Bicycling Mis-Adventure

By: Roger Sheppard
By: Roger Sheppard

How NOT to spend a Saturday!

My latest bicycling adventure!

The good news is, I finally broke down and bought new click-in pedals and
shoes to ride my bike. I LOVE THE SYSTEM but, uh, I apparently need a lot
more practice...

I went out for a ride on Saturday. Hey, when it's January in the Mid-Ohio Valley and there's no
precipitation falling from the sky, and the pavement is dry, 30 degrees is
perfect bicycling weather!

I was doing one of my favorite rides -- Old St. Marys Pike, to Laurel Creek
Road, to Loomis Ridge and back in to town on Rt.50. It's a reasonably hilly
23-1/2 mile ride that I know very well.

I was about an hour into the ride on Loomis Ridge, climbing a hill, when I
noticed my rear tire had gone flat. I almost never have flats, particularly
with my new Armadillo tires, but it was definitely flat. I was close to the
top, so I decided to ride the last few feet to the top, then stop and fix
it.

The one step I left out in my plan to "stop and fix it," was to FIRST get my
feet out of the pedals. Having failed to do this very important step, I
proceeded to unceremoniously FALL to the pavement on my right hand. It hurt
like crazy! Luckily, the road is lightly traveled, so I didn't have to worry
about getting run over. Getting your feet out of the clips when you're lying
on your side/back is a real challenge even with two good hands.

Finally, I was able to extract myself and drag myself and my bike to ditch
on the side of the road. The bike was undamaged, thank goodness. I wish I
could have said the same thing for my hand.

I was about 8 miles from my house and trying to describe to my wife or
daughter how to find me by car, would have been difficult at best. So, I
decided I would just have to fix the flat. I dug out my tire tools, my cell
phone, and the spare tube. With a bum hand, getting the rear tire disengaged
from the derailleur was interesting. But not as much as prying the tire off
the rim.

Getting the new tube in and the tire re-mounted without pinching the new
tube was fun, too. Of course, I ran my fingers all through the inside of
the tire to see if I could find anything sharp, whcih I did not. I kept
thinking of that TV Show, "Man vs.Wild" and I was glad I had some Gatorade,
so I didn't have to, uh, start looking for alternate sources of fluids...!

Then, pumping up the tire. By this time my wrist was throbbing. So, I
pumped it up as best I could with my left hand. I then packed up my
belongings, including the bad tube, intent on getting it home and dunking it
in water to see what happened. I walked the bike to where the road was flat
or slightly descending and got on.

When I got to Old Route 50 a few minutes later, I got off (TAKING MY FEET
OUT OF THE CLIPS, FIRST!) and pumped the tires up some more. Then I hobbled
the rest of way home.

My wife and daughter had begun wondering about me, but since I'm often gone a
couple of hours at a time on rides, they didn't really think it was anything
out of the ordinary. They were at home, getting ready to go to the wedding
of Kristen Nutter, whose mother and father, Jenny and Jeff, work at WTAP. We
had been invited to attend the wedding, which was to begin at 5:30 and I'd
been asked to sing! So we were definitely going.

We went to the wedding and I did a lot of "Bob Dole" left-handed handshakes.

After the reception, I went home, changed clothes, and decided to go to
Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital, where I hoped they would wrap my "sprained"
wrist and send me home.

Four hours, ten flu patients, three x-rays and two doctors later, I was told
that I had successfully fractured my right wrist. One small bone on the
outside edge of my hand was "fractured in place," I was told, which I can't
even feel, and I have a small hairline wrist fracture close to my thumb,
which is the more painful area. They put me in a splint and sent me home at
11:30pm with a prescription for Motrin, which I could not get filled that
late. I have to see an orthopedist on Monday, if I can, to confirm the
diagnosis and to perhaps get some sort of a cast.

I proceeded to call a member of the band I play in, "Hip Pocket," to let
them know I would probably NOT be able to play in Athens, OH, at the jazz
and blues festival on Fri., Feb.2, eventhough I will do everything I can to
make it.

So, there you have it. The whole sordid, embarassing story which I have
typed out left-handed, roughly at the speed of Stephen Hawking! Feel free to
laugh and/or share with anyone who might also get a laugh out of it.

I hope to riding again very soon and I hope that this incident will sink in
deeply enough that it will never happen again!

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