Barring a a comeback of Biblical proportions, I don’t think I’ll fulfill this start roster by Saturday for Suisse.
Bummed? Yes. Angry? Sure. Irate? Umm, that’s a stretch, but yeah think I’ve tapped into that too the past few days. In fact, I think Ron Burgundy sums it up best:
(Alternatively, Peter also sums up the truth pretty well too.)
Let’s do a bit of Quentin Tarantino’ing by showing the final product and backtracking through the meat-and-potatoes to figure out what happened.
And now everything else:
Perhaps a few doctors are reading along today, but what I see is a mangled collarbone from a fracture in my early 2003 amateur days (that’s the kink in the collarbone, although truth be told it healed really well) alongside a recent and gnarly fracture of the distal end of my clavicle. Summary: oww.
The emotional roller coaster is partially on account of coming off an exciting podium finish less than one week before. The high highs come crashing down all too quickly to low lows. So maybe among other inspirational quotes that I’ve mentioned uttered from Dear-ol’-Dad lately is, “Pride cometh before a fall.” In this case, literally. Thankfully he hasn’t yet said it to me in this instance or I might bop him in the nose. With my good arm, naturally.
Regardless of that, sparing details here’s how it went down. It was now lap three of Philly’s ten large laps and we were riding into the town of Manayunk where there is a left hand turn. I had approached this section the previous two laps on the right side of the road. Deciding that scoping different options of the course would be prudent for when the you-know-what is hitting the you-know-what later in the race, this time around I opted for the left side of the road going through this particular section. Moving towards the side of the peloton to sprint up the side and gain position, I’m surrounded by 150 of my best friends comprising the peloton and the second I went left, the ground fell out from under me as my front wheel went into this. See that perfectly large, 2″ gap between the right side of the grate and the pavement? Yeah, that ate my wheel like the hungry metal’y-pavement’y jerk it is.
You see, this is where my emotions tend towards angry/frustrated/absolutely irate with emphasis on the last. Why there’s absolutely nothing in the race to warn us cyclists of this danger is absurd. 99% of the time, I’m not one to raise my hand and put up a stink about this sort of thing; dangerous conditions are nearly inevitable over the course of a 256km race. Give me a break, I raced two Giros and didn’t say much about those 6,000+km of menacing hilarity. BUT if the race organizers are going to have us effectively sign our lives away in their waver, they should have the common courtesy and decency to make a safe course. Construction zones, 18″ tall orange cones as “barriers” in the middle of the road (which are unseen by people behind the front row of a hard charging peloton), and with apologies to the people who know what they’re doing, the inept team of folks marshaling the course all really get me revved up here… yup, here at home nursing a broken collarbone, some gory road rash, and bused ribs, precisely and exclusively because of dangerous roads.
There. Broken. Crud.
This is me on the podium last week at nationals. I stole the photo from the internet. But thinking further about it, the photo is of me and it wouldn’t be a worthy photo if it weren’t for my handsome grill being all up front and center. So I think the actual intellectual property rights belong to me, correct? Anyway, apparently I had unbeknownst foresight there on my 3rd tallest podium stool and that something crappy was on the horizon and I’m therefore sticking my tongue out at its general direction. Booo hisssss!
I’ve come to this discovery: if you want to be graciously inundated with messages, I recommend breaking your collarbone one week after a podium performance at nationals. It becomes a double-whammy. I really can’t thank you all enough for the prayers, thoughts of healing, and general well wishes. I’m as flattered right now as I am in pain as I am thankful. The emotional roller coaster hits it’s high points when I see these messages. Virtual high-fives all around! Truly truly truly, thank you.
Similar to last week’s events where Timmy and I had our socks blown off with the number of people selflessly coming out of the woodwork to offer their generous support at nationals, I thank you for offer help of referrals to doctors, medical personnel, access to hospitals, and the like all throughout the eastern seaboard. The few offers of baked goods were also generously received. I also accept the get-well wine and beer offers, coincidentally.
Here’s another beauty of the fam. I think it’s a Christmas card in the making once we photoshop brother Robbie in there somewhere. I’m especially fond of my crying, Mom blinking, and Dad’s right hand.
And coincidentally a friend of mine who stares at computer screens or camera viewfinders for most of the day has taken the time to create the King family 2011 Christmas card, with Robbie superimposed and all. I nearly punctured a lung laughing with my broken ribs. So that hurt, but otherwise things are great. Ho ho ho!
One great irony of my parents being at this race is that this is the first “big” race that they’ve seen me do. But they didn’t actually get to see me do it. Travel is tough with my Dad post-stroke, and I became a professional cyclist after my dad’s stroke, so it’s faaaaar from easy to make it to Europe to watch races, or even to attend Tour(s) of CA/MO/GA and so forth – the aforementioned “big” races. So I was thrilled to have them coming to Philly since it was a mere seven hour drive down! Kind of a stinky poopy bummer that I therefore broke myself. That said, they were then friendly enough to take me home too, so thanks Mom and Dad for your loving company.
I will now fast-forward straight through the undue stress and strain this morning post doc’ appointment during the scheduling of my surgery when insurance went through a brief three hour hiccup at the fright of an out-of-state treatment. Yup, I’ll skip that entirely. So now up to the present, I’m due for surgery on Friday. BAM, pin and plate that badboy back together.
Friday, instead of sooner, because in addition to other problems from which I’m ailing right now, I have some road rash on the back and shoulder and we’re reducing the risk of infection by allowing an extra few days of healing of the skin. Skin. Epidermis. The largest organ in (…on) the body. Nice. Okidoke, you’re the boss doc.
The only really crummy part of the surgery are these pre-op’ instructions from my surgeon. Do not eat or drink after midnight unless otherwise instructed. This includes food, all liquids, hard candy, gum or mints.
No coffee is sad, obviously.