It has been a long time since I’ve written. Frankly, I was discouraged because I had so few followers. But several die-hard fans have been nagging me to start again, so here I go.
Davis Phinney asked me to join him on two rides this year: “Ride the Rockies” and the “Copper Triangle.” I really wanted to do RTR but had a problem. For years my left shoulder has been giving me problems. I had severely dislocated it skydiving and had to have surgery to repair it.
That repair lasted about 20 years, but now it constantly hurt like heck. The doc gave me three cortisone shots and said that was enough: I had to see a surgeon.
See a surgeon I did, and you know he recommended what surgeons do best. Operate. I got a second opinion and that guy said the same, so around February 23, 2012 I had a total left shoulder replacement. They cut the top of the humorous off, pound in a spike with a round dome on one end and put in a plastic cup in your body. Together the dome and cup form a new joint. Pretty slick. Full recovery time is about a year.
Before the surgery I asked his assistant if I would be able to do the RTR and she wasn’t certain. After one of my post-up follow-ups, I asked the doc if I had any restrictions. He said “No, just live life as you normally do.”
Frankly, the surgery left me in a lot of pain; worse than before the surgery. And the arm became so weak. So I started doing some mild (girl style) push-ups, not going down all the way; just maybe a few inches.
I had another follow-up with the doc and mentioned the push ups. The doc wasn’t encouraging.
“What are you, crazy?! Did you wake one morning and say to yourself that you would screw up your shoulder today?!
I took push-ups off my exercise list.
So long story short: I missed RTR. But I was riding hard, getting in shape for Copper mountain.
I have a six month old daughter, Iris, so I bought one of those trailers that you stick your kid in and pull behind the bike. Together with my wife Alissa, we would ride 14 miles down the Cleveland Tow Path, have dinner and ride back. About four weeks ago we were doing just that, but got off to a late start. We left the restaurant at 8:30 p.m. and rode fast with me leading. As darkness fell, you could see storm clouds moving in. I gave it everything I had, trying to beat the storm.
Two miles from our car the sky opened up. It rained buckets. We kept up the pace and finally got to the car. It was completely black out and the rain just pouring down. I approached the car and went to dismount the bike while coasting up to the car.
I don’t know what happened, but I went down. Hard. Smacked my head on the pavement, and laid there in the rain, stunned. Yes, I was wearing a helmet. Alissa rode up and got baby Iris, put her in the car. By then I was back on my feet. We loaded our bikes and trailer in the pouring rain and drove home. Other than a huge bruise on my right thigh and butt I was ok.
Next: Disaster Strikes