths now and then, but no one had scraped since the storm.
I hit the sand. I'd had a flat front tire and pumped up the new tube as well as I could with my mini pump. I have to say, dear reader, I regret depending on a mini pump. Maybe I got 50psi into my 100psi tire, surely not much more.
I don't know what made the bike go out of control. The soft, broad tire? The small diameter of my folding-bike's wheel? Some control input of my own? I'm not being coy; I've thought about it and thought about it, and I don't know why the hell I crashed.
I swerved toward the opposite, on-coming side of the path. I saw to my horror that on the shoulder, someone had cemented in place large decorative rocks, low near the path and more prominent further up the mild slope. I thought, oh lord, don't let me fall on those rocks.
But I did fall on the lowest tier of rocks. On my left side. I knew I was hurt but I didn't immediately have bigtime pain. I could see that my left middle finger was ugly dislocated or broken, and that my left leg was lying strangely, unnaturally in front of me.
I had a good right arm and hand. I found my cell phone in my center jersey pocket and called 9-1-1. While I spoke with the 9-1-1 operator, I realized that I did not know the name of the overpassing street. A pair of cyclists asked me if I needed help; I asked the guy to see if he could see a street sign at the other end of the overpass. It's Quebec, he yelled back, and that's what I told the operator.
Within three minutes, I saw a group of uniformed EMTs walking under Quebec Street down the bike path toward me. I want you to try to imagine how I felt, broken and sad and helpless there on the rocks, as I saw the guys coming - like the cavalry in the old westerns that saves the little frontier community. It's 12 days now, I guess, and I still feel the same sense of gratitude and warmth and relief.
More in the next post. I'm getting tired.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
I tire really easily at this point after some major surgery and trying to relearn how to do most everything. I'll write a series of posts about the crash and the subsequent EMT and ambulance experience, the ER, pre-op and hospital room, and my thoughts on getting hurt so badly in a single vehicle, bike path, not especially fast or demanding riding situation.
I didn't get run over. I didn't get hit by a bike path trainer-terrorist. I did it all myself.
This is no-doubt the worst injury I've sustained in a lifetime of moderate risk. My left leg is non-weight bearing for seven more weeks. I get around behind a walker or in a wheelchair.
Look for further posts as the energy and focus come to me. I had lots of visitors in the hospital and Tamar stayed in email contact with many of you. Thank you for thinking of me in what was most definitely my hour of need...
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Saturday, August 9, 2008
He doesn't want to be Joe Dude. He wants to be an authority, the last-word-dispensing, go-to guy in every area of life. Give him an opportunity; he'll prove it to you.
He hasn't bothered to acquire accurate knowledge, enlightened opinions or informed feelings. Impressing people with his inexhaustible storehouse of information is more important than the validity thereof or how welcome it is to the recipients.
The expressing is the thing, not what's expressed. He often seems to be saying things simply to be talking - loving the sound of his own voice. That's precisely what he is doing.
He'd rather be wrong than be silent. Silence never impressed anyone, right?
Women know all about these guys. Some women even marry them, knowing all along that their husband is all-too-often speaking without knowing whereof he speaks. Maybe they think all men are like that. Too damn many are.
Which brings me to my subject: internet forums - havens for the very sort of guy we're talking about here. Thousands of anonymous, ill-informed "experts" and a few genuinely smart guys.
What better place to bestow upon the world the gift of your ideas? If they are half-baked and riddled with inaccuracy, well, they're your ideas and should be as respected as the next poster's. And typically they are, because the next poster is a moron too.
No doubt one can find good information on internet owners forums. Well, I don't want to say that there's no doubt. There's doubt. Buy something that you don't know everything about or research a purchase you're about to make. Check out the owners forum - where the savvy guys are. Browse. Weigh the evidence.
Or ask the guy behind the counter at the Union 76 for directions to a place twelve miles away. He can't tell you where he is now, he's never been to the place you're going and he may never have heard of it. He's not much of a traveler. Nevertheless, he'll give you precise directions that will have you lost, frustrated and fantasizing about exploding 76 stations.
He has never driven and is petrified as a passenger on an interstate. He sees blinking lights on the fronts and rears of cars but doesn't know how they are operated.
He's a regular poster on the Porsche Owners Forum, known for his old-school attitude and his conviction that those Germans made 'em to drive, not coddle, by God.
Friday, August 8, 2008
The question posed by the writer at the end of the Newsweek article is provocative: If Portland is such a safe city for cyclists, if the number of injured cyclists has not increased despite major increases in the numbers of riders, why all the problems?
I'm sorry I've neglected my blog. I wrote a couple of pieces for publication and was otherwise preoccupied. Thanks as always for reading...