Monday, December 15, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Yes, I should be happy that I have a job, but I'm not. In fact I would guess anyone who been told "You're luck to have a job" hasn't felt lucky. Even if they were telling it to themselves.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
At this point I'm just glad to have a date when the uncertainty will be over. I know that I'll be fine either way.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
On Sunday Rachel figured out that there is no Santa Claus. While wrapping presents she saw some pre-printed gift tags that said "To:
It's interesting to hear other people's reaction to this. Some people thinks that she's too young to figure it out (she's 8) and others think that she was already too old to believe in Santa. I've noticed that some kid's TV shows try to foster a belief in Santa but I wonder if they have the opposite effect. There are shows where Santa is real and the main character (a kid) believes in him but nobody else does. I wonder if this starts the seeds of doubt in some kids. At least it introduces the idea that some people don't believe in Santa.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
The numbers have been published but the names haven't. I have no idea whether or not I will be laid off or not. I expect to find out sometime next week. Obviously, if I am let go, this is not a great time to be looking for a job. On the bright side, between vacation and severance I would still have a paycheck until the end of April.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
At that point I decided that we should just replace it. Although I really don't want to have a car payment right now, I also don't want to pour a lot of money into a seven year old minivan. We had driven a Toyota Yaris while on vacation in San Antonia and were very impressed by it. I did some research on it and it looked like it would be better to get a Corolla instead. After having to deal with a car that was only intermittently available for several weeks, Helen was willing to get anything.
I usually do more research and planning before buying a car. I said to Helen that we should get a new car on Wednesday night and had the new car less than 24 hours later. I think that I got a decent deal on the car but sometimes it's hard to tell.
Friday, October 24, 2008
The spare hadn't been used, or even looked at, during the entire time we've had the car. Not surprisingly the spare was almost flat. Another lucky break happened when a man in a pickup stopped to help. The driver, Mike, had an electric pump which he used to inflate the spare. Coincidentally Mike was a cyclist and an Obama supporter too. He had a bike in the back of his pickup and an Obama bumper sticker.
By the time I got there, the tire had been changed and inflated and the good Samaritans had ridden off into the sunset like the Lone Ranger.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
After being at the park all day, we were all very tired. Helen seem more tired than the rest of us. She wasn't feeling any better the next day and her stomach was hurting. The pain got worse and she ended up going to the emergency room at midnight. The doctor there told her that she had gall bladder problems and was considering removing it that night. After doing an ultrasound, he decided that it did not need to be done immediately and told her to see her doctor today.
Of course her doctor just referred her to a specialist that she will see tomorrow. We are expecting that she will need her gall bladder removed since she has a family history of this problem.
Monday, September 8, 2008
I was a little worried about doing the century route (100 miles) on both days. I hadn't done any long rides to get ready. The longest ride I have done all year has been one of the Maplewood Bicycle Tuesday night rides and that was only twenty miles. Even if you count my commute that was less than forty miles for the day.
Since Helen wasn't going with me, I needed to rent a car. Car rental companies always seem to "forget" to enter the right code and try to charge you more than the reservation price. This has happened to me more than once and with more than one car rental company. They did fix the problem when I reminded them about it.
I picked up the car Friday morning and loaded it up with everything that I would need. Since I was driving, I decided to take the big (4-person) tent rather than the small tent that I used last year. After work, I drove to Columbia. It's only a two hour drive, so I was able to get there and get my tent set up before dark. After that, I had something to eat and turned in fairly early.
Saturday morning was a little chilly and the grass was very wet from dew. I ate breakfast, got my bike out of the car, and changed clothes in time for the 7:00 start. It had warmed up enough by this point that I didn't need a jacket. I didn't want to wear a jacket for 30 minutes and then carry it for the rest of the day.
The day continued to be damp and overcast. It probably didn't get much over 70 degrees. The cool weather is actually great for cycling. This year the first day had the flat route and the second day had the hilly one. There are still some hills on the flat route, though.
Some of the other riders remembered my ride from last year. That was when I rode to and from Columbia and ended up riding 520 miles in four days. Most of the people though it was pretty crazy. It was neat to be able to impress people like that. Of course I'm nowhere close to be able to do that this year.
