Saturday, October 17, 2009


It's a great bone density T-Score, but it wasn't the first thing on my mind. Neither was I contemplating the beautiful northern Wisconsin leaf colors, the kick-ass singletrack built by CAMBA, or the great fall afternoon. Moreso, I was thinking that it would be nice to just lay there for awhile.

The bicycle laying across half my body wasn't a huge concern, nor was the one foot that was still clipped-in.

I found the situation interesting and decided it best to ruminate for a bit.

A few friends gathered around...I didn't really see them standing, but it was fine. I was fine, just needed to take stock of a few things.....a measured inward examination, if you will.

I felt some soreness near my backbone and near my sternum...odd, given I'd hit ground on my mid-back off to the side.......

Leaves covered much of what was on the singletrack. I had been on a slight downhill at the day's end when the front wheel knocked something . My weight must have been a bit too far forward. I hadn't quite recovered when I bumped something else, the front wheel jammed right and the bicycle stopped dead, pitched left, dropping me onto the ground.

It was nice to simply lay there and breathe for awhile....sternum was sore...I didn't land on my sternum. And my left chest wall hurt...or something in that general vicinity...or underneath it. But I didn't land on my chest.

This was a conundrum.

I pondered it for a moment.

I was deep in quiet concentration, ticking through the flow chart in my head, waiting for the experience and results to fall into the correct silo so I could determine a course of action. There were none of the sharp pains that typically accompany split skin, pulled muscles or worse, so I knew nothing was broken, cracked, popped or bleeding...everything was filtering into the get up silo but I needed to do a couple more checks.....

Wind, I said.

It was only part of what had happened, but it was the thing that would give people comfort: laying still makes sense to onlookers if there's a neck injury or if the wind is knocked out of a person.

It was about then that WD arrived and grabbed the bike off of me.

I was disappointed to have it gone, really. It was comfortable where it was lying on top of me...felt almost like a covering, blanket-like. Odd how things like that bother onlookers. They need to make it OK...dignified, I guess.

He squatted at my side, then held out his hands for me to grab. As soon as I said no I could see it wasn't what he wanted to hear. His face wrinkled with concern. I shared some tentative words, and eventually was ready to sit up, mostly because I figured it would make people feel better. I would have enjoyed resting a bit more.

I don't really have many impressions from that point on, but I assume I stood up, moved my torso from side to side and did a few contortions with my shoulders and arms...because that's what one does. Maybe I hopped up and down a time or two. I do remember that the rocky, root-strewn trail was a challenge for my concentration and my ribcage over the couple-mile return. If I put my weight on the seat I'd feel the bumps where it hurt.

Any time there's a spill on the mountain bike I'm thankful for having been an athlete as a kid. I've inadvertently developed some off-the-charts bone density scores over my lifetime, but the stage was definitely set before I hit 30. I've not ever fractured a bone, and I figure this last spill could have resulted in one. Instead, the cartilage that connects ribs to sternum appears to have experienced some give and a week later it STILL hurts.

Turns out the "vices" we have in our younger years do affect us, still.

-ob and I did put in another couple days of good riding...we were in Wisconsin, after all!

Monday, October 05, 2009


it's been a tough few days;
a friend has made some poor choices
that affect the spouse and children
and the whole thing is weighing on me;
and Stella, she tried getting me out on Sunday
but we've had so much rain the trails were too muddy
so the ride had to wait;
and Stella was really the one who
would have taken my mind off things
because ya can't be thinking about your stupid friends
when she hauls you over a gnarly downhill
with a banked corner
that sends you straight into the hairpin
and through the meadow
toward the log pile

-ob :-(