For me, mountain biking is a lot like love. One minute you're flying high, elated and elevated as a bird in flight. The next minute you're sprawled on the ground in a crumpled heap, accessing bodily damage and brain function. As in love, mountain biking measures out both elation and devastation, and the latter can happen in the blink of an eye.
I'm sitting at Rv Daisy's dining table as I write this post. In leu of ice, a bungie cord holds a bag of frozen peas atop my collarbone while I surf Web MD for a diagnosis as to whether I should go to the ER for an Xray.
My hope to bike Arizona's mountain bike trails hangs in the balance. The good news is that it appears (so far, anyway) I've escaped a brain-bleed...no faintness, headache or blurry vision...and I can still wiggle fingers and toes and spell words backwards. The bad news is that I can't seem to raise my left arm more than a few degrees.
Barring a compound fracture, it seems there isn't much one can do for a damaged or even a hairline fractured collarbone beyond immobilizing the arm in a sling. Web MD's prognosis is 4 to 6 weeks of light duty and physical therapy to regain range of motion. E-motion ranges from weepy-eyed sadness to being considerably pissed off. It could be worse, I guess.
There is Orwellian irony to this story in that, of all the sketchy single-track and rocky ATV trails I've been riding around this camp, my crash and burn happens on a maintained county road...on my way to ride the hazardous shit. How does that happen, you ask. I don't know, but I think it had something to do with all the loose sand and gravel that gets pushed to the side of the road by cars and trucks and trying to dodge a mesquite brand that overhangs into the road.
Dazed, I had enough sense to pick myself up and drag the bike out of the road, blood running from elbows and knees. Adrenalin and shock masks pain, enough that I remount the bike and peddled off another couple miles to meet Chris at his camp for a planned ride.
Chris takes one look and fetches a first aid kit. We set to work on cuts and abrasions till they quit bleeding. He kindly offers to take me to the ER or clinic, but not wanting to expose myself to "the virus," I politely decline. A half hour passes and I feel good enough to ride. Off we go, with substantial timidity on my part.
Somewhere around mile 14, while dragging my bike up a steep, rocky hill with one good arm, it hits me. I needed to get back to home base and lay the fuck down.
Thus, the frozen peas and an assortment of gauze and bandaids, and the worry about when I might be able to remount and ride.
Fortunately, it was only a couple days layoff. I stuck to the easier trails and decided time would take care of the rest. Range of motion is slowly getting better, but still painful to turn over in bed.
Meanwhile, here are photos from recent bike rides...some post-crash...
Guess who's back in camp, just in time for her birthday???
Just another day on the trail...
mark and bobbie and chris