I finished Saturday's ride feeling good, but tired. I hung out in the Mich Ultra tent until we took our group picture. After showering and eating dinner I fell asleep in my tent for about half an hour. I was too tired too do much more than lay in my tent and read. It rained for short period a few times that evening. It actually kind of nice to lay in a tent and listen to rain that you don't have to go out in. I was toying with the possibility of not riding at all on Sunday.
I was feel better on Sunday morning. I knew that I would be able to ride at least 75 miles. The century route did not split from the 75 mile route until about the 50 mile mark. This meant that I would be able to ride the first 50 miles and then decide whether I wanted to do 25 more or 50 more. I eventually decided that I had to at least try the 100 miles. If I did the 75 and still felt good I would be kicking myself for not doing the century.
There are good and bad things about large rides like the MS-150. Having so many cyclist on the road sometimes means that you get stuck behind a large clump of people. Of course having that many people means that there are always people to talk to. It also helps to keep my motivation up if there are people watching, or if there are people ahead of me that I can try to catch up to.
The century route has fewer people on it. There was one point where I went 20 minutes without seeing any other riders. This gets a little lonely but at least there were plenty of signs to reassure me that I wasn't lost.
I ended up riding the last twenty miles or so with a rider named John who is a student at Mizzou. He was doing the century route both days as well and these were his first and second centuries. He was a strong rider and wasn't having any troubles. He was a little concerned about the last six miles because everyone talks about the hills. I told him not to worry. A lot of people end up getting off there bikes and walking up the last hill but I knew that he wouldn't have any problems. The best thing about the last hill is that it is the last hill. After you get to the top you are practically done.
After I finished, I ate, showered and packed up the tent. After a couple hours of driving I was home in time to tuck the kids into bed. I was tired, but I was also proud that I was able to do what I set out to do. I may not be in as good of shape as I was last year but I still have the mental toughness. And the mental aspects of long distance riding are as important as the physical ones.
Monday, August 25, 2008
One the way back, I hit a rock and the front tire had a blowout. This was annoying, but at least I had plenty of spare tubes with me. I replaced the tube and as I was pumping it up it blew out again. The blowout was in the same location too. At this point I need something was wrong. I checked to see if there was a spoke poke through the wheel that was causing the problem but didn't find anything. I decide to walk the bike back to Maplewood Bicycle and have them check it out.
As I was telling the story the Greg. He was looking at the problem wheel. He almost immediately noticed a cut in the side of the tire. This is what was causing the blowouts. I'm guessing that this happened at the same time that I got the flats on Thursday. He sold me a new tire, installed it, and I was on my way.
I had no problems with my commute on Monday. On my way home, I did talk to someone else that was bike commuting for the first time. He asked if I had any tips. I told him to watch out for left turning cars. I also should have suggested that he get rid of the headphones. I never listen to music while riding because I want to be able to hear what's going on around me.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
I made it about half way home when I suddenly had a flat. I pulled off the road and saw that the front tire was entirely flat. I called Helen to let her know that I would be a little late. While I was changing the tire it starting raining. Not too bad but it was more than a drizzle. After I removed the piece of glass from the front tire and replaced the tube I was ready to go, or so I thought. Just as I was about to get started, I noticed that the back tire was flat too. And then it started raining hard.
I was only carrying one spare tube. I do carry a patch kit so I could have tried to patch one of the punctured tubes, but this would have been difficult to do in the wet. I decided that discretion was the better part of valor and called Helen to come pick me up. I will probably have Helen drive me to work tomorrow. I don't want to mess with patching the tube tonight.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
- Rode on a airplane
- Rachel picked out the rental car
At the lake house
- Went swimming in the lake
- Found shells
- Met some cousins that she never met before (Beca, Mathew, Sarah, and Jacob)
- Saw lots of animals: deer, lizards, ducks, geese, hawks, minnows, fish, a black slug, a bat
- Rode a Jetski
- Went tubing
- Got ice cream from the ice cream truck
- Raised and lowered the flag
- Played Uncle Jim's pinball machine
- Went fishing (but didn't catch anything)
- Caught minnows in the minnow trap
- Rachel caught a baby gecko
- Went on a cave tour
At the San Antonio Children's Museum
- Rachel and A.J. pulled themselves up in a kid powered elevator
- Made puppets
- Made bubbles
- Played at the water table
- Played in the store
- Rode a stationary bike
- Milked an artificial cow
- Flew an airplane
- Saw a sea lion show
- Saw a water skiing show and got splashed
- Saw the Shamu show
- Rode on a scary ride
- Rode on the lazy river
- Played in the wave pool
Here are some pictures
|lake house pictures|
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
I'll probably do the century route both days again this year. I won't be doing anything crazy like I did last year.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
We had a thunderstorm on Tuesday night that knocked down a mimosa tree. It's a tree that I had wanted to get rid of since it was right next to the garage and was starting to crush the gutter on that side. The tree fell into the yard or our neighbor who lives behind our garage.
