Saturday, December 27, 2014

2014 SMR 35

JB texted me this morning to say he was staying home with a sore throat.  I allowed myself an extra 20 minutes to get ready and for it to warm up a little bit.  35°F at 8am... mite chilly.

I wasn't sure if I'd make the Summit today but that was my objective.  Ten weeks since my rib crash, and the ribs didn't hurt at all after the two ibuprofens kicked in.  On Christmas Day though, I had a kind of scary bout of vertigo and I don't think that's completely gone away either... very weird sort of out-of-body sensation so I promised myself I'd be real careful and not ignore the signs if it started happening again.

Saturday Morning Shoutout:  Smooth Joey on Summit Road.

Wildlife Encounter:  deer near Little Pine Creek

So climbing wasn't much of a problem other than 10 weeks of lost fitness.  Descending though was a little spooky - didn't feel natural, had to concentrate on every little movement, had all the sensations of a brick on a skateboard.  Made it home safe anyway - success.

Salted Watermelon GU - truly tasty, thanks Santa!

New outhouse at Muir -
same as the old one that burned down in the big fire,
but NEW and clean.

Rain + cold weather = clear blue sky

The Curious Tale of the Malfunctioning Flight Deck

I have always had a Flight Deck computer on my Klein. This unit uses special buttons under your brake hoods to cycle through the computer functions instead of buttons on the face of the unit like most of them.  It also knows what gear you're in and has a little display for that so you don't have to look back at your cassette.  Not everybody likes them and they never really caught on in big way, but I've gotten used to it.  

Sometime after my pelvis crash in March, the buttons stopped working; I still had speed and odometer and gear indicator, but I couldn't scroll to the stopwatch or trip distance functions.  I figured I somehow mangled the little wires that go under your handlebar tape.  I got used to the limited functionality and I have Strava on my phone for GPS trip data anyway, so I figured I could live with that - but also considered switching out to a Garmin cyclocomputer or something similar.  

Some time after my rib crash in October, the battery went dead in my Flight Deck and I changed it out and reset all the inputs.  But I didn't realize until TODAY, that the buttons magically started working again.  Maybe it just needed that new battery (even though the LoBatt indicator never came on).  Or maybe when I re-wrapped the bars in November I somehow unmangled the little wires that go under the handlebar tape.  At any rate, I got my functionality back, but didn't get to use it today because I didn't figure it out until half-way through the ride.

Last night I searched on POV videos of riding Diablo on YouTube and they all suck.  Mine (on Vimeo) are way more interesting.  Come on... go ahead and watch.   

Saturday, December 20, 2014

2014 SMR 34

Well I'm half-way back.

I absolutely HAD to ride today... it's been NINE weeks since the Foxy's crash that cracked seven ribs and sent me to the ER.

Winter from Diablo Scott on Vimeo.

Wildlife Encounter:  two deer and a coyote.

Got going a little early because I knew I'd be slow.  JB caught me about Clavicle Cracker.  By that time I had convinced myself that Junction would be my turn around.

I haven't seen the Mountain this green in years; and it's especially nice to see standing water in the ditches and running water in the creeks.

I didn't feel comfortable on the bike, I didn't feel strong, the ribs are still hurting, and I didn't feel confident with my handling... but I did feel like a bike rider and that's a feeling I've been missing for a long time.

Twice this year I've had my identity as a bike rider stripped from me by injuries; most of my readers will understand how that might affect any one of us.  But another part of my identity for the last 17 years has been as the companion of a greyhound and now that's been taken away as well.  My family brought our second dog Abbey into our lives in 2007, and last night I brought her ashes home in a cedar box.  Please honor her by giving your own pets a little special attention today.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Another Broken Ribs Update

It's now been seven weeks since my crash.  Friday was my first day with no pain pills, but I'm still going to have a bottle of Ibuprofen with me all the time.

I've been riding to work for a week and a half - kind of scary because the trail is covered with wet, decomposing leaves that are slippery and hide the edges of the path.  On Wednesday I hit a bump and one of my lights fell off the mount and rolled into the ditch somewhere... here's how I had it set up...

Two Planet Bike Blaze lights - 1/2 Watt each, 45 lumens each.
They don't rotate so finding the perfect spot to mount them
on my sweepy handlebars was kind of a chore.

