schmalz 4 races

I must confess that I have been lax in reporting about my pretend bike racing career as of late. You see, I was in the Midwest for our annual family sojourn back to the father land (as I am the one from the Midwest, I am the “father” in father land, so I can probably write that phrase without it getting weird, right?) And a week of idleness, imbibing and ingesting—while it brought me much enjoyment—isn’t the way a self-obsessed bike lunatic is supposed to behave if he wants to move up to tenth place in the overall standing of the weekly series he’s been targeting.

FBF July 26, 2016

I came back to the East Coast slower and with a greater BMI (Bavarian Meat Index) number, so I eased back into bike racing by racing at FBF. I can barely remember what happened, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t cry much, and definitely didn’t get any hugs from Life Coach Mihael on the ride home.

FBF August 2, 2016

This race I do remember because teammate Jim was in a very promising late break when there was a touch of wheels in front of him that left him the not very attractive option of flinging himself to the ground. He took the option that was provided and ended up spending some time with the ambulance crew.

After the race, I picked Jim up in my car, as his ability to walk was actually not an ability at all. I did my best ambulance driver imitation (my car is available for ambulance duties, you can even bleed on it, but you will have to listen to Mihael’s stories about raccoons—nothing is free, my friends), and drove him home. Upon reaching his block, the adrenaline had worn off and Jim was feeling more pain, and could barely manage a slight hop to propel his left side forward, so a trip to the hospital was in order. We dropped him off there, and he was spared any more raccoon stories, but he did have to spend all night there waiting to hear he had cracked some bits of his body, and those bits would require resting to repair themselves.

CRCA Points Race August 6, 2016

It was a freakin points race. We sprinted like 99 times, and then it was over. Matt V of Team Health Warrior broke away to win the last sprint, but didn’t win the race because it was a points race and they are a recipe for a broken spirit. I was nearly dropped on the penultimate sprint, but I was able to rally and work my way to up to front as we neared the final sprint. I did a sprinter imitation and finished 6th in a final sprint that goes 5 places deep, because, as I mentioned before, points races only exist to break spirits.

FBF August 9, 2016

The short story of this night is that I crashed. After completing just one lap of the race, I went into turn one near the front, and as I was leaning over and doing what my Garmin said was about 29 mile per hour, my front tire flatted, leaving me with a limp bit of rubber and hope as my only contact patch for the front of my bike. Limp rubber and hope proved to be insufficient to keep my front wheel attached to the ground, my wheel slid out and I used my body to go from 29 to 0 miles per hour in a very short distance, using the my skin serving as a braking surface on the rough asphalt at FBF.

Using human flesh as a braking surface is not recommended by most cycling experts. Granted, it does stop you very quickly, but the braking surface is very fragile and results in a lot of ouch. I sat up after my sudden tryst with gravity, and caught my breath. I did a preliminary scan of bike and body, and surmised that both were mostly still operational. I stood up, waved off the moto official, took off my shoes (pro move) and began the slow walk back to the start line.

The ambulance crew bandaged me up, and I spent another week as an ambulance driver. Although this time, I was both driver and customer. I went straight to the pharmacy and both enough Tegaderm to cover my entire body (Tegaderm is truly a miracle product, it’s essentially sticky Saran Wrap for owies, which both keeps the wound wet and allows you to see it at the same time, it’s fascinating stuff for those of us who like watching bags of body fluids fill up). Another assessment  of my body parts showed that I had road rash on my knee, hip, elbow and shoulder, but no bones seemed to be broken. My shoulder is sore, but I can move it around, and I avoid doing painful things with it. I have put myself on a regimen of Advil, rest and a nightly beer as a sleep aid (sometimes I double that beer dosage).

All in all, I consider myself to be pretty fortunate. My crash didn’t take anyone else down, and I haven’t cracked or broken any bony parts. Things hurt, and sleeping can be challenging, but I am on the mend, and will soon be restarting my career as pretend bike racer.