I bought a chainsaw after work on Wednesday and cut the tree into sections small enough to throw over the fence and back into our yard. I will cut the tree into more manageable pieces later. I bought an electric chainsaw because I don't plan on using it very often and I didn't want to mess around with a gas powered tool. It's also better for the environment. I switched to an electric lawn mower a few years ago and I've been happy with that.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
What does this mean to me? Well, InBev will be looking to cut costs and the apparently currently outsource their IT. This means that means there is a very distinct possibility that I will lose my job after the takeover (if it happens).
I'm not going to passively wait to see what is going to happen. I've already started looking for another job. By starting early I hope to be able to be more selective about what I take rather than being desperate later. Of course, maybe I won't need to find another job. Nothing is certain right now.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Since then Mary Kay and Tim Ray have been giving me various options. A few days ago Tim called me and he said he had a few options for bikes. The one he thought was best was a Salsa Casseroll. The only problem is that Maplewood doesn't carry Salsa bikes. Tim referred me to another bike shop that does.
As you know I've been trying to decide what kind of bike to buy to replace the Pilot that was destroyed in the accident. I've been try to decide what the perfect bike for me is. I think that I've come to conclusion that there is no one bike that meets all my needs, but maybe a combination of two bikes can do it. I think that I need a "sturdy" bike and a go-fast bike.
The sturdy bike would have a rack, fenders, and low gearing. It would be used for commuting, bad weather brevets, and rides that require lots of stuff (like the crazy ms 150 ride I did last year). When I bought the Pilot last year I thought that the hybrid could fill this role. Unfortunately, after riding a road bike, the hybrid wasn't fun to ride anymore. I was think a touring bike like the Trek 520 for this role.
The go-fast bike wouldn't need any of these features. I wouldn't worry about clearance for fenders or where to mount a rack. I would use it for Tuesday and Saturday rides, centuries, and fair weather brevets. In a pinch I could wear a backpack and use it for commuting. This would be a "normal" road bike.
I really appreciate Tim referring me to a competitor just to help me get the right bike. Either that, or I'm so annoying that he wanted to get rid of me.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
We signed up for a season pass at the Maplewood pool and went swimming. We grilled bratwurst and corn and s'mores. We had a lemonade stand. We played Super Paper Mario on the Wii. We watched movies and ate popcorn. I do feel a little guilty about the amount of junk food that we ate.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
This past Saturday was Rachel's birthday. She had a pool party at the Richmond Heights Community Center. She has a large class so she had about 15 kids at the party. I think that everyone had a good time.
The day after the party, the whole family was feeling run down. I think that we are all coming down with or getting over a cold. I was feeling tired, but my leg was feeling good. Since I was too tired to do much, I could almost forget that I had a problem.
Monday, May 5, 2008
I asked about the knee problems that I've been having. After examining the knee, he said that I have an injury to the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). This is not something that will require surgery. He also explained how he thought the injury to my hip and knee occurred. I thought that during the accident I twisted to my side and "hip checked" the car. He said that I probably hit the car straight on with my knee causing the PCL injury. The impact drove my femur backwards into the acetabulum causing the fracture.