So I decided I'd had enough of the low-middle range of headlights and did some research and bought a NiteRider Lumina 750.  That's right, 750 lumens... 16 times as much light as a Blaze.  So now I have this:

The Blaze light shines up for visibility and to give some perspective.
The NiteRider shines mostly down so I can see the road right in
front of me - it works great.

The NiteRider Lumina also has a swivel feature so you can mount it
anywhere you want and still point it any direction you want...
big plus especially for me.

Friday morning I got stung by a bee while I was locking up my bike at work.  Bstrd was inside my jacket and stung me through my shirt so I didn't take the full dose of venom but it hurts like the dickens and it swelled up and turned bright pink.

I might've tried riding Diablo on Saturday but it's been so rainy and wet that I'm still too nervous... next week probably... that 8-week healing time turns out to be right again.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Broken Ribs Update: Day 18

Last week I went in for a follow-up appointment with my family doctor and she said my report said I had SEVEN broken ribs, not four.  Maybe the senior radiologist over-rode the weekend guy's evaluation.  Family doc had no trouble justifying another couple weeks of prescription pain-killers.  I have to keep a log though so I don't forget when I took what, and so I can try out different schedules for each one.

Friday night I got hiccups and it was just miserable - every single hic was like being punched in the chest.  Lasted about an hour.

Recently I've been a lot better but I still have a long way to go.  I no longer have waves of intense pain; it's more like just being really sore all the time with occasional waves of moderate pain when I move my arm or torso the wrong way.  I dread getting another case of hiccups though... or sneezing or serious coughing; that would still be agony.

Diablo Wife has been taking good care of me, and Diablo Dog is understanding of the shorter, slower walks.  My bike has cobwebs on it already.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Ribs Are Still Broken

Update - getting around a lot better but there are still a lot of things I can barely do - like pick things up off the floor, take a deep breath, and go #2.

Prescription pills ran out today, so now I'm down to plain old ibuprofen.

Sleeping OK, so that's nice; but it takes a long time and a mental diversion to stand up.

My posture is suffering from favoring the injured side so my back is getting kind of sore, but when I try to walk straight my ribs complain.

Typing is also very draining... time for a nap.

Oh.... the really great news... I haven't sneezed ONCE in the last week.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Foxy Crash Update

I dismissed Diablo Wife's pleading to go to the ER Saturday night... figured I could get through the night and re-evaluate in the morning.

Sunday morning I couldn't move at all; pain was a lot worse.

Diablo Scott's angel of a spouse called the EMTs for me at 7:30am with a minimal number of "I told you so's".

Diablo neighbors expressed curiosity disguised as concern while they watched the paramedics load a miserable, mangled, middle-aged meat-sack into the ambulance.

Spent 9 hours in the ER at JMMH getting scanned and drugged and examined.  There were also a lot of questions about insurance, travelling to west Africa, and rating my pain level on 0-10 scale.

Dr. Leonard was my main case manager and he was great - went to UCDavis medical school and rode the Davis Double (!)... great bedside manager and smart as a whip.  His most memorable diagnostic remark:  "Well, you're obviously in misery..."  I don't know why, but that kind of confirmation from an authority seemed important to me.

Four broken ribs;  #4,5,6, and 7.  More confirmation.

They were kind of on the fence about admitting me... went over the pros and cons, but we decided together that if I could get off the bed and walk around a little bit that I could go home.  At 4:30 pm I did it... but just barely.  First time I'd been vertical in about 20 hours.

Next person who makes a crack about finding another sport to participate in... will be just one more guy who just doesn't get it.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

2014 Foxy's Fall Century - Crash and SAG

I was really looking forward to this ride.  First century since my pelvis fracture in March, felt good, great weather, Rick was riding with me.  But I crashed at half way, just past lunch - here's the short version:

It was just stupid - I don't know if the wind blew me over or it was a moment of inattention or what, but I drifted off the road into the soft dirt, front wheel sunk in and I hit the deck pretty hard.  Lots of pain but doesn't seem serious enough for doctors to get involved.  I managed to get back on the bike and return to the lunch stop where I got some bandaging and caught Sag Vehicle #16 back to Davis.

Up until then I was feeling great - we pumped out 50 miles by 10 o'clock.

