Thursday, August 20, 2009

Reaching Verticality and Then Figureing Out The Parameters of the Present Situation

Today is the first day i have been able to sit at a computer for more than a minute since last Friday. Both eyes are open now which makes it much easier and head is not aching as much right now. As my man Steve Dartt says "If you can reach verticality , the rest is easy". Well verticality is getting easier and I can feel healing happening all over.

After seeing that pic posted by Elissa and Russ I figured I had better post some additional info.
Yes, I did wreck and will post details as they become evident.

I am still assessing the situation and what actually happened. I have a gap in memory that includes this past Saturday afternoon for several hours . It will be a few days before I can see bike damage as well. I have had all sorts of wild stuff going through my mind regarding what could have possibly happened--from getting clipped by a vehicle or animal(the guy in next hospital bed was riding a motorcycle and was jumped by a deer)--or maybe I was dodging a wayward squirrel and lost it. I have come close to either hitting small creatures before or wrecking from trying to dodge them in the past--most recent memory was prairie dogs in western states. Did I lose it on loose gravel and flip or maybe I passed out before taking the header.
What bothers me is that wrecking a recumbent is different than a regular bike. Since your center of gravity is lower to ground and lower than handlebars it is a lot more difficult to flip over handlebars, practically impossible. Also, the times that I have skidded I have had time to get a foot on ground as well as a hand to break fall. There is no evidence that I tried to break fall in any way. Neither hands or feet are chewed up in any way.
I led with my face and dug in real good. Also big bruise on chest and right shoulder as well as a bunch of heavy road rash on forearms , shoulder, knees etc etc etc etc etc . There are no marks on palms of hands which is where I would expect if I had reacted normally to spill in any way.

Left some good chunks of meat on the scene which will leave some decent sized crevasses in face because they could not be sewn up. Although my "favorite" nephew Joe has generously offered to provide skin from his butt(ass) if a graft is needed I am thinking that I will pass on the plastic surgery options. There was not a lot to be proud of beforehand so I doubt a lot of folks will even notice any difference. Revisiting surgeon in Columbus next Wed after swelling receeds to see what the deal is.
The concensus among my family and close friends is that the Angie Pohlman idea of wearing a Phantom of the Opera type mask for my son Russ's wedding on Halloween night is a done deal--we will see about that. I am thinking of something more like that paper bag the unknown comic wore.
As for road rash --all that will do is make me look like a pinto pony on the parts of my body that did get tanned during ride.
There is also the matter of some broken teeth that will have to be dealt with at some time.

Apaprently I was taken first to S.E. regional hospital and then transferred to Grant Trauma center in Columbus.

Not sure about some details of this but I did feel much better after talking on phone to the local guy last evening who found me on road east of Cambridge. He reports when he first saw me after the wreck I was standing by road/wreck and trying to convince him that I was ok and saying a couple of bandaids would get me back on the road again. He suspected I was full of poop when I kept asking same 4-5 word questions repeatedly.

I and the mess was at the bottom of a hill with light gravel covering mixed with some heavier concentrations of stones and he says it looked like I came down hill at good clip and according to skid marks braked several times before losing it comepletely. So I feel good that I was at least fighting it and just did not faint/pass out and go down. Now this does not rule out everything but I do feel better. Hopefully I will feel good enough to be driven to scene this weekend and take a look myself and p/u equipment--maybe something will come back.

In the mean time I am trying like hell to remember details of that day and entire trip and they are showing up more and more. I want to get my camera and notebook back so I can blog about all the cool stuff I saw earlier on Saturday. If memory serves ,there was a bunch, including an extended visit to a wonderful national Road Museum and riding the actual bricks of a section of the original national Road. I remember seeing the marker showing where the first traffic fatality in Ohio took place , which was on the national Road. I think it was a male librarian from Washington of all things.

Anyway I will continue to blog as things come into focus. As for continuing ride I believe I can do that in not too distant future. That may be a bit too optimistic and I may have to sneak away from watchers to do so but I am thinking "why not" right now. Miss Sassy/family may be toughest to convince.
I rode about 3700 miles and had about 400 more to go which includes 350 miles of vehicleless trail from Pittsburgh to DC. By far the easiest section of entire trip. Again, all this remains to be seen/worked out and I have to be able to ride again but from what I understand from talking to others (or maybe I read this in a library)--riding a bike is like sex..............

Kinda of whipped right now but as Arnold says "I'll be bach"


  1. 'As for continuing ride I believe I can do that in not too distant future'

    Uh, you better hold up there for a while, Mr. Verticality. I'd say our collective foot is down and firmly planted. Give it a year. Besides, your presence/wallet has been requested back at back at trivia night.

