Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Crash

 "People who think laughter is the best medicine apparently have never had morphine." So says a get well card from my in-laws. My laughter did indeed rapidly stop as Velma and Rick Ogan lifted me up, and I tried to put weight on my left leg.

Thank you Dorothy Langdon (who took pictures with her cell phone) for not taking a photo as I attempted to stand.    
This hurt also but no broken bones.
So they put me back onto the ground as "they" discussed what to do with me. As soon as I had discovered that I couldn't put any weight on my left leg I agreed with Gene Potter who had been urging me to call an ambulance.

The previous post already revealed I had broken my hip.
The turn around point of the routine Monday ride is normally after a slight decline just about at the end of the shadows. I know this looks flat, but we can build up a pretty good speed coasting down. This evening, I decided to go into the parking lot (note car on far right) to make a wide swing and go back up the hill. The parking lot has a lot of loose gravel, and as I turned to the left my front tire went out from beneath me, and I landed hard on the left side of my body.

There was no immediate pain (other than the road rash on the left forearm), so before they got me up I had assumed that I would just shake it off and finish the ride.
Initial assessment. Where does it hurt? Uh, where is the ego located?
We will just slide this under you, and you will be easier to transport. Fine, but do you have to lift me where my fracture turned out to be?
Yes, I will be fine as soon as you give me that morphine shot. Or haven't you noticed that I have stopped laughing?
One, two, three and you are on the gurney. Rick is still providing me and the EMT personal assistance.
Christine had gone back to get the car before we knew the rest of the story. As she arrived back on the scene, I started unloading my jersey pockets and passing all the paraphernalia to her. Do you realize how much "stuff" we carry in those three little pockets? 
 With all the stuff out of my pockets, it was time to say good-bye to the group. Just dawned on me, this is the second time I have had to be SAGed in from a ride. The first was at the Hotter'N Hell Hundred when my legs cramped. I hope I am not setting a pattern.
 Oh well, I can ponder on that as they prepare for the short trip to the hospital.

 And off we go into the sunset of a perfect afternoon.
All hopes of a routine fall and back into the saddle the next day were dashed as the X-Ray showed that I had fractured the thin bone where the ball of the femur attaches to the long part of the bone. As my surgery was not planned, the first spot available in surgery would be 5 p.m. the next day.
O.K., then time for the morphine. Nope, they gave me Demerol. "This ain't working!!" The nurse said she would just increase my dosage. "This ain't working!!". O.K., I will give you one more shot. "This ain't"----snore.
The next day, Tuesday, I received a new hip ball and socket. Friday I was released from the hospital. Monday I saw the doctor as my bandage would fill up with fluid, and I hate the sight of my own blood.
The next day, Tuesday, (one week old hip. Hip hip hurray), I started physical therapy. (Editor: Go back and delete that last hip hip hurray, and insert ow, ow, today).
As I get more mobile, some of the hurt is going away, and I think I am making a lot of progress. I have the sutures out, I have graduated from the walker to a cane, and as one may have noticed, I am able to get into and out of the computer chair--all by myself.
Yesterday, I made it up all of the stairs with the help of the cane. However, I think I will continue sleeping down stairs for a while longer.
Whereas we have only one more unpublished organized ride for this season, Christine and I went on an outstanding vacation this past summer. We are eager to share some of the photos.
Maybe, it will be a short winter season after all. The doctor "promised" me that I would be back to riding by at least March. 
So much for training all winter and then impressing everyone doing wheelies up the Bastrop State Park hills.     

Monday, October 15, 2012

Temporary Gap In Postings

There will be a temporary gap in postings. Saturday before last, we went to Pineywoods Purgatory and had a great ride. I had some of the pictures lined up for the write-up and was going to post it last Monday after our routine Monday Group Ride.
About half way through our ride, we do a turn around on Spillway Road. After a re-group, we continue the ride. However, on this ride, as I started my turn around, I hit some loose gravel. My front tire went out from beneath me and I landed on my forearm and left hip.
You guessed it.
Broken hip.
I have a new hip ball and socket. I was released from the hospital Friday and will begin physical therapy tomorrow and the slow road to recovery.
I hope everyone will be able to continue riding over the fall/winter season. As for me, the doctor has only indicated that he is sure I will be able to ride the Ride Through the Pines next March. 
I hope to start posting again next month when I think I will be mobile and at least be able to get into and out of a chair by myself.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Cyber Race

