Monday, September 16, 2013

cycling to nowhere

after my crash, I went into the hospital, and my bike went to its own version of the hospital--the store where it was purchased--for a Crash Damage Assessment.
the bike had less wrong with it than I did, and managed to just need its front wheel trued, and a new left shifter.  it stayed at the shop for quite some time, though, and when it finally came home ten days ago I almost got teary looking at it.
last week it came inside the house and john set it up on a trainer so that I could spend some time getting used to being in the saddle again without all the stresses of actually being outside on the road.
the first day I spun for 30 minutes.
the next day, 45.
the third day, 60.
and I think that's my max, because the monotony is almost more than I can take:  one needs mental strength to pedal so hard for so long to go nowhere.
I sweat more inside, and I drink more inside, and I look around--most often, unsuccessfully--for distractions more when I'm inside.
I'm prepping, you see, because I have a goal.

a week ago I had a follow-up appointment with the trauma/general surgery clinic.  they took and examined a new chest xray, and proclaimed me sufficiently far enough along the healing path to be released from their care.  woo hoo!  and then I asked,
when can I get back on my bike?
the doctor looked at me, his face a cross between amazement and exasperation, and the resident next to him said,
most people don't ask that question.
well, I said.
six weeks, he said, we like you to have six weeks from the injury.

six weeks will be up this coming saturday, and as such, I am planning on an outing.  as in being outside, on my real bike, on the road, and as my mountain-biking friend says, rubber-side down.

I have quite a few feelings about being back outside on my bike.
I've missed it terribly:  the exercise, the challenge, the accomplishment, the beauty surrounding me, the fresh air, the solitude, the meditative time out in the natural world.
but I also know I don't ever want to crash like that again.  I don't want to go so far as to say I have fear, but I definitely will begin again with caution.
maybe a nice flat (flat-ish as there is nothing flat around here) ride.  I am not eager to descend quickly, and not even really eager to descend.
I'm sure I'll get over this, eventually, but I also hope to retain a bit of caution.  I never, ever, want to return to the emergency room due to an accident.

so, I'm practicing becoming steady and comfortable on my trainer-grounded bike, so that I can soon be on asphalt and chipseal again, spinning my legs around, breathing fresh air and listening to the great big world.
my bike's ready.
in 5 days, I will be, too.

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