One glitch was that they gave me the wrong route slip at check-in... I didn't even look at it because they mark the streets so well... but I thought since they gave me the green slip and green wrist band that we were following the green course.  Turns out the green was for 100km and I started off the wrong direction at the split but then Rick and I figured out what the deal was - he had the yellow band.

This is going to hurt for quite a while.

Apparently my music selection for this video is a problem... come back later if you can't click right now.

Foxy's Fall Century 2014 from Diablo Scott on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

2014 SMR 33

Oh, the crud is infecting me.  20% sore throat, 20% stuffy nose, 20%  sneezing,  20% coughing, and 20% headache = 100% rotten.  First time I haven't done the Summit on a SMR since the church ride.

Flip from Diablo Scott on Vimeo.

Editing a video of still shots is outrageously onerous.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

2014 Diablo Challenge Volunteer

Always a beautiful day on The Mountain.  Today's version was quite a bit warmer than typical for early October and there was lots of great suffering.

This is a long video - the first few minutes are the stills that I took... if you want the hi-res version of one of the photos just e-mail me with the time stamp.  The rest of it is real time video at the bottom of The Wall. In total, about one beer's worth of enjoyable stimulation for your cycling neurons.

edit:  somehow I clipped out the first two finishers in the video part - so starting at 3m14s you'll see the third place guy and I said he was #1.  So add two to each of the placings in the subtitles.  For just the unedited footage, see my YouTube version HERE

Diablo Challenge 2014

 from Diablo Scott on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

2014 SMR 32

Nice and cool at the start but it warmed up fast - there's even a heat warning out for today.  Also the sun was shining right in our faces for lots of the way up making it hard to see the road ahead.

Wildlife Encounter:  two big herds of turkeys near Turtle Rock

Hardly any riders on NGR - figured it was because people will be doing The Challenge tomorrow. BTW, I'll be a backpack driver again, so look for me and we'll do a selfie.  Then at Junction there was a big bunch of people... maybe because of The Challenge tomorrow... could be the reason there were so few people and so many people.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

2014 WNR 20

Last Wednesday Night Ride of the year.  No photos or video.

The MTB crew met us at Rocco's for pizza afterwards.

Wildlife Encounter:  young deer at Turtle Rock Ranch

Tarantula Tally:  one crawler at the Loading Dock

Saturday, September 27, 2014

2014 SMR 31

I love the weather this time of year.  Air was nice and fresh after a good rain on Friday also.

Wildlife Encounter:  Deer at Diablo Ranch

Not sure what was going on here - nobody hurt but one bike
was unrideable and Ranger Carl was helping out.

Roadkill Report:  Big bullfrog on The Bump

Back was hurting a little bit so I took it nice and slooooooooow.

Hardly saw anyone on NGR.  Lots of people at the Summit Upper Lot - there was a tarantula trying to get somewhere and about a dozen people surrounding him taking photos.

Hardly anyone on North Gate Road, but
lots of riders on Summit Road.

Rider back.

Tarantula Tally:  one crawler at the Upper Lot

Flatted on the way down.  Blog reader Keith saw me and stopped for a chin wag while I re-tubed.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

2014 WNR 19

Just me and Kevin tonight - he dropped a minute off of his PB.  He was complaining this afternoon about a sore knee - I told him to ignore pain.

Tarantula Tally:  one crawler near the Dumpster Gate.

Next week is the final Wednesday Night Ride of 2014... for sure... it was pretty dark when we got back to the vehicles tonight.

Folks at Junction were talking about The Diablo Challenge.  I'll be driving backpacks again so watch for me and say hi.

New sign... not really one of the more dangerous
curves... maybe the solar panels get more light here.
Maybe cars have a harder time with this one.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

2014 SMR 30

Veteran's Victory Velo charity ride was today, but I opted out.  We started seeing the riders coming down about 8:20.  Looks like they didn't draw a very big field this year.

Hi Rick!
 Wildlife Encounter:  Turkeys in the cow patch... so many of them the cows were kind of freaking out.

Zero tarantulas... season's definitely over for them.

One rider with orange tires gave JB a hard time about having a vintage-looking steel bike with an iPhone mounted to the handlebars.  Actually he made the mount himself out of an aluminum extrusion scrap from a window or something... said he just didn't like any of the commercially available mounts.

What the... ???  Summit Wall is ONE FREAKING WAY, dude.

Charlie took video of me on last Wednesday Night's Ride - I thought I looked way cooler than this though.