  2. Get better Tony...when the time is right, you will know, and I am certain you will bring closure by finishing the journey. I don't know if you remember me, I met you at a gas station in Zanesville....I think it might be the same day you had the accident. We talked about my cross Ohio bike ride and my running for a few minutes and then I had to hurry up and leave to go get my daughters....

  3. Jeff--will not argue with you right now because you are probably right but time does heal all wounds......

    as for trivia time at Caddallac jacks--that sounds good--for an old toad like me it feels cool to be wanted in a situation like that even if part of reason is credit card

    also congrats to you and team mates for winning it all this past Tuesday--considering what I saw when I was there this is a surprise of sorts--the 2 new babes you had on team must have carried you guys--I will show only if they are there again--otherwise me and card will walk

  4. Mike,
    Thanks so much for the communique--yes I do remember talking to you on Saturday--not sure where but if you say it was Zville it was Zville
    I remember you giving me card with contact info which I can not locate right now--hopefully I reciprecated --if so--please email me as I have a question or 2 for you which may fill in a couple of empty slots.
    Look forward to hearing from you


  5. hi tony,

    i'm one of the new babes and i'll be there. :) so half your problem is solved! i'm glad you're on the mend.


  6. Tony,
    Good to see you're recovering. Hopefully you continue to do so. As for continuing, you make the decision you feel is best for you and your family. You'll make the right decision that way. You won't let anyone else down, whatever you decide.
    If you want to go and the family doesn't want you to, you could compromise. I think one of those big granny tricycles should be safer! ;) Get well soon!

  7. If you need a co-pilot let me know. I'll find a way....take care.

  8. Don't know what the Hell to say Tony...between the 2 motorcycle wrecks(1975 and 1987) and the one major over the handlebar bike spill on the Celina-Coldwater Bike Path(1998), I lost plenty of skin and sense....the only "good" thing about any of the 3 is that I remember every second, all in slow motion.

  9. One thing about trying to convince yourself tht "you are OK" after a wreck. Back in 75 when I took a header over my Kawasaki on Touvelle Street in Celina. A guy stopped and said he would drive me to Otis Hospital...I said "Nope, I'll be fine"...he then told me to look in his side mirror at my face...nuff said, I was off to Otis where Doc Finkelmeier proceeded to put 37 stitches in my chin, and the arms, knees, and chest, were made to look like a good beginning of The Mummy.

  10. Well, Tony, it looks like you pulled a Hans. I, too, don't have any recollection of my spill. I'm just glad that I wore my helmet as the ranger in Cherokee said I would not have survived if I hadn't. Anyhow, I'm all healed up and back on my bike. I wish you the same speedy recovery.

  11. Hey Hans--thanks for communique,

    While I will not call what I did a "Hans" because I respect you too much I did crash.
    Glad to hear you are back on bike and as I write this one of my first goals will be to get better enough to ride up to Celina and visit a bit--or maybe we can meet half way--I will be in touch.

    About 15 minutes ago i finally got the bike and equipment back and took the first look at it since crash(that I can recall). I am now pretty sure I was wearing helmet. Although the shell itself is not real beat up all the internal webbing is ripped out. Add that to the fact that all the injuries start at least a few inches below helmet line. It looks probable that I het at an angle that tore helmet off.
    The first people at scene tell me I was standing there holding helmet saying I was fine--and although I almost always wear that helmet I just can not remember it.In any event , it had to have helped .
    In that same vein during the first phone call with wife after wreck I kept asking the same question,"What in the hell was I doing on a bicycle in the first place?". Miss Sassy says this was very disturbing to her.I do not recall that conversation either.

    Special thanks to Charlie Keihl who drove to very eastern Ohio today and picked up my stuff. Initially I wanted to ride along with him but the past few days of feeling poorly have taken that notion out of me, so he went by himself. Chas is a good a man as you will ever meet and I am proud to call him a friend.

    I also am looking at pics I took that day as well as notes I took and some more memory holes are filled.
    There is some good posting stuff there and I will be uploading it all in the near future.


  12. Tony, you're scaring me. Following our lead across the country was one thing but crashing your bike like I did in 07 is another. There seems to be a "thing" about bikes and hospitals and ambulances.
    Get well soon; Hopefully, you can piece the events back together to determine what happened! I'd sure like to know. Hang in there!

    Larry Albert

  13. I'm all for getting right back up on the horse after you get knocked off (within reason). You know your own limits! Go for it when you feel ready!

  14. I found your blog by accident, when Googling "Decatur, IN blogs". Anyway, I love the photos and stories that accompany them and wish you a speedy recovery. I had a similar accident about 30 yrs ago...amazing how much damage you can do to yourself on a bike.

  15. Tony,

    Sorry for the delay...I have your card around here, but my email is My blog is I look forward to hearing from you...and I have very good what ever I can answer to help out I will. I recall just about everything from our brief conversation.