Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ch Ch Ch Ch Changes

First I have a few random tidbits:
  • I just recently noticed that Tim Ek put my blog up on his list. That is pretty cool. If you don't know Tim, he is a Salsa team rider who does very well at WEMS races, and very well in gravel endurance, top ten at Dirty Kanza.
  • Gnomefest was awesome. I will write about it from the perspective of someone who didn't ride, but still had a great time.
  • Arm and body feel good after healing up from the wreck. New parts for the bike are getting installed on Thursday, and Kevin is going to help fit me up. New Salsa Promoto Ti stem and Salsa Woodchipper bars will change position a bit.

So for people who don't know, this past month has been different than any month of my life. I am now working at Jimmy John's by day, and Airliner by night. I deliver sandwiches, salads, burgers, and pizzas all by bike. This also means that for the first time in my employment life I do not work at a bike shop, apparently a 25 year old with 10 years of experience and a fiery passion for cycling isn't worth keeping on staff. I am really enjoying making people see another situation where a bike is a viable option to replace a car and not suffer too bad. My area is roughly 320 square blocks, six south, ten north, east, and west (20x16). At Airliner that area increases. I also love getting a ride in everyday. Most days I get in at least 12 miles riding as fast as I can. A day I worked JJ in the day and Airliner at night I rode 39 miles by the time I got home. I started on the Crosscheck set-up single. It worked well, but I wanted my ss gravel bike to still be a more gravel focused bike, and didn't want it to have a rack on it. Then it became obvious: Pugsley. Most overbuilt delivery bike in history? Possibly. It rides awesome, the front rack is a Civia and it came from Geoff's. Despite my feelings about the events leading up to no longer working there, Geoff's is still my definite go to place for bike purchases, and for Kevin's professional fitting. Hit me up if you need sandwiches by day, or pizza by night. Also we are just about one month out from Night Nonsense 100 and things are still shaping up well. I could use a volunteer or two to make me really happy, but I think it will be an awesome time. Now I want to try and figure out how to head over to DM for one of the nights of Renegade Cross, and see some friends. Check out the view from the cockpit; this is what I look at for five hours some days.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Crash

Thursday, September 9th - 10 am
After eating some delicious Casey's breakfast pizza I got on my bike to continue on to work. A beautiful day that was going to be spent delivering gourmet sandwiches freakishly fast (according to the slogan) on my bicycle. Rolling south on Dubuque street I approached the intersection of Market street. A green car was stopped, waiting for other cars slightly in front of me to pass. As I began rolling through the car stated to move. Everything went into slow motion. I saw the car continuing to turn and realized there was a very small chance they knew I was there and therefore a very small chance they were going to stop. I also began to realize that based on the distances and the speed we were both going that I couldn't have accelerated quickly enough to clear the entire car, and couldn't slam on the brakes hard enough to switch positions and have me hit the car from the side. I readied myself for impact and tried as hard as I could to tuck and role like in the movies. Bam the lady nails me from the side, I hit almost the dead center of her car. I rolled up the hood and ended up smashing the windshield and coming to a stop there. Thankfully, for the first time in the sequence, the person hit their brakes. My bike was laying out in the road in front of the car looking hurt. I was laying in the windshield being hurt. I got myself up and off the car and immediately noticed that my arm was bleeding pretty bad and it only took one look to know that I didn't want to look again. I felt reasonably ok given the circumstances. My back and arms had glass in them and I could feel all kinds of little cuts on me. I stood up and walked into the intersection and asked if someone could call someone official; I was bleeding. A four and a half foot tall very elderly lady got out of the car, she didn't seem shocked or excited by the situation at all. I don't know if she really knew what was going on or what had happened. I tried to stay away from the lady mainly because most of what was going through my head was laden with profanity, and I didn't want to curse in front of her. A bike cop showed up first, then a fire truck who kept moving, and finally, oddly, the EMTs showed up. They cleaned me up a bit, asked if my neck or back was broken, and told me I could go with them to the hospital because I was going to need stitches. Now, the hospital is two blocks away and an ambulance ride is between 600-700 dollars... I don't care who has to pay for it, that is just too expensive. So I told them I'd walk there, tried to get them to swear to take my bike somewhere, not just leave it on the street. Oh yeah, it was the reasonably new Salsa La Cruz Ti...epic fail. Although I will say: luckily it is the La Cruz TI, because I won't need a new frame. Glad I went titanium over carbon. Thankfully Nick brought Will's car - thank you Nick, thank you Will - and had a bike rack, so he loaded up the bike and my and delivered one to he Mercy E.R. and one to Geoff's for inspection. Then I had to walk from Geoff's to Mercy so I could be taken care of...after they made sure the bike would survive. (foolish) 10 stitches help somewhat seal up a golf ball sized divot in my forearm, no riding for about 10 days, missed some work, and have to deal with insurance ladies. Suckfest, but whatever, I have decided that based on some events in my life: undefeated in cagefighting, hit by a car and lived, hit by a car and lived (2), 200 mile gravel bike race finisher, and other things, that I can pay just the right author to write my biography and make me seem super bad ass. Obviously there will be some editing, but if the spotlight is put in the right places I'm golden.

Gnomefest still happened. It was awesome even without being able to ride. I'll give my recount soon. It was one of the best weekends of the year, as always. Keep riding as it cools off, Gritty Brevet is coming up, CX season is upon us, and of course Night Nonsense 100 on October 23. Just got word a few Pirates may be here, should make things fun.