too many words by laura lemay

ouch ouch ouch

I went for a bicycle ride this morning, my usual sunday morning 30-40 mile ride. Did the ride out by the reservoirs in San Jose, which is a pretty ride, not too much traffic, lots of hills to play on.

I was on my way back and I stopped at a park to rest and have a gu. While I was there I watched two HUGE wild turkeys peck away at the grass. I thought for a while they were peacocks they were so huge, but no: turkeys. gobble gobble. They seemed unconcerned that I was there. I suppose they knew that they could run faster than I could if I came after them.

I left the park after my rest, and my intent was to turn left back onto the road. Its not normally very busy; sometimes I have to wait for a couple of cars but usually I just pull right out. There was a big truck with a horse trailer coming down the road, so I paused and waited for it to pass. It slowed way down and signalled that it was going to turn into the park. OK, I thought, and I pulled out into the lane.

And then I saw the SUV behind the horse trailer, pulling around it into the far lane and accelerating. Oh, shit! Rather than get smeared all over the road I continued on through both lanes and onto the far shoulder, through some gravel and into some muddy ruts, which caught my front tire and smacked me right down onto the ground. ow.

I picked myself right back up again, covered in mud, feeling really angry at myself. Pulling out into oncoming traffic without knowing what’s coming: dumb. dumb. The guy with the horse trailer had stopped and bolted over to ask me if I was OK. That guy nearly ran you down, he said. Yea, I replied. And he didn’t even stop — he just continued right on up the road.

I insisted I was fine, just muddy, although I discovered after the horse trailer guy continued on that I was pretty banged up. Major road rash on my left knee. I was bleeding pretty nastily. Both cleats were coated in gritty mud and I couldn’t clip into my pedals. I crossed back over the road to the park on foot and cleaned up a little and managed to ride back to my car, slowly, ow ow ow ow.

Once I got home I thought I was OK, that all I had to do was bandage up my knee and I would be fine. It was already drying out and kind of scabbing over. Then I realized that the wound had all kinds of nasty dirt in it. That dirt has to come out. Infection city.

I think possibly the only thing worse than getting road rash in the first place is having to scrub the dirt out of it with a stiff brush. ow ow ow ow.

I’ll be good friends with a fistful of ibuprofen and a cold beer tonight.