The good news is that I don't have to go back for any more appointments or physical therapy unless I have problems. I am definitely not symptom free, but I feel like I'm making progress.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
In the afternoon, Helen called to say the she would be nearby and could pick me up if I liked. I turned down the offer, but later I started to think about it. I had been having a mentally exhausting day at work so my motivation was low again. Later, when I had just started to get changed for the ride home, I decided to take Helen up on her offer. I called her and she said that she would pick me up in about 15 minutes.
Once I called her, I started second guessing myself. The weather had warmed up nicely and I was afraid that I would regret my decision. I decide to go outside and see if the nice weather would get me motivated to ride. After a few minutes outside, I called Helen and told her that I would be riding home after all. Once I was one the bike I felt fine, and I think that the ride home did a lot to improve my attitude. One of the reasons that I was pushing myself to ride yesterday is that I would not be riding today or tomorrow because of a physical therapy appointment and an appointment with my hip doctor.
During my physical therapy this morning, my knee and hip were feeling really good. They usually feel better after they've been warmed up with some activity. I jogged a few steps and my therapist encouraged to see what I could do. I ended up running several laps around the exercise area. That was really encouraging. I'm not entirely pain free while running, but it is a definite improvement.
I am working on a list of questions to ask my hip doctor tomorrow. I will be seeing a new doctor. The previous doctor that I had been seeing (who was not the doctor that did my surgery) left the practice. I was going to ask if I was going to be able to run soon but I guess that question has been answered. I will ask him about my knee. It got banged up some in the accident and still doesn't have full range of motion. It seems to have made some improvements recently, but I want to make the doctor aware of the problem.
I have also made another appointment to see my hand doctor. I don't feel like I have made any improvements in a while and I want to make sure that everything is healing properly. I figure it's better to be safe than sorry. I don't see him until May 13th.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Saturday, April 12, 2008
I needed to go to the hardware store today to get some parts for the kitchen sink. I went to the True Value hardware store on Manchester because they are always very helpful. It's one of the advantages of going to a small store rather than a big box store. The kids went with me because they like the big gumball machine that they have there. We also went to the bike store so I could pick up my new helmet. My old helmet wasn't damaged in the accident but it wearing out. After that we stopped at Jack in the Box for lunch.
I almost felt guilty about driving for such a short errand. It was about 2.5 miles total. But the weather was cold and rainy and I had the kids with me so it would not have been practical to walk.
Monday, April 7, 2008
A little later, Rachel, A.J., and I made chocolate chip cookies. After that, I watched the Cardinals win and then I took a nap.
Helen went to the grocery store and picked up bratwurst and corn for dinner. We grilled for the first time this year and the kids ran around in the back yard. It doesn't get much better than this.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
I rode a couple of times up and down the driveway to make sure I wouldn't have any trouble stopping. When I stop I put my left (injured) leg down so I wanted to make sure that this wouldn't be a problem. It wasn't an issue at all.
I rode up and down our street and talked to a few of the neighbors who were outside. Then I went to Maplewood Bicycle. The nominal reason for my trip was to look at helmets but mostly I wanted to show off my new walking and riding abilities. While I was there, I noticed that it was easier to walk without lurching. I think that the ride warmed up my muscles and joints and made walking easier.
The whole distance that I rode was about 2.75 miles. It felt great. I was slow but not horribly so. I was a little winded at the end but that was from hurrying along Manchester Rd. For the most part I took it slow and easy. I felt like I could have ridden farther but I wanted to ease into things.
Friday, April 4, 2008
I also rode a stationary bike for ten minutes during my session. It felt good. It was easier than walking. Once I got to work, I got to show off my new abilities. I am using one crutch as a cane until I can get a cane this weekend. I feel really good right now because it seems like I'm making a lot of progress.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
I'm also allowed to bend more than 90 degrees at the waist so I'll be able to tie my shoes. I even have permission to ride a stationary bike and, if that works out, a real bike. I don't have a stationary bike but I'll give it a try at my physical therapy appointment tomorrow.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
I have an appointment with my hip doctor tomorrow. I'm starting to think that I won't get permission to put my full weight on my leg. One of the possibilities is that I will allowed to put 50% of my weight on it. This would allow me to stand in one place but it wouldn't let me walk. That would be very disappointing.
