Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Damn. Double Damn.

After starting the season off with a bang, I hit a little snag over the weekend in the form of a broken collarbone. The classic cyclist injury! Now I can say I'm a true cyclist...although come on, we all know I paid my dues to the goddess of cycling injuries last year.

Here's the story: Albert and I headed to Portland on Friday to visit family in Oregon and watch the Pre Classic Track Meet in Eugene. This is our third year in a row making this trek and it's become a really fun tradition. I had looked at my training plan beforehand and realized that I needed to bring a bike with me to squeeze in long ride Saturday morning. So. Up early on Saturday, out the door by 6:30 and rolling toward downtown Portland. Everything was going smoothly, I was feeling good and enjoying the sensation of a cool drizzle on my cheeks. At one point I even noticed a few stray cats hanging out along the bike path, and wondered if having a white cat cross your path was a sign of good luck. 1.5 hours in and it was time to turn around. I remember thinking that I could now add Portland to my list of cities where I've ridden my bike. Suddenly WHAM! I was on the ground. I didn't even have time to attempt a correction. I had hit some wet RR tracks at not quite the right angle and the wheels just flew out before I could think. I should know better, but I guess the saying is true: experience is the best teacher!

What did I do next? (After a couple of curse words that is.) I got up, noticed my left shoulder was not quite right but otherwise I seemed okay. Scrapes on the knee, hip and elbow but nothing serious. Just that darn shoulder that felt like it was in the wrong place. Then I inspected my bike. Twisted left brake hood and the chain was off. Putting the chain back on was tricky but I managed and got myself back on the bike. I thought I would test it out and see, if it wasn't so bad I would ride back to the house and do a more thorough investigation of the damage. So that's what I did. Looking back, I realize it was slightly crazy to ride close to 20 miles with a broken collarbone. But honestly, a normal hand/arm position on the bars was a little uncomfortable (especially going over bumps) but it didn't really hurt too much. Or maybe I was just in denial. In any case, I made it back to the house without any other mishaps. It was when I saw the big drop in my shoulder in the mirror and had severe difficulty getting my own shirt off that I knew I was in big trouble. A trip to the emergency room for x-rays confirmed it: I had broken my collarbone and would need to see an orthopedic surgeon as soon as I got back to Salt Lake. A few phone calls later I had an appointment all scheduled for first thing Tuesday morning...and somehow I rolled into surgery later that afternoon! Now I'm just hanging out at home recovering and catching up on blogs/e-mails...just me, my computer, and a nifty little metal plate screwed into my left clavicle.

You can bet I'll be uber-cautious around RR tracks from now on!

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