Friday, July 14, 2006

AAA - First day of riding (my version of the story)

In case you read the Amputees Across America journal for July 03, I want to shed some information from my perspective. Regarding:
After outlasting Johnny, Gary, AJ, Joe, one blown out tire, one broken seat, 496 miles, 82.4 hills, and a bike with jacked up gears, Ron is getting ready to ride bike # 4.
I started out the morning ride on my new bike, and it was operating flawlessly. Gears were changing smoothly, brakes weren't dragging, safety lights flashing twice per rotation, etc. However, somewhere along the way I picked up a small nail which caused my rear tire to slowly loose air. Instead of taking the time to fight with removing the rear wheel, changing or patching the tube and then re-install the wheel, Joe allowed me to get one of the spare (old) mountain bikes out of the trailer. I rode that bike for about a mile while trying to get the gears to respond, all with no luck.

Since Johnny V had already called it a day (had a sore spot starting under his socket), I decided to jump on the bike he had been riding (another older spare bike of Joe's). The gears worked fine and off AJ and I rode. All was going well and we had a few good miles behind us when we started to head up a hill. The handlebars on the bike had 'bush guards' on them, which would work as additional grip locations so I decided to use them. As they were higher up and it would allow me to sit more upright, I leaned back. When I repositioned myself on the seat, the seat post snapped in half just below where the seat was connected. Since I was pedaling, the bike ended up being propelled out from under me and into the roadway. Needless to say, I landed rather hard on my tailbone, as well as both palms since I put my hands behind me to catch myself. We were riding on the shoulder, but I knew we had cars approaching from both ahead and behind. As soon as I could, I rolled off the shoulder and into the grass in case any of the cars approaching from behind swerved right to avoid my bike which was in front of them (which none of them did).

After gathering the bits and pieces of the bike, we decided to take a short break where we were. The only real noticeable injury I had was a sizable piece of skin sliced off the end of my left thumb (the picture near the bottom of the journal page doesn't do it justice). After downing a bottle of Gatorade, I asked Gary, our AK rider, if I could borrow his bike for the rest of the day, to which he agreed.

As a result, the following was the closing paragraph in the journal that day:
And the cheese stands alone, showing his wounds received while surviving one flat tire, a bike change, non functioning gears on a second bike, and an exploding seat on a third, putting him thumbs down on the pavement. Our Energizer Bunny takes it all in stride, jumps on a fourth bike and continues riding on and on and on and on... Where did this guy come from. Probably some Tibetan power camp for space robobikers. Tomorrow is another day. Hopefully, we will have enough bikes for him to demolish if we can't slow him up with flats, chain ring sabotage or another exploding seat. Hey Ron, it's great to have you with us.
You just gotta love the way they write those journal entries!
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