On August 17th, just about a week after my tongue surgery, I got back on the road again with my road bike. I wanted to do it earlier, but with the weather, my surgery and work – I just didn’t manage to do it. It would have made sense to do it earlier since we are heading to Lake Placid for me to ride 56 miles outside down some pretty steep descents. But stuff got in the way.
Sandra decided she wants to do the Nashua Tri next year, so we got her a road bike, and her first ride on her new road bike was my first ride outside since my crash. I decided my road bike would be the best to start with and that we would do the Nashua River Rail Trail and the roads near there since they don’t get a lot of traffic. Sandra’s bike up until this point is a mountain bike that I bought her when we were first married. So, shifting and bike handling are a whole new ballgame for her. Which I think worked out in my favor for this ride. I spent most of the time paying attention to her and providing tips on how to manage shifting and braking and such. We started off on the roads since the rail trail has all sorts of tree root bumps in one section that makes riding a road bike less fun. I lead the way, and we did 14.5 miles. I did one acceleration in one section of the trail to see how it would feel and got up to 25 mph for a short distance. All in all, it was a successful trip, and I feel great for the whole ride. I didn’t think about anything negative for any of the ride.
The following day I went out for my first ride on the roads where I live and on my TT bike. I’ve decided to trust that my bike is good to ride on the roads again and have thrown caution to the wind. As luck would have it, rain was in the forecast, and my bike wasn’t ready for the road. I need to change the rear tire from the trainer tire to a road tire and clean/lube the chain. It took a little time to get ready, and by the time I was on the road, it started to sprinkle. By the time I was done, it was a steady rain.
It felt good to be on the road again with my TT bike. I took it easy for the most part for an 11-mile ride. My average speed was 17.6 mph and got up to 28 mph on some small descents. Although, I still got buzzed by people who don’t follow the 3-foot rule. Out on a section
Out on a section of road that had two lanes going in my direction and little shoulder I had a guy come about a foot and a half from me and turn a little ways down the road. He had been in the far left lane and moved into the lane next to me as he was passing me. He really pissed me off, and I decided I wasn’t going to let this pass. I followed him into the parking lot and caught him as he was getting out of the car. I don’t remember exactly what I started off with, but I think it was something along the lines of “you came really fucking close to me.” He apologized, said he didn’t know that he did that and that he needed to turn. I didn’t let it go at that and let him know he needed to pay attention or he was going to kill someone. I also pointed to my lip and said see this, this is from someone not paying attention and almost killing me. I’m paraphrasing a bit because I don’t remember exactly what I said, I was pretty pissed. I have no idea what the end result was or will be. I was probably venting a bit about where I am today with my daily headaches, mangled tongue, stiff upper lip and nose, the constant cracking in my neck, the limited neck mobility and the asphalt permanently embedded in my face. Will my tirade change his behavior, probably not? I know was/am extremely lucky with where I am today. But will I or any rider on the road continue to be lucky if this type of behavior is allowed to continue? The part that still gets me was “I needed to turn.”
I finished the rest of my TT ride in the rain and without further incidents. I crossed another mental block, and now it’s on to tackle the hills in Lake Placid.