Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Fun at the Emergency Room

Sunday started off in the usual fashion of late - layer on tons of clothes and bike down to the Southcenter Starbucks to meet up with the Charly Miller gang for a training ride. Rolling along Frager Rd in Kent events took a dramatic turn. I was on the front of the group chatting with Elaine when we heard a huge comotion behind us. After getting slowed and turned around my stomach lurched as I saw Robin on the ground. He'd had a bad fall on ice just a few weeks ago and was still healing up from that and it was obvious he wasn't jumping up from this one. A stick or something had gotten picked up by his wheel and when it met up with the fender stays and the fork the bike came to a sudden stop while Robin continued on the forward trajectory up and over the handle bars until he too came to a sudden stop on the pavement.

One of our favorite new riding companions, Vincent Mouneke, was on the scene immediately doing a status check. Vincent is a plastic surgeon but we have called on his medical expertise and calm demeanor more than once on a bike ride. After the initial all over shock Robin's main complaint was his right shoulder. We were in a portion of the road blocked from vehicle traffic so Mark rode ahead to find the nearest access point which he reported was about 1/4 mile away. Robin did not want to call an aid car and I was having a hard time watching him in pain so Peter Beeson and I rode back to his van and then drove to the access point by which time Robin, with help from the rest of the group, had walked under his own steam. Don Jameson had also hit the ground but seemed to be in good shape. Robin and his bike were loaded into the van and Peter brought us home where I got Robin into some dry clothes and he had a little rest before we headed to the Emergency Room at Valley Medical Center. X-rays showed a broken right clavicle and small fractures in both wrists. We left with pain meds, wound dressings, and various slings and braces. Sunday night was pretty uncomfortable for him and he got up Monday feeling pretty stiff and sore. Since then he has used only ibuprofen and has been doing amazingly well. The wrists are in fairly good shape and we'll go into the orthopedic specialist again in a week or so to get new x-rays on the clavicle to make sure it hasn't shifted and is in a good position to heal.

Thanks to all our fellow riders who took such good care of us and the staff at Starbucks who let us stow our bikes there while we took care of Robin. Hopefully in about 6 weeks he'll be back good as new. In the meantime he has a rather abused bike to concentrate his energies on.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Oh what a beautiful morning

Oh what a beautiful day,
I've got a wonderful feeling,
Everything's going my way.

That's what kept running through my head as a bunch of weekday ne'er do wells headed south along Lake Washington Boulevard from Leschi Wednesday morning on a 200km ride. As the sun came up it turned the lake orange while scant white clouds dotted the sky. A short time later majestic Mt Rainier loomed ahead with a chorus of bird song and the chatter of randos for background effect. I know there are many beautiful places in the world and wonderful places to live but at that moment I sent up a prayer of thanks for this being my home. Later in they day we passed by lakes, swollen fast-moving rivers and streams, and the always impressive Green River gorge. For a few hours the early February sun produced heat I could actually feel on my skin and all was right with the world.

With the exception of yours truly everyone was riding strongly and only the last few of us rolled in to the finish after dark - but just barely so I was feeling good to post a sub 11-hour time. I enjoyed chatting a bit with Urs for a while before he decided to pick up his pace after Ravensdale to ride with Thai. In Auburn Vincent joined the fast boys leaving the rest of us to ebb and flow for the rest of the day: tandem team Ralph and Carol, Kristie, Martin, Mike Richeson, Dominic, Mark, Andy, Frank, and Steve Davis (thanks Mark...).

A grand day out indeed.