Monday, September 05, 2005

9/4/05 Today's Ride

Route: 47.1 km. The big loop (Dorthae to Robinson Creek to Echo Valley to 830 to Sam Parker Road to Old 25E to downtown to Park Hill to Campground Road).

Weather: Mostly sunny, 80, light wind.

Performance: average speed 26.4 kmph, time 1:47:12. Average HR 135.

Comment: Almost exactly the same distance as yesterday but 2 & 1/2 minutes slower. HR was 5 beats per minute lower today too, so it matches. Something happened to me that hasn't happened to me in probably 20 years.

I had just started out, heading up Dorthae Road just past the church on a 1/4 mile stretch with about a 3% uphill grade. My speed was about 15 mph when a pack of dogs that has chased me 200 times started out after me again. I paid little attention to them until one of them did the old dog trick of placing his posterior about 1 inch in front of my front tire while running ahead. I would take a dog trying to bite me over this maneuver any day. So here I am trying to guess which way this mongrel (who incidentally looks like some sort of beagle / dachshund mix) is going to turn next. If he turns that way about 3 inches, he's going to be right under my whe-

[faceplant]

Next thing I know I'm sitting upright on the side of the road, ankles crossed, knees up. Little lights swim in my peripheral vision, followed by ghostly black trails. I notice a dull burning pain in my lips and the tip of my nose.

You're numb. Just give it a few seconds. That's when the pain starts.

Instinctively, I run my tongue across my front teeth. All there.

Whew.

I rub my face and check my fingers for blood. None.

I see the dogs' owner walking toward me, up the road. A car passes by slowly in the other lane. It's an older middle-aged guy in a convertible. He passed me a little while back.

"Are you ok?"

I nod and wave at him. A couple of other cars are right behind him. They file by slowly. I avoid eye contact.

By this time the owner is standing over me. He's a big guy, 65 or 70, smartly dressed in a pink dress shirt and white pants. He immediately begins apologizing profusely.

"Am I bleeding?" I ask him, holding my face up. I feel like a little kid showing his mom that he brushed his teeth.

"No" he says. He walks around behind me and says everything looks ok. "I've had it with that dog. I'm getting rid of him. He chases everybody who comes by here. Motorcycles, bikes, cars, everything."

"I've been chased by every dog in this county. That's nothing new. I ride by here all the time...you've probably seen me."

"Yeah, there's bikes by here all the time, and he chases them. He could get under one of these motorcycles' wheels and kick it right out from under somebody. I'm taking him to the dog pound as soon as I can. They can euthanize him."

"Well, you don't have to do that because of me. I'm fine."

"I'll take you to the emergency room if you need to go."

"No. I'm not bleeding, I'm ok. I'm tough." I look down at my hands. My right pinky finger is lacerated and bleeding. I'm still trying to figure out which body part bore the brunt of the fall.

"How's your bike?"

I pick up my bike and spin the wheels. They roll fine, no rubbing anywhere. My right brake hood is bent inward slightly from the impact.

"Fine I hope...I paid a pretty penny for this thing."

"I know, they can get expensive. I'm sorry about this."

"Don't worry about it, man," I tell him. "See ya."

I get on my bike and head off. I get a little concerned when I hear the grating sound that means I'm stuck in between gears. I hope I haven't bent my Ultegra rear derailleur.

The chain clicks back into place.

I finish my 30 miles and make it back home without any swelling or catastrophic equipment failure. We're tough, my bike and me.

Chain up your dogs, people.

Please.

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