It’s going to be one of those blog posts… very random and all over the place!
The past two days I’ve been out suffering on the road bike against the Wyoming wind. It is so discouraging to be pegged, and only going 8mph against the wind. Not to mention the feeling of a crosswind trying to blow you over on a carbon fiber bike… but I’ve been plugging through the miles, and enjoying the ride home with the wind pushing me! In fact, today I was averaging a very nice 36mph on Otto Road coming back into Cheyenne, tucked down in the drops and trying not to think of how fast I was going (speed still gets to me on the road bike… 150mph in a car feels so much safer than 30mph on a road bike…). Having a grand ol’ time until a semi truck driver thought I only needed just about a foot between him and I when he passed me. Literally, I thought I had crapped my pants as I tried with all my might to keep my bike on the narrow shoulder and hoped that he wouldn’t hit me. I knew going into ditch at 35mph would not be a fun time for me or the bike, so I held on. Then I unleashed a verbal tirade and maybe a rude gesture or two. Seriously Mr. Truck Driver, you could’ve killed me. I count this as my very first near miss while on a road bike. So incredibly infuriating considering there was no oncoming traffic so he could’ve easily given me more passing room. I was already riding to the right as far as I could be safely. I wish I could’ve gotten a license plate number or company name, as I would’ve made a few phone calls… I hauled butt down Lincolnway in hopes I could catch him, but he turned onto I-25 before I could. Sigh. Just so scary. Share the road people, dammit! We all have a right to be on there. You wouldn’t want someone running over your kid or mom or dad or grandma or whoever, so just be courteous…
*off my soap box for now. I promise.
Onto other news… About a week and a half ago I finally got my elbow x-rayed to check out the damage from my fall in Moab. I had an orthopedic surgeon from work check it out, and he said it was likely cracked, but you can’t do anything for a crack. I was just toughing it out, as I am pretty damn tough when it comes to pain. But it was to the point that nerve pain was radiating up and down my arm and even fabric from a shirt was causing pain. Luckily, the x-rays showed no obvious fracture, and the urgent care doctor once again confirmed it is likely cracked, which you can’t do anything about, and the nerves that run along there are inflamed. I was prescribed 500mg naproxen (Aleve) and sent on my way. He told me I was good to keep riding my bike (like I already had been doing… ahem…), and suggested elbow pads. I commented on how they were not my style and he goes, “Do you wear a helmet?” “Of course I do!” “Well, you’re already looking dorky in a helmet, what’s elbow pads going to matter?” Geez, thanks… that’s a great way to encourage helmet use 😛
I’m guessing injuries are just going to become a fact of life for me. I’ve spent nearly every day since May with some sort of bruise or 10 on my body, scabs, scrapes, cracked elbow… it’s just normal! Hell, even while demo-ing the Epic last week I went over the bars and bruised my legs all up. Smashed out my Garmin Edge 500’s screen even, so now I’m injuring inanimate objects, haha! At least I think I’m fairly tough. Gymnastics taught me that at a young age, which is good and bad, as I tend to ignore pain and issues. Maybe I need to learn to stop falling off my bike, too. That could be a start…
So I did end up purchasing some elbow pads after receiving some recommendations on MTBR.com to stop trying to be a tough chick (apparently guys don’t dig chicks with skinned elbows?!). I settled on G-Form elbow pads as they seemed the least intrusive. I haven’t had a chance to ride with them, so a full review will come later (but I don’t plan on falling off my bike so… review might be a ways away!). But… I did put them on, and slam my right elbow (the non injured one!) full force into my door jam and I didn’t feel a thing. Pretty damn cool 😀 The pad is mounted on a compression type sleeve, kind of feels like an arm warmer, but just not thermal. The padding is very low profile. I think I’ll try to wear them on rocky, more technical terrain, and definitely if I go to Moab again as slickrock is quite hard!
On the dietary side of things, I decided I should try out some whey protein powder and make myself shakes for post-ride recovery. I got this awesome blender kit from GNC, which is so damn exciting. I haven’t owned a blender in my life! Last night I tried out 2 scoops of vanilla whey protein, 1 1/2 cup of skim milk, 1 cup frozen rasperries, and 1 cup of ice. Results were not as spectacular as I was hoping, but it was palatable. The recipe made 28 ounces, which is quite a huge shake, and I think that was part of the problem because drinking that much felt like eating a massive meal. Today after my 22 mile ride on the road bike and near death experience, I did two scoops of strawberry flavored whey protein, 1 cup of mixed frozen fruit (strawberries, mango, pineapple, and peaches), 1 cup of ice, and 1 1/2 cups of skim milk. Once again a massive shake, but pretty ok tasting. I put half of it back in the fridge for later. We’ll see where this leads…
I’m thinking I’m going to join the gym up the street since the weather is bound to turn nasty eventually. I can’t believe I’m even considering this, the old me from a year ago would’ve started laughing at the idea of joining a gym!
Speaking of cold weather, I am going to end this post with this awesome link: http://www.bicycling.com/whattowear
You put in temperature, wind, weather conditions, and if you like to be warm or cool or in between while cycling, and it makes suggestions on the clothes you should wear! It’s fun to play around with.