Mike's Blog

Turning over the pedals

Yesterday I had my 2-week follow-up with the orthopedic surgeon.  He took more films and said he thought things were progressing well, however, he'd like to re-evaluate again in two more weeks.  The xrays showed that the gap had closed some at the main break, but no fusing of the bones had begun.

At any rate, I feel much luckier than this guy .

Update 10/4/08

Well I stopped taking the prescription pain medications yesterday afternoon in anticipation of needing to drive myself to work starting on Monday.  I've also taken off the sling a few times for a few hours at a time just to relieve some of the stiffness in my elbow joint.  Overall I think I'm doing pretty well, although I don't know if I'll be able to do 8 hours straight sitting at my desk...we'll see.


I've owned a mountain bike for nearly 10 years now, having bought my Trek 7000 in 1999.  During that time, it has served me well at many autocrosses getting me from paddock to wherever I needed to go without fail, but it had never seen a trail.  A few weeks ago, Scott, a friend of mine whom I've commuted to work with several times this year, began talking about some mountain biking rides he'd been going on once a week with a friend of his.  I borrowed some suitable shoes from Danny and decided I'd give it a go.  Sunday I tuned up my bike and put the knobby tires back on for our planned outing on Monday after work.

I'll admit I was pretty nervous, having spent all of my cycing time on the road since I started riding again a few years ago.  Scott and I met up with Jim and Dan at around 5pm and the 4 of us headed out from Jim's house to Patapsco State Park to ride some trails.  I have to say that the ride was more nerve wracking than difficult for me.  I thought I would struggle with the climbing but did fine; I did, however, struggle with the descending and was pretty much on edge each and every time the trail took a downward turn.

About 5 or 6 miles into the ride I was starting to feel a little bit better about things, but was still pretty nervous.  Jim and Scott had been great about calling out characteristics of the trail before we approached them, providing me plenty of time to prepare for them.  We came to a point where Jim warned me that the decent ahead was pretty steep and that I would have to get way off the saddle to make it down safely.  I fell to the rear and watched Jim and Dan make it down without issue.  Scott was next and he told me that he had walked this in the past and that this was his first attempt at riding it down.  As I watched him go I saw his rear tire come off the ground in what could have been disaster, but he made it down safely.

I started decending, taking it pretty slow.  In fact, I thought I might be going too slow and that if my front tire hit one of the larger exposed roots it might stop the bike and send me over the bars.  I released more brake and started to accelerate; within a couple of seconds of that I was going over.  I landed on the right side of my head and my right shoulder.  The wind was knocked out of me and as I started to roll onto my back I could feel and hear crunching in my right shoulder area.  I announced that something was broken and after looking at it, my riding mates agreed.  My bike lay about 5 feet away from me, the front tire flat and a tree branch sticking through the front wheel.  Dan and Scott helped me get to my feet and they fashioned a sling out of Scott's shirt.  Jim called his wife and asked her to meet us at the road nearest our position, which was about a mile away.

As we started to walk, Scott pushing my bike and Jim pushing his bike and Scott's, I tried to call Karrie but got no answer.  I called her dad, Lynn, explained the situation to him and asked him to try to get a hold of her to meet me at the hospital emergency room.  A few minutes later Karrie called me back and said she was dropping Brady off at her parents and would be on her way.

The accident happened at around 5:30pm and I signed in at the ER at around 6:30pm.  Scott stayed with me until Karrie came and I was grateful to have his company even though he took some unauthorized pictures of me with about a pound of sand in my ear and hair.  At around 8pm I was triaged and given a room and shortly after that was taken to x-ray.  Films were taken of my shoulder, left ribs and left wrist.  After about another hour the physicians assistant came in and told me that my collar bone was broken in three places, but the ribs and wrist were fine.  It was about this time too, that I was first given something for the pain.


Not whole


Around 10pm they discharged us from the ER with a prescription for some pain medication and an order to follow up with an orthopedic surgeon ASAP.  After we found a 24-hour pharmacy (thanks to some help from Karrie's mom) we headed home.  Brady spent the night with Nana and Pappy; Karrie and I spent the night on the reclining couch after I was unable to get comfortable on the bed.

Tuesday morning we started calling orthopedic surgeons to try to make an appointment.  It was frustrating to say the least, but we finally got an appointment for 1:15pm that day.  The doctor looked at the films and said we should follow up with him in 2 weeks time to see how things are progressing, at which point if it wasn't going well we'd discuss a surgical option.

That evening Scott and his wife Julie brought my truck over and also brought us dinner from Boston Market, which we really appreciated.  Wednesday and  today I've had some rib pain, but overall am feeling much better.  I hope to ween myself off the pain medications by the weekend and return to work on Monday.

More updates to come.

