I sent you three boats and a helicopter!

This belated post is in regards to my bike wreck that occurred in July ...

Hopefully a couple of you out there get the punchline that is the title. If not, comment and I'll 'splain.

Some of us believe in signs, some don't. Some avoid the black kitty cat crossing the path in front of you, and some stop to scratch it's cute little chin. Either way, looking back, I can pick out a few signs that I maybe should have just stayed home on the night of our ill-fated journey. Don't worry! There's a happy ending, so read on without fear.

Tuesday's* chosen ride was the Sellersburg/Utica ride that I have written about previously. This time, the route was chosen because of the hills. I wanted to build a teeny bit of extra strength before the race on Aug 1st. And unlike the last time, I paid much better attention to Mapquest and took the correct exit and made it with time to spare and was able to gear up and dash in for a last min just-in-case pit stop. Amie then took what turned out to be a "before" picture of me in all my badass bike-chick glory.

During the pre-race "talking-to" by the bike club, the captain urged us all to join the Louisville Bike Club. Which, in all honesty is a great deal. It's only $15 for a year/ $20 for families and you learn enough on your first ride to make it worth every single cent. What caught my attention the most, though was when he said that if you are a member of the club, if you get hurt, you are covered by the club's insurance. Hmmm, I thought, good idea. I will have to officially join up later.
Time to ride! Tightening down the helmet, I'm feeling pretty good about this trek. I'm going to tear this mutha up! I look over and grin at Amie and grinning back, she raises her wrist to show off her brand new, bright red (IU, not UL) RoadID. Nice! Stylish and responsible. She then says, "Just came in today...hope it doesn't jinx us!" (Some paraphrasing has been done here. If I'm way off, I'm hoping Amie will correct me) But anyway..dun dun dunnnnnnnn....

Off we go! The weather is great, I'm in a good mood and feeling strong! I pedal out of the parking lot, up a short hill, in to the high school parking lot we use as a cut through and...throw my chain. Poop. But no big deal! Amie and nice ride Captain help me thread the chain back on and off we go again.

For the most part, this was a really great ride. I'm riding the hills stronger than I did the first time. The sun is setting, throwing gorgeous streams of pink and purples across the sky. It starts to get a little dark so I slide off my sunglasses and an Evil Indiana Flying Insect who is at the right place at the right time embeds its little self in my eye! I think I did let out quite a Yelp at this point. It took forever to dig that little sucker out and for my eye to stop watering. But, still smiling, I consider it a lesson learned and now pass it on to you! Get lightly or non-tinted sunglasses for evening rides, but always wear eye protection!

Once again, back on track. Things go pretty well from here until the intersection of Utica-Sellersburg Rd (I think) and 31W. This is a fairly large intersection so we stop for a few to wait for the light and to quench the thirst a bit. Amie says she said at this point, "I hate this road. I hate riding on the highway." The light turns green and we cross over.

We're trucking down 31W. There is an extremely wide shoulder and with the amount of traffic that speeds down this road, we're riding on the shoulder down this stretch of the course. However, said shoulder ends about 1/4 of a mile before the next big intersection and you have to maneuver back onto the road proper. Here is where I do a live enactment one of the first warnings Captain Tom ever gave me at the first bike club ride I ever attended.

Tom said, "Watch the straight cracks in road between pavement slabs. Your wheel has to move to balance, if you hit one of those straight ruts, you're going down"

Now, I have to say, it's not like I didn't believe him. I was just running out of pavement and had to make a move. I just chose the wrong one. Totally my own fault. I admit it and offer myself up as a object lesson. Stay out of the straight ruts in the road!!! I hit that separation between the slabs and went down sideways; spinning like a top across traffic stopping nose to bumper with a champagne Taurus; my brain chanting, "Get the @#$@#$ out of the road. Get the @#$@#$ out of the road. Get the @#$@#$ out of the road."

And then, like magic, I was out of the road. I don't remember if I dragged myself out of the road, if the people that stopped to help drag me out of the road or what, but there I was, on the side of the road, trying not to freak out and/or puke. Or worse, cry. The next few minutes are a little spotty in a tunnel-vision type way. I do remember thinking it hysterical that a passenger of one of the cars that stopped picked up my sunglasses and handed them to me saying, "Here. You don't want to lose these." Puffy stuff was coming out of the mussed-up side of my bike seat. A cyclist offered me her extra bottle of water. I wasn't thirsty. She told me it was to rinse off my wounds, not to drink. Indiana needs more funds for their roads.

Looking down, I then saw several places where skin used to be. But nothing appeared to be broken. I had some lovely road rash and some puncture marks in my leg from the claws on my pedal. My triscuit was all bloody. But it could have been much, much worse. Much. I don't want to think about it.

I have to mention that I do believe that the Taurus had plenty of time to stop and I don't think I was in any true danger of getting hit by a car. I did look over my shoulder before pulling my bonehead lane switch and I did not pull out in front of a car.

Amie, who is excellent in a crisis, saw an oncoming breakdown and started to try to make me laugh. She insisted my blog readers would have to hear all about this so she took pictures. I was told to pout. I laughed and pouted for the camera. And as it started to sink in that I still had 2 miles to ride before the end of the route, Amie had already activated her Indiana phone tree and had a friend on his way to pick us up. Thanks Andy!!! You were awesome and your kid is a cutie!

Long story a little shorter...I headed home for some scrubbing and ibuprofen. A few hours later, I spent some therapeutic time in a hot tub and was then wrestled down like a 3-year-old and doused with Bactine. That crap hurts as much now as it did when I was little!


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