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digibud 05-14-13 08:51 PM

goodbye for a little bit ?
Not that I'm the most frequent poster but I'm probably going to be a bit less frequent. At least there's some entertainment in the story.
My favorite ride in the world in an out and back from Teklanika Campground in Denali National Park to Polychrome Pass, 36mi round trip, consisting entirely of two long hills, around 3,000 feet of climbing. Two years ago, working my way down from 280lb, it was a horrendous struggle for both myself and my wife. Barely doable. One ride left my wife in tears and me nearly collapsing at one point but we persevered.
Last year I did 4,000+ mi and we both did spinning class all winter and I've dropped 60lb so far.
I do that ride several times a year with my favorite time being before the Park opens. I've gone out and back alone without seeing a single person.
Friday my wife and I were nearly to the top of the second big hill, Polychrome and passed a big, beautiful Grizzly just off the road. A few minutes later my tire caught a rut and I went down in a micro second. Broken collarbone, three broken ribs. Not good. As my wife covered me with the spare clothing we brought, anticipating needing to ride back to get help which was about 2 hours back, an SUV with two rangers pulled up. We (they) were able to throw our bikes in the back and I got up on my own and got in the front seat for a long ride back to Teklanika where I got in an ambulance that took me to the Park entrance where I traded ambulances and road for another three hours over our bumpy Alaskan roads back home to a hospital.
No dinner for the bear.
It was a pretty interesting clavicle break and they decided to operate and put in a plate of some kind.
Nasty timing after spinning all winter in hopes of getting in some serious miles this summer. No complaints on the grander scale of things. Just too many horrible tragedies in the world for room to complain seriously, but of course I admit to being a bit perturbed.
I'm particularly glad that 1) my wife was with me and 2) the rangers stopped by before the bear.
Maybe I'll actually be posting more often out of boredom....but there's no thought at stopping riding...or even stopping doing that ride solo. We get exactly ONE life to live. Whether I go out from a car accident, old age, or being eaten by a grizzly makes no difference to me. It's all the good times in between that make life worth living and at 61yrs old I have no intention of letting a little thing like a grizzly bear or a broken bone intimidate me.
Best to for another Percocet ....

NOS88 05-14-13 08:59 PM

Hang tough and get healed. Then don't give up the quest. You've come too far.

Popeyecahn 05-14-13 09:19 PM

^^^ +1

Maybe you could use the down time to help others here who may need your story to motivate them to achieve a higher goal? Godspeed and to a quick recovery!

BikeWNC 05-14-13 09:21 PM

Having been on that section of road I know why you love to ride it. Heal well and get back out there as soon as possible.

stapfam 05-14-13 10:58 PM

Hopefully it will be for a little bit. Collarbones heal pretty quickly and although pain will be there-you could be back on the bike in a month.

In the mean time don't forget the rest of the body and you still have the other arm for important things like taking the "Liquid" self medication and little jobs around the house. One thing you can do that will be useful will be raking the lawn. It is almost as good as hoovering the carpet but us "Blokes" don't do that.

Spend the time recovering usefully and don't just sit around and go to seed.

Artkansas 05-14-13 11:16 PM

Now you'll have more time to hang out here without all that pesky bicycle riding to contend with.

Heal quickly.

Rowan 05-15-13 12:41 AM

Oh boy! This is the 50+ thread-starter of the year for all the real positiveness in it. I particularly like this:

"Whether I go out from a car accident, old age, or being eaten by a grizzly makes no difference to me. It's all the good times in between that make life worth living."

A few other people in the world could heed what you say.

Bikey Mikey 05-15-13 03:15 AM

Hoping for a speedy recovery.

cplager 05-15-13 05:31 AM

Originally Posted by digibud (Post 15626518)
I'm particularly glad that 1) my wife was with me and 2) the rangers stopped by before the bear.

I understand that because your wife can read and the bear can't, you had to order them that way. But I'm more glad about number (2). :D

I hope you mend quickly.


John_V 05-15-13 06:20 AM

Sorry to hear about the fractured collarbone. It will heal and you will be back out on the road soon. Until then, you can do what I did last year when I dislocated my shoulder; ride on your trainer to keep yourself going. It felt a bit odd and sometimes uncomfortable to ride the trainer with an arm in a sling, but it sure beat sitting on the couch doing nothing. Here's hoping for a speedy recovery.

climberguy 05-15-13 06:41 AM

Sorry to hear about your accident; hope your recovery is speedy. That's an entertaining and inspiring story, and I'm glad it turned out well (that is, no dinner for the griz). Thanks for sharing it.

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