Saturday, August 1, 2009

Highest Gear + Incline + Clipping in at top of pedal stroke = Road Rash

I should have known that when I got in the car this morning and found it was not 7:35 am as I thought, but 7:50 am and that my gas warning light was on, that it wasn't going to be my day.

However, I was the first person to show up at our NTTS meeting place besides the coach, so I did catch a break there. I was afraid I'd be so late that they'd leave without me!

The ride was decent. We did UVAS in reverse and it's definitely easier that way. I liked the hill descents as usual. I didn't start to get a sore back until we were almost done, either. (And probably wouldn't have at all, if I hadn't experimented with getting into a bigger gear than normal.)

I was mostly able to keep up with everyone too. (All 3 of them. It was a small group today.) But I keep falling behind and having to push to catch back up. That was frustrating.

I don't understand why I just can't keep up to being with, if I can catch up. I do tend to hang back a bit, as riding in a group makes me nervous, but the next thing you know, I look up and the group is way ahead of me. Maybe I've tried to drink some fluid or do a gel or am messing with my gears, but sometimes I'm not doing anything in particular to slow myself down.

Speaking of gears... my front derailer is definitely messed up. I had a lot of trouble with it today jumping from the top to the bottom and back up to the top again with no stop in the middle. I'm going to have to have that taken care of. It's annoying because I paid extra to get the model with the Tiagra parts so I wouldn't have to deal with bad tolerances.

Anyway, after I did everything wrong at our water stop - stopped with my bike in the highest gear, started facing uphill, clipped in on the left at the top of the pedal stroke instead of the bottom - and then fell over like in a slapstick comedy, I had a small section the size of a quarter under my knee that was scraped. It didn't look too bad and we had already spent a good amount of time at the water stop, so I said "let's go" and didn't try to clean it up.

I waited for the next stop to do that. That's when I found out that the scrapes were actually pretty deep. I think of road rash as rather surface, but these were more like scores made with a knife. I still didn't think it was that bad though and was surprised when my kneed started bothering me about 10 miles from home base.

Then, when we finished, I looked harder and saw that the area under the gashes was swollen to twice the size of the other knee.

Oh... that's why my knee hurt. Duh.

It still stings right now, but isn't quite as swollen. I think I'll recover nicely in time for my long run tomorrow.
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