Scott Up and Down from Diablo Scott on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

2014 WNR 18

Just me tonight.  The guys from work were either out of town or did the MTB ride instead.  JB showed up at the Junction and said he had a flat on the way to The Mountain.

Roadkill Report:  tree squirrel at the Loading Dock

I did the first mile kind of fast and then just tried to push a little harder than usual so I had a decent result.  Little windy in a couple of the sections.

The sun is setting early enough now that it's not in your eyes in too many places while descending, but it's still light enough to see the road well.

Wildlife Encounter:  two deer

Deer Crossing from Diablo Scott on Vimeo.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

2014 SMR 29

JB skipped out to go watch a football game, so it was just me and a few dozen riders on The Mountain.

Wildlife Encounter:  two deer on The Approach (NGR below The Gate)

Tarantula Tally:  one squished one near Moss Landing.

Wildlife Encounter:  COYOTE! at Coyote Flats

Doodoo-Head Driver Award goes to this Dangerous Dumbass:


Almost forgot about this guy - on a hand cycle just past THE BUMP... chappeau dude.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

2014 WNR 17

Me, Kevin, and Charlie tonight.  JB started early and waved as he was coming down.

Charlie mounted his GoPro on his seatpost so maybe he'll send me some video or photos of me riding behind him.

GoPro on the seatpost - zoom in if you can't see it.

Kevin is determined to get faster and asked me for some training ideas so today's idea was big gear, low cadence practice.  I figured work on strength and he did a great job but didn't last the whole ride... his legs got all rubbery by mile 4.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

2014 SMR 28

Somehow wound up at the Gate about 10 minutes early - almost decided to get a head start on JB but then was joined by special guest... RICK.

Rick's been tearing it up in the NorCal criterium and road race circuit and has all the points he needs to be a Cat 2 but is waiting until some more of his team mates get theirs as well so they can make a big statement and all cat up at once.

Wildlife Encounter:  at least four deer at the bottom of The Bump.

Slummin it with the slow guys.

JB turned around at Junction for some kind of family function in The City.

Wildlife Encounter:  turkeys at the Upper Ranch.

We decided to call this stump "The Totem Pole"
 Tarantula Tally:  two flat ones.
Peak heart rate up The Wall was almost
three beats per second.  Anybody impressed?

Rick gives the best leadouts:

DipsSprint from Diablo Scott on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

2014 WNR 16

Damn nice weather tonight.  Tall Charlie wanted some personal video so he could critique his technique so I put the Contour on Seatstay Cam Mode.

Zach, Kevin, and Matt took off on PB efforts but I held back a bit to keep Charlie in my field of view. Kevin scored his PB and was pretty proud of himself; I suggested an appropriate reward would be an official Mount Diablo Jersey.

Tarantula Tally:  one crawler at the washout.

Gettin' dark earlier and earlier!  We're thinking the first Wednesday in October will be our last of the season.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Labor Day Bonus Post

Went to spin class yesterday.  The cool video thing they usually do on Sunday mornings was broken.  

Look at all that DATA!
I had a moment of sudden clarity when I uploaded this screen shot from Training Peaks.  With a lot of free services they offer a taste of the deluxe data, and if you want additional data  you have to pay for the premium subscription price or something and that makes sense of course.  But with Training Peaks, they give you WAY TOO MUCH data with the free plan, and if you want to filter it all out into something more useful you have to pay the fee... BRILLIANT!

Who has opposable thumbs, a box full of tools, and can install his own fenders?   THIS GUY!  I figure the earlier I put them on, the earlier it'll start raining and save California from the drought.

I kind of wanted black fenders, to keep with the stealth look of my fixed-gear commuter, but REI only had chrome ones and I didn't really feel like shopping around.

I was a little concerned that it'd look too much like a Harley... what do you think?

Fenders are notoriously finicky to install, but when you get it right, there is a real pride of craftsmanship.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

2014 SMR 27

Whoa - hot this morning.

Lots of people riding anyway.

Tarantula Tally:  two cadavers

Kind of windy above Junction, but it was nice.

I'm 100% recovered from the pelvis fracture in March.
But I'm still nervous around the curves.

OOPS!  Camera mount let loose.

I've made the switch to mini Clif bars - because the big ones
are a bit too much for a plain old Saturday Morning Summit