 Cyber Race
Saturday September 29, 2012
Our Saturday morning group ride was rained out (I'm not complaining), so I called our LBS (local bike shop)  and set up an appointment to workout on the CompuTrainer. One can compete against a "pacer" or ride alone. The course I have been using lately is a 10 mile track with intermediate hills (3-7%). On the start line I am in red with the pacer to the right in blue. 
Everyone is invited to travel with me as I race Mr. Avatar for 10 miles.
 As the race began, I jumped out ahead. We were on the flat straightaway as can be seen on the top of the screen.
 As soon as we started up the first hill, Mr. Avatar pulled ahead of me (just as in real life). The pacer can be set on a steady wattage, a constant speed, or a combination of factors. On one course, the pacer is set for a 3 second delay. If you pass him, he will give you 3 seconds before he pedals like mad and will pass you if you don't sprint the whole time. Not worth the effort, just let him pass. But this time I was racing against the pacer which had a steady wattage.
 As we started up the second hill, Mr. Avatar was still ahead but in sight. Here is where my racing strategy came into play. I would let him attack the hill and wear himself out, and I would hold back and take him on the downhill.
 Strategy worked. By the time he got up the hill, he was exhausted, and I was able to pass him on the flat and then gain a little distance on him. My stats are shown on the bottom of the screen in red and Mr. Avatar's stats are below in blue. Luckily for my ego, the pictures are too blurred for one to discern my stats. Trust me, I was ahead as one can see by the 5th stat from the left telling who is ahead and by what distance.
 As we go into the next climb [see top of screen--red arrow (me)--is in front of the blue arrow--(pacer)]. I noticed on this screen, the pacer had been cheating as his "steady" watts had increased by 10. However, with perseverance, determination, and superior stamina, I still prevailed. 
 But speaking of stats, the CompuTrainer has just about everything one wants to know. Starting from the bottom left: MPH, AVG MPH, Peak Speed, Distance (covered), Lead (who's ahead and by what distance), Watts (being generated at the time), AVG Watts, Peak Watts, RPM, AVG RPM, Peak RPM, Pulse, AVG Pulse, Peak Pulse, Calories (burned), and Wind factor. And the stats can be printed out at the end of a ride so progress (or lack thereof) can be tracked. 
A stat that I like as may be evidenced by the screens is the SpinScan (right side of screen). Other split screens can be chosen by computer keys, but mostly I like to watch the "efficiency" of my pedal stroke. A perfect pedal stroke would be 100 on the middle magenta number. Mine is showing an 83 at this time. I ATTEMPT to keep my strokes at 80 and above. Sometimes hard to do.
 Hit another computer key and this screen will be displayed. The stroke is shown as a circle. The circle to me is not as pretty nor dramatic as the bar graph. And the circle shows ones faults more dramatically so I keep it on the bar graph. I can talk about such things as if one notes on the top of the screen, the red arrow is farther ahead of the blue pacer arrow. If you are ahead in a race, you can maintain your pace and not over-tax the muscles. (I am guessing as the best I have ever done in a real life race was to place. So I really don't know what one does if he is leading). .
 I have to show this screen even if it's not the mighty race of the day. The bar graph is depicting an almost perfect pedal stroke at 96%. This was going up a hill as shown on the top of the screen. Just prior to this I had hit a 98% and yelled for Marlon to come see. He did and I expressed how I would love to have a picture of this. He ran back to get his cell phone and I told him to hurry as I could not hold this stroke for long. And I was down to 96% by the time he took the picture with his cell phone. I just had to show this as it is almost a once in a lifetime event to have an almost perfect pedal stroke.
 Besides proving that I was still ahead of Mr. Avatar, this shot was almost clear enough for the stats to be read if one enlarges the picture. In case one does, let me quickly explain that I never have implied that I was a champion rider. For example, I read one person's blog who talks about A riders, B riders and such. We do not label ourselves that way in San Angelo, but if we did I would be in the C- class. So, in case one does enlarge the picture and looks at my average watts, I could hear the snickers from here. I looked up my Watts Per Kilogram (a stat that prints out but not shown on the computer screen) and I fell in the "Untrained" Cat 5 category. Ergo: C minus class.
But on this particular day, I was racing like a big boy. Even though it can be seen that the pacer had narrowed the lead I had, I was still ahead as we climbed the 7% last hill. I am still maintaining my 85% pedal stroke efficiency and for the most part, each leg was equally working. The white number 49% is the work or efficiency of my left leg, and the 51% was the work by my right leg. The goal is to show 50/50. Hard to do especially if one leg is dominant.
 Put stats, efficiency, hill grade aside, the finish line is in sight and it is time to zip up the jersey and drive home for the grand finish.

Note that I burned Mr. Avatar on the final sprint. He was just cresting the hill as I crossed the finish line. 

And Velma, you say the CompuTrainer is boring? Just use your imagination and you can hear the crowd roar.