Just taking a slight detour from the success and great moments happening on the CCC – to spend a moment recognizing what it took for the riders to get there…. and the dangers they face on the road.
I have great mind redirection muscles when it comes to negative thoughts and fear fantasies. It comes from years of practice not going down the “what-if” road when it comes to JA issues. So, I try to give my brain a little slap if I start to dwell too long on the thought of what could happen to my husband, or my very good friend – or any of the other riders as they pedal down the coast mere inches away from speeding traffic on windy roads. I mean, people ride all the time, right? We live in a cycling state! There are tons of shops dedicated to the sport, and pods of lycra-clad road warriors can be found at every beach coffee-house on weekend mornings (or even weekdays for that matter.) So, it’s OK, right?
But this year – there was a training incident. On the bike.
Dave came home from a 50 mile ride about two months ago – on a Saturday morning. When he walked in and I asked him how the ride was – he just shook his head. As he got closer, I saw the blood. And realized he was cradling his hand. He had gotten separated from Dan and had backtracked to find him. He climbed a hill to get a better view, and not seeing Dan, headed back down the hill at high-speed – directly into a pole. He wasn’t dodging a car, or puppies running in the road – he just for some reason rode directly into the pole. No explanation.
The result was that we spent the day in urgent care and then the emergency room, where it was determined that Dave did not have a concussion (Yay!) but did need 5 stitches on his brow and had a probable fracture somewhere in his wrist. It turned out to be a scaphoid fracture and he was issued a splint. In terms of bike injuries – this was nothing. BUT – it was the first one and it sort of opened up the fear fantasy factory for me. About a week later, Dan sort of did a slip and slide on the pavement and left most of the skin from one arm behind…. and I started thinking maybe we should rethink this thing!
Ultimately, it just meant a splint for Dave for several weeks (and visits to ortho for follow-up) – and lingering pain. It put a big crimp in the training schedule for sure. I was grateful it wasn’t worse.
All of the riders are facing some of my greatest fears when they do this tour. I don’t believe I’ve ever come close to claiming I would do the ride as a rider someday- because I’m not sure I could overcome those fears. The fear of riding near cars. The fear of riding near other bicycles! The fear of riding uphill and actually travelling backwards because my legs are not strong enough to overcome gravity. The fear of being the cause of some accident, be it cycle of car because I’ve let my fears turn me into an uncontrolled lunatic on wheels.
I’m just saying – these riders are warriors. And even though I believe that many people could do this – you could do this if you wanted to – they ARE doing it right now. So, my utmost respect to them. Eyebrow scars and all.