This Ain’t My Year

We arrived in Gulf Shores on Wednesday morning just after 00:00. I was feeling tight from travel and wanted to loosen the legs so Dan and I headed out for a ride around 10:00. The plan was to ride the bike and run course of the upcoming Hot To Trot. Of course, the weather was gorgeous with sunny skies and 80 degree temperatures. A little windy but nothing like Illinois.

We should have turned around after Dan flatted on the run course. We were out of tubes and Dan actually suggested we head back. Unfortunately, I was the one that wanted to ride farther. It should have been an omen as Dan hasn’t flatted in over a year.

Hot to Trot 2008

There was a brisk headwind out to the FloraBama and we rested while Dan and I took a nature break in the lovely port-a-pottys of the FloraBama. On the way back we had a substantial tail wind and cooked it on the descent of an overpass. Halfway back we were cruisin’ around 30 mph and I was in my aero position. Retrospectively I was too close to Dan at this point.

Hot to Trot 2008

Out of nowhere a truck turns left right in front of us. Dan had no choice but to lock up his brakes. Me, in the tuck position, had no access to the brakes and swirved to miss Dan. I clipped his rear wheel then hit the pavement and went sliding through the intersection on my right side. Midway through my tumble I consciously avoided landed on my left (broken collar bone side) shoulder and tried to roll to the right. I successfully cheesegraded my right side. I don’t know if this was good or bad. The pavement was pretty rough.

The motorist did turn around and blamed his recklessness on another vehicle. Dan and I don’t remember seeing any other car in sight. But at least he turned around to check on me. He actually gave me some rags to wipe up the dripping blood from my elbow, leg, and back. Thanks.

After a quick check of the bike I mounted the machine and headed home. Getting back on the bike is crucial. If you don’t you get stiff and nervous. The only mechanical I had was a wobbly front wheel. A call to the ONLY bike shop in town revealed they were not equiped or knowledgeable enough to true a Rolf wheel. Therefore I will have to ride the race with my front brakes wide open.

It could have been worse.