|Newsletter - 2010 Archive|
Flesh and Steel
After enjoying the Tour de Cowichan, I
was primed for the Alive are the Hills 300 to be ridden the next
The final descent into Chemainus was not
without incident. As I tucked into aero form to gain lots of
speed and follow Fred and Ford down the hill, I could see that
I was catching them, though one was 100 meters ahead while the
other probably 75 meters ahead. This felt good! Both went around
the traffic island turn towards the right but I made a rather
fateful decision to slow and go across the road towards a fairly
well lit sidewalk in order to simply "coast" directly
from the traffic circle towards the hotel entry. This was a big
mistake as I failed to see the dimly lit medians on both sides
of the crosswalk leading across the road. I struck one of these
island medians nearly dead on and first felt my pelvis striking
the handlebars as my bicycle made a solid impact, then remember
sliding on the corner of my head along the road. Not all was
ever clear in terms of remembering how I fell though I understand
the dynamic of this crash. When I managed to get up I was at
least relieved to find that my body still worked, though there
was a lot of blood from a gash over one eye. Man Fred helped
me out though he refused to help me get the chain back on. We
failed in this regard. After checking in
at the finish control, I headed off to the hospital emergency
to get checked out and fixed up. Things could have been much
My lesson from all this is to replace expired batteries in my bicycle headlights immediately and not continue to rely solely on a helmet headlamp. These batteries had expired about an hour earlier and I was carrying spare ones but didn't want to stop to change them! Better illumination of the road by my own lights may have been helpful. The other lesson is to slow down to get a good look at things before making any unusual moves across a roadway. I could have ensured safe passage by following my companions around the turn, or at least slowing right down, to doubly check to be sure whether I had safe passage or not.
In spite of this rather unfortunate end to the "Hell are the Hills" ride, I did enjoy the riding part and highly recommend this route to others who wish to challenge themselves.
Fortunately, I did not ride into the "Heart of the Sun" this time. I chose to "sit out" the 400 and replace my helmet instead. The flowers and scenery from the seat of my motorized set of 4 wheels were most enjoyable. I hope to continue to enjoy small pleasures.
The 600 km "Ride for Gold" was done on my old standby Raleigh bicycle and passed without incident. To not have tried this would have been a big disappointment. There was no reason not to try. I rode through the night and just had some trouble staying awake after the sun came up but persevered and eventually forgot that I had not slept at all! It was my best personal time on a 600 km event and the first time I have ridden this distance without sleep.
The Campbell River to Gold River section was dark and noisy with all the bullfrogs. A satisfying finish was enjoyed as we rode into Chemainus among great company.
April 22, 2010