Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Good start until....

Ositoking always gets the candid shots!
First off, Happy New Year!! We kicked of the 2018 comeback season this Sunday at the Markham 360, an annual 6 hour event at South Florida's famous Markham Park.  The course was a challenge as always with various reroutes that made you feel like you were in a completely different trail system, but still a blast. Having been in racing hiatus since the latter half of 2016, this was the start of our ORAMM preparation campaign. While Boyco was out for a leisurely 200k+ road ride, Alex and I lined up with the goal was simply get out, test the legs, have fun, work on pacing, and staying safe. It ALMOST worked out that way...

Great to race again, even if for a bit!
The main strategy was not to blow up like I tend to do during endurance events, and not to let Alex beat me, as he always does when I blow up.  For the first two hours, it was going great and I was looking forward to continuing as long as I could. Pace was consistent, all laps were within one minute, and I hadn't seen Alex since lap 1 :) On lap five though, I proceeded to clip a small stump/root on quite possibly the flattest section of the course, lose my grip of the bars, slid off the saddle, and surf the top tube with my chest on the handlebars until i finally was catapulted from the bike, ONTO a downed tree, square on my lower back. Good thing is I completely cleared my head and previously injured shoulder (wasn't bike related!), but I knew I wouldn't be mounting the bike again that day.

Landed on this bad boy!
This was probably the biggest hit of my life. I was down for a bit, able to breath and move fine but afraid to get up alone. A few riders passed and asked if I was ok and I don't really recall what I answered. I do recall finally asking someone to stop and help me up and thankfully he did as I was still somehow attached to the bike. I didn't catch his name but I appreciate him stopping to assist me. I had overall pain in back and ribs like I'd been punched several times, but one particular sharp pain told me something was worse than a simple bruise. Finally started walking a bit with my bike trying to get out of the trail and after several minutes, Alex FINALLY caught up to me ( ;D ). Much like my ankle break in 2010, I ruined his race and made him stop to help me. Luckily we found one of the always helpful Markham Bike Patrol members who knew the quickest and safest way out of the trail and got us back to the car. Thanks to him as well! I settled in at the car, iced my back and decided I was ok go head home, but wanted to head to ER to get checked out.

I'll spare the details and fast forward to the end result. CT Scan showed I have a small fracture of the Transverse Process in my lower back. Essentially, I dodged a real bullet to what could have been a much worse impact. Recovery is just letting it heal. I'm able to get around and really only dealing with pain in the process of sitting or standing up. It's a tough way to start the season, but at least I know the return to action was heading down the right path. Had some races planned in February at Amelia and Santos 6 Hour so we'll see how the healing goes. Either way, it's just a bump in the road, and having formally registered for ORAMM, there's no turning back! Down but not out, We'll see everyone soon!!