Karrie at the ride start This year I managed to coerce some friends and family to do this ride with me.  Karrie's mom agreed to babysit for us (THANKS!) so we packed up our gear and headed off.  Joining us were Karrie's dad, Lynn; Karrie's brother, Jon; my friend and co-worker, Scott (who rides to work with me about once a week); and Jon's friend and co-worker, Mike.  My autocross co-driver was also supposed to ride with us, but backed out Friday evening; something about being a wuss. Tongue out

We agreed to meet at around 0845 and try to be riding at 0900.  Scott went early and rode the 8 mile "family ride" with his wife, Julie.  Turns out that this 8 mile ride had some challenging climbs, but we were in Carroll County so finding something flat is nearly impossible.

After we unloaded, got dressed and packed up, Karrie, Dad, Jon, Mike and I headed down to registration to sign in and look for Scott.  Once all that was done, we headed off on time, which is quite a feat in itself considering the characters involved.

Old barn along route There was about 3000 feet of climbing for the 36 miles (depending on the source) and quite a few challenging hills along the route, as seen in the elevation profile from my Garmin Edge data.  I'm not sure about Jon and Mike, but for the rest of us, this was the longest ride we'd done this year to date.  

There was a rest stop at mile 22 and we all stopped and got some snacks (the PB&J I got hit the spot) to fuel up for the remainder of the ride.  Among the crazier things we saw was a woman doing the "ride" on rollerblades!!  She stopped at the 22 mile rest area and we think she got a ride back from there, but that is one hell of a feat considering the two hardest sections of the course came prior to mile 22.

I took about 45 pictures (most while moving so please excuse the framing) which can be found in the gallery .  All in all, Karrie and I had a really good time and we hope the others in our group did also.  Looking forward to the next ride, but for now I'm just ready to crawl into bed and sleep.

Danny @ Anti-DopingOn Tuesday morning, Danny and I left Maryland on our way to Topeka, KS for the Solo National Championships.  We had arranged in advance to stop in Branson, MO to watch the time trial stage of the Tour of Missouri .  We rolled into Branson a little after midnight, found a hotel and hit the sack.  Wednesday morning we got up, had a good breakfast , checked out and hopped on our bikes to ride the 3.5 miles to the start of the time trial.

There were some major international teams (and riders) there: Columbia (George Hincape, Mark Cavendish, Michael Rogers), Garmin/Chipotle (Dave Zabriskie, Christian Vandevelde, Tom Danielson), Liquigas , and Rabobank .  Additionally, there were some continental US teams there: HealthNet Maxxis (Rory Sutherland), Bissel (Ben Jaques-Maynes, Tom Zirbel), BMC (Antonio Cruz), Toyota United (Ivan Dominguez, Domonique Rollin) and Rock Racing (Michael Creed).

Before the start we were free to roam around all the team buses and riders.  Saw a lot of very neat bikes including a prototype Fuji TT bike that Michael Creed rode.  Danny and I were interviewed by a local paper and got a couple of quotes in the article .  I got to see every single rider (those who were still in it anyway) start and got pictures of most.  I also had the opportunity to meet and get a picture with Tom Zirbel , whose blog I read frequently.  Afterwards, we rode back to the hotel, packed up our bikes and drove back to the mall to watch the podium ceremony.  Overall, it was a very cool experience.

Well I haven't made any cycling related posts since March 2nd so I figure its time for an update.  Since then I've ridden about 285 miles (368 for the year so far) which is much less than I had hoped for, but with Brady's arrival in early April I got nearly zero miles in for that month and its been difficult to find time to ride since.  Most of the riding I've been doing has been on Wednesday nights with a great group of people from HoCo Cyclists.

This past weekend I went on the most significant and best  ride of 2007.  It wasn't my fastest ride, or most challenging but it was with Karrie and that made it great.  I have really, really missed riding with her and her parents agreed to baby sit so that we could go out for a spin.  It was Karrie's first time on the bike since October but she had a really great time and so did I.  We are trying to make arrangements for us both to be able to do the Wednesday night rides once Karrie can manage a little bit longer of a ride.  We purchased a kid carrier from Nashbar which is a trailer that attaches to a bike and is completely enclosed so that we can do some rides with Brady in tow.  We may try to go out to the BWI-Annapolis trail this weekend and do some riding as a family.

A couple of weeks ago I did some threshold testing to try to figure out what my strengths and weaknesses are in an effort to try to improve my abilities as a cyclist.  Turns out, that contrary to my belief, my cardio is not my limiting factor right now; my ability to flush lactic acid from my blood is.  I want to enter into a coaching agreement with the guy who performed the test for me, but I need to discuss with Karrie since it will require me to be able to ride 7-9 hours a week to see any real benefit. 

That's about it for my two-wheeled exploits.  See you on the road.