I didn't fall for any April Fool's pranks yesterday, but there was an actual news story which I thought was a hoax: Wal-Mart backs off the Shanks. Does that count as being fooled?
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
I asked my therapist about doing the MS-150 in September. I got a long pause that I didn't like. When I pressed her, she said that it wasn't out of the question, but she didn't know enough about my condition to give a prediction. I still hope to do it, but I'm not going to sign up yet.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
If you haven't heard enough about acetabulum fractures yet, I have a couple of links. This one is a series of pages that give a lot of information about acetabular fractures, surgery, and potential complications. I also found an illustration of the type of surgery that I had.
The more I learn , the more I realize that I have to temper my expectations. I had been told that it would take three months for my hip to heal. Well, the bones may be healed after three months, but it is going to take time after that to regain my strength. One thing I read said that I could expect up to 80% of my strength and movement back after 6 months, and up to 100% after 1 year. I just have to remind myself that the phrase "up to" is not a guarantee.
I am not going to be riding my bicycle for a while yet, but Helen is picking up the slack. She rode close to 4 miles on Grant's Trail today. Maybe we'll be able to do some rides together once I'm back in the saddle.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
My wife got a bicycle today. She had been planning to get a bike someday. Since we had been in the bike shop a few time recently, she found one she liked. Helen hasn't ridden a bike since she was a kid but you don't forget how. She is still getting used to shifting and using the brakes.
Monday, March 10, 2008
My hand made a lot of progress right after they took it out of the big splint. I think that this made me fell like it would be totally healed soon. Since then, progress has slowed down. I'll ask more questions about what to expect when I talk to my hand doctor next week.
I'm hoping that the hip doctor will let me put weight on my left leg after my appointment this week. I know it's possible that I'll have to wait for the next appointment. Even if I can put weight on it, I will still have some restrictions. At the very least, I expect that he will give me a release to go back to work.
I'm trying not be depressing here (or depressed). It's just disappointing to discover that I don't have mutant healing powers like Wolverine.
Friday, March 7, 2008
Riding a century every month was harder than I thought it would be. Most of the centuries were solo because there are very few organized centuries around here (none for October through March) . For me, the hardest part about riding a solo century is getting on the bike. Once I've started, it's not very hard to finish. But in a lot of months, I kept putting it off until almost the last weekend because of laziness or other commitments. This meant that sometimes I was riding in less than ideal conditions.
Of course, my cycling goals for last year were things that were under my control. My goals right now are dependent on things that I can't control. I can't go back to work or put weight on my leg until I get my doctor's permission. The settlement with the other driver depends on the insurance company and lawyers.
I am very pleased with my lawyer so far. I am hopeful that we will be able to prove that the other driver is 100% at fault. She has talked to the witness and has looked at the sequence of lights. Everything that she has found out so far looks good. It also matches exactly with what I have been saying. After what I have been reading, I am not surprised that the Coca Cola driver lied about the accident. Telling the truth would be tantamount to admitting fault and he may have been worried about losing his job if he did that. That doesn't mean I am condoning the fact that he lied, just that I understand why he did it. What I don't understand is why he didn't give me his insurance information while he was in the hospital, and why he told his insurance company that he didn't know who I was. If this case were to go to trial (unlikely) maybe that could be used against him.
Saturday, March 1, 2008
Friday, February 29, 2008
Stewart recommended a lawyer if I needed one. I had talked to Brown and Crouppen but I didn't have a good feeling from them. The seemed like they were pressuring me to sign before even understanding my case. I called the lawyer and he referred me to his wife since he practices in Illinois. I met with her today and was impressed by how she described how she would handle my case. She let me know what the good points and the bad points are about my case. I signed with her and she is starting to work on the case. She let me know that this is a slow process and that I won't see any signs of activity for a couple of weeks.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
A special medal awarded to those randonneurs who successfully complete a challenging series of brevets (200, 300, 400, and 600-kilometers) in a year. A hard-earned honor unto itself and worthy of being any randonneur's goal for the cycling season, the Super Randonneur series of brevets is usually needed to enter a 1200-kilometer event.
Helen mentioned that I would not be earning that award this year. I told her, "Of course not, one of the brevets is on Rachel's birthday." Actually, I'm just hoping to be cleared to ride a bike by April 12 (the date of the first brevet). I don't plan on doing any century-plus rides for a while after that.
