Monday, September 21, 2009

Back In The Saddle Again

Today was a good day. After wondering if I would ever feel "normal" again I am seeing some light at the end of the tunnel (as opposed to the light that keeps flashing in the corner of my right eye at night).
For about a month after the wreck I did little or nothing except sleep and watch TV along with reading an escape book a day. Some days I did not even walk outside even though we have been having wonderful weather. My head hurt a lot and all the road rash scabs were itching like hell. In addition I had periodic balance problems--like if I was on my feet for more than an hour I had to grab ahold of something .
Then a week ago last Saturday I started feeling better--a lot better all at once. Miss Sassy noticed it first when she hollared at me for teasing her about something--I guess she had forgotten how much she enjoys that sort of thing. After not wanting to have any kind of conversations with anyone I was suddenly chatty Cathy.
I was also jawing some friends on the phone that weekend about football and a lot of other stuff. In addition I got the urge todo some exercise and on Sunday went to the Versailles high school track and walked . I made it 13/4 miles before I ran out of gas(and got a little too dizzy for comfort) but damn it felt good to do something(actually it just felt good to even want to do something). Every day since then I have walked and am up to 4 miles w/o feeling crappy.
It5 is a hell of a thing to go from riding 70-80 miles a day for 2 months and then go to absolute zero activity--muscle tone is all gone and tan has faded as well.

In addition to getting some exercise I got intertested in repairing the bike. To date it had been sitting in the garage and I had no interest in even looking at it unless I was showing it to someone. Now it was interesting and I really wanted to get it in working order again. I took it all apart and ordered replacement parts which came in last Friday.
Actually there was not a lot of super damage. The seat was bent but not real tough to rebend. Both brake cables and one gear cable had to be replaced and I am waiting on a new computer . The biggest deal was the bent handle bar. Above is a pic of what it looked like when I took it off along side of the new one. It takes a lot of torque to twist it like that.

What I have figured out about the wreck from taking the bike apart is that somehow the front wheel got turned 180 degrees and the bike fell to the left. that is where all the damage was on the bike. The seat fabric on the left side was beat up as was the left side of any other parts of the bike or trailer that hit the ground as evidenced by the gravel scratches.

What was interesting is that the right handle bar was full of gravel--where the plug was torn off and the hollow end hit the road. The right side of the front wheel and fender were also scraped up. So as odd as it sounds something caused the front wheel to flip around and I flew off the left side of the bike hitting the road face first along with shoulder arm etc etc. Now I still do not remember anything for about 8 hours of the wreck day so I put the crash scenerio together from looking at the bike damage as well as my body damage.

Face is healing as well as it can be--there will be no plastic surgery so I now possess "character" scars. Actually it looks like I was in a bar fight and somebody broke a bottle on the side of my head.
What is cool is when I am having a face to face conversation the other persons eyes are looking at my right eye instead of eye to eye. That side of my face feels like there is something pressing on it and it feels funny when I wink or raise my eyebrow because the skin is not stretching back to what it was before. In addition the eye waters a lot and in the moring it takes awhile to clear the gunk out.

Anyway , this will be the last time the wreck will be a topic. It is time to move on and it is hard to describe the feeling of "getting back to normal again". It is like that old saying "that is gonna feel great when it quits hurting".

What prompted the renewal of blogging is that this evening I rode 5 miles on the reconditioned bike and it felt great. I did not want to stop riding which is the exact feeling I had almost every day for the last 2 years when riding a recumbent.

I am psyched to ride and then write about it. I still have some cool pics from the last day I was riding around near Cambridge so I will be posting those in the near future along with new stuff that I see when riding around Darke County. If I can get my stamina back I am gonna start thinking about finishing the ride this year ,even if it is cold out. The Alleghany Trail is car free and as long as there is no snow I think it is doable. In any event it is the new goal replacing the non goals for the past 5-6 weeks.

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  1. I'm glad to hear you're back riding again. I can't wait to finish tracking your trip on the poster in the library.

  2. Awesome news, Tony! The road to recovery is often a long one. I think you did very well for someone as old as you!
    Now get on that bike and go!

  3. Betty--thanks--I will give you somethingtotrack before you know it

    Winger--what do you mean "as old as me"
    btw--who are all those ugly people in that thumbnail pic?

  4. Easy Tony, I think one of those ugly mugs is your future daughter-in-law!

    And "as old as you" means exactly what it sounds like. If you have an old bike and it breaks, it takes longer to fix it. New bikes are easier to fix. With the old bike you need to worry about rust, making sure the new parts fit together, finding the right parts, etc. Sometimes you might as well just scrap it. But when you get an old bike, or anything that's as old as you, and fix it up "like new", it's a beautiful thing. A classic. I hope to get to be a classic someday...