August 23, 2014

A Year Ago Today I Almost Died

No this isn't hyperbole. On August 23rd 2013 I was commuting by bicycle into work when a car made an abrupt right turn in front of me without signaling. I slammed on my brakes. I woke up on the ground, on my back, gasping for breath. I hurt. I couldn't see a thing because my glasses were missing. I have no recollection of the intervening moments. I became aware of people around me telling me to stay still until the paramedics arrived.

I was lucky. My helmet did its job and absorbed the brunt of the fall.

helmet top

In particular you can see the fractures on the inside of the helmet.

helmet inside

As for myself, concussion, scrapes, bruises, and fractures to my occipital bone and C7 vertebrae. The latter necessitated wearing a hard neck collar for a few weeks.

neck collar

The final outcome, no known residual issues from the accident and the driver was found at fault. Celebrate life!

Tags: bicycle life

July 31, 2012

When Being Right Feels Wrong

As a daily bicycle commuter I have had my share of near misses such as car doors opening, cars turns without signals, or cars pulling out in front of me. Thankfully I've avoided any serious injuries. As anyone who has ridden with me knows I abide by the bicycle laws which I find manifests itself from time to time as righteous indignation when I'm asserting a right I have as a bicyclist. When this happens in retrospect I usually regret it because whomever my indignation is directed at is equally convinced that as a bicyclist I should be accommodating. Being stubborn doesn't help the situation and in the end I dwell, let the negative situation fester, and find myself up later than I should be writing posts on my blog. Taken slight out of context I'm reminded of a line by Hunter S. Thompson, "There are times, however, and this is one of them, when even being right feels wrong. "

Tags: bicycle life

May 23, 2010

Training Cycle Complete

For most of the past two months my weekends have been spent out on the rode getting in bicycle miles to ensure that I'm in shape for my upcoming trip in June. It's mostly been fun being back out the bicycle and this weekend I hit my training milestone right on schedule: a 100 mile weekend, done as two 50 mile days. Alas aging has started to rear its ugly head. This year, much more so than previous years, my longer rides left me unable to take deep breathes at the end. I thought it was just being out of shape. However, the symptoms persisted even as my training progressed.

I decided to narrow down the cause and started with getting my VO2 max tested. My results (70 ml/kg/min) were well above normal. Clearly not the issue. In discussing the issue with my physician he surmised that I have a mild case of exercise-induced asthma. Mild because it is only with extended exercise (90 minutes plus) or very high intensity (175 BPM plus for > 15 min) that it gets to the point that it bothers me. As a result of this for the past couple of weekends I've been using an albuterol prior to exercise and no longer return from my rides unable to take deep breathes. Given my general avoidance of medicine over the years I'm a little torn by this turn of events. Ideally I'd like to avoid the use of it as much as possible but really need to do more research into what alternatives may exist. I wonder, in what little reading I have done, that maybe my year round bicycle commuting and the high pollen counts right now might be added triggers.

In any event I'm where I wanted to be training wise. My short bicycle commute should help maintain me until my trip starts with maybe a little inline blading thrown in to keep the heart rate up.

Tags: bicycle life training trips