I guess I'll have to buy a new bike eventually. I've still got the hybrid, but I've gotten used to riding a road bike. I'm sure that Mary Kay at Maplewood Bicycle will be willing to sell me another one. Should I get another Trek Pilot? Before I bought the Pilot, I was considering a touring bike like the Trek 520. Things like my 4 day, 520 mile MS-150 ride seem like they would be better for the 520. I certainly have plenty of time to think about it.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Then today, I saw my spine doctor. He said that I didn't need to see him again and that I didn't need to wear the brace anymore. That was great news. The brace really didn't limit my activities very much, but it was a pain to put on and take off, and it was uncomfortable in certain situations.
I called my hip doctor to see if I can get clearance to go back to work next week. I left a message and I am waiting on a call back. Work wants me to have a note before I come back.
Speaking of work, I am so glad to work where I do right now. Not only do I have good health insurance which is paying the undoubtedly enormous medical bills, but I have enough sick time that I don't have to worry about rushing back. If it was medically necessary, I could take a few months more off and still not miss a paycheck.
When I first got there, I couldn't get out of bed on my own. I had to have someone lift my left leg and lower off the bed. After a few days I was able to do this by myself. I had physical therapy and occupational therapy each day, a total of three hours worth.
They had me practice using a walker. The walker has a platform to rest my right forearm since I am not allowed to put any weight on my right hand. Using the walker was easy because my right leg is more than strong enough to lift my body on its on.
I also learned how to use a sock aid to put on socks without bending over. They also gave me a reacher (to grab things with), and a long handled bath sponge. I learned to use crutches for going up and down stairs.
I celebrated my birthday while I was in rehab. Helen and the kids brought me cup cakes. Helen also brought me a book. This was good because I was starting to feel well enough to get bored.
By the next week I was able to get out of bed in the morning, give myself a sponge bath, and get dressed without any help. Many of the nurses commented that I was a very easy patient. I told them that I was going to be nice for a week, but if that didn't work I was going to be mean so that they would be anxious to get rid of me. Fortunately for them, I got to leave after 8 days--on Valentine's Day.
Friday, February 22, 2008
- Dislocated left hip and fracture of the acetabulum (hip socket)
- Broken bone in right hand
- Dislocated bone in right hand
- Compression fracture of T12 vertebrae
I have been calling the hip fracture a "broken hip" but this is not technically correct. A broken hip usually refers to breaking the ball at the top of the femur. I broke the cup that the ball fits into. Apparently this was a poor choice because what I did takes longer to heal.
During my stay in the hospital, I was confined to bed. My right hand was wrapped up from the middle of my arm and only the ends of my fingers and thumbs were sticking out. I was fitted for a brace that would protect my back once I was able to get out of bed.
I was very surprised that I kept a good attitude throughout my hospitalization. Heck, I was in pretty good spirits in the ambulance and the emergency room. I guess I kept thinking that things could be worse. Warning: If someone is in a bad mood, telling them that things could be worse is unlikely to cheer them up.
The hip surgery went well. It seemed to take forever for the anesthesia to wear off. I did not like the confused feeling that I had during that time. I was in a lot of pain the night after the surgery, but I was able to quit using morphine the day after that. I found out that I would have to go to rehab to learn how to do activities of daily living with the restrictions that I had.
Eventually I got to talk to my hand doctor, Dr. Boyer. Hand surgery was scheduled for Wednesday the 6th. I had the surgery and was transferred to rehab at St. Mary's the same day.
My bike struck the right side of his car, around the front wheel. My left side must have then hit the car. I was wearing a helmet but I don't think my head hit anything. I was lying on the ground and I heard the other driver get out of his car and walk around the car. "Shit," I heard him say. Maybe I was just in a bad mood, but it sounded to me like he was more concerned about the inconvenience to him than the injuries to me.
"Call an ambulance, call an ambulance!" was my response. He or someone else said than an ambulance was on the way. I knew that I was hurt and I suspected that my left leg was broken because it hurt a lot and I could not straighten it. I just lay on the cold pavement on my right side with my head resting on my arm.
The police arrived very soon after that. I heard the officer talk to a witness and the other driver. The other driver claimed that he had a green arrow, a fact that I disputed. At some point a woman asked if I wanted her coat. I said, "No, because then you would be cold." I did not actually see any of these people because I wasn't facing them and I wasn't about to try and move.
After a few more minutes, an ambulance arrived. The paramedics strapped me on a back board and loaded me onto a stretcher. I asked if they could please bring my yellow bags (my panniers with their rain covers), and the did. The police officer asked if he could call anyone for me and I asked him to call Helen.
The paramedics asked what hospital I wanted to go to and I said St Mary's. That is the closest hospital to my house. That ER was on diversion so they started checking around to find one that was accepting people. I ended up going to Barnes-Jewish. In the ambulance, the paramedic asked me if I wanted morphine for the pain. I told him no. I thought about it for a second and then said, "Yes. Who am I trying to impress?" He gave me some morphine but I don't know that it helped much.
Once we got to Barnes-Jewish, they unloaded me from the ambulance. We seemed to spend a long time (probably only a few minutes) in what looked like a parking garage. I eventually ended up in an ER "cubical" (I don't know what the proper name is). People asked me the usual questions and they did their usual medical stuff. They gave me more morphine and took some X-rays.
One of the nurses said that they were going to try to get my clothes off without cutting them. I told them to feel free to cut the tights because I thought it would be too painful to get them off. She said that they would try, but if it hurt too much, they would cut them. Actually the tights turned out to be pretty easy to remove and they didn't have to cut any of my clothes.
I was able to call Helen at some point, I'm not sure of the timeline. I expected her to be freaked out but she was actually very calm. She couldn't come to the hospital because she was at home with the kids. I told her that even if she came she would just be sitting in a waiting room.
Eventually a doctor told me that I had a dislocated hip. At first I thought that this was good news. Then he explained that for hips, dislocated pretty much means dislocated and broken. The gave me some other drug and I fell asleep while they put my hip back in place. Eventually I got to my hospital room about 3:00 am.
I weighed my bike before I left. The bike plus all the gear I was taking (tent, sleeping bag, clothes, etc.) was 55 pounds. I was surprised by the number of pre-dawn joggers that I saw on the Katy trail. I got rained on a couple of times during the day. In the afternoon I met a couple of riders from the Monsanto MS-150 team. We ended up riding the last few hours together. The last few miles had the big hills that I remembered from the 2nd day of the MS-150 last year. I was hoping to get done around 5:00 but got to the campsite about 7:30.
Stats: 162.8 miles, 15:30 clock time.
This was the first day of the MS-150 which was the same route as the second day last year. This was the hillier of the two routes. While I was riding, I told someone else on the Michelob Ultra team what I was doing. He later announced it in front of the entire team when we did our group picture. This made me feel like I had to finish.
Since there were so many hills, I rode by myself most of the time. I climb hills differently than most of the people that I ride with so it is hard to stay with a group. I like to get a running start at the hill and get to the top before I have a chance to get tired.
Stats: 105.92 miles, 8:07 clock time
This was flatter than the previous day. The middle section was especially flat and boring. I fell in with a really good group of guys. I was actually glad to get to some of the hills later in the ride. The group broke up before we got to the end.
After I finished, I packed up my gear and started riding home. I made it to North Jefferson and got a shuttle to a hotel.
Stats (MS-150): 98.82 miles, 7:45 clock time
Stats (trip home): 36.50 miles, 3:07 clock time
This day was tough. I knew that I had about 120 miles to go. I was also tired and sore. After averaging less than 10 mph in the morning, I started to think about places that Helen could pick me up. When there were 75 miles left I told myself, "75 miles? You can do that! Even if it takes all night."
It was an effort to keep my speed above 12 mph. Then, when I got to Dutzow, my speed started to increase, I was maintaining around 16 mph for long stretched. The only reason I can think of for this is psychological. I had ridden from Dutzow to home before so I knew I could do it.
I had been told that long distance riding was mostly mental. Now I believed it.
I made it home and accomplished my goal.
Stats: 125.57 miles, 12:10 clock time