Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Susan's Back on the Bike. Are you?

I've talked about my crash on the blog before, but in case you don't know I'll tell you the Reader's Digest version.  I was riding in a 100 mile charity ride in June of 2010 and crashed by bike during a rain storm because I was too dumb and determined to stop 85 miles into the race.  The crash left me with a fractured shoulder and wrist.  I spent 6 weeks on bed rest with pins in my arm, had 4 surgeries to repair my shoulder and spent 9 months in physical therapy.  I still am not 100% but I don't think I ever will be.

What I haven't talked about on the blog is how I've felt on the bike AFTER the crash.  I've done a couple of triathlons and done some shorter rides on the road with Julie, but none of them have involved any significant hills.  

There have been some descents that I've done in my lifetime where I was clamping on the brake as hard as I could and still couldn't get my bike to go as slow as I'd like (I do NOT feel safe over 30 mph).  Because I'd be clamping down so hard on the brakes my hand would cramp dying and asking me to let go.  I know if I let go it means I'll go faster.  I would get seriously terrified, but somehow I always made it to the bottom of those hills unscathed.  

That was NOT the case on the day of my accident.  No matter how hard I clamped the brakes nothing was stopping me and instead of slowing I was gaining speed.  I never talked about it before (not on the blog anyway) but I remember there being NO ONE around during my crash, yet I was screaming at the top of my lungs "help me" and "someone please help me stop".  Soon my screams turned to whispers as I asked the only "person" I thought could helped me.  I prayed to God this time quietly asking Him to help me.  

Even though my crash was well over a year ago I remember the moments leading up to the crash so vividly.  I remember the shear terror I felt.  I remember thinking I could die and what that would mean for my children.  A fear like that is something you NEVER forget.   

So it's an easy decision right?  Just park the bike!  Better yet, sell the bike!  My mom is clapping right now!  Sure, it's easy to say that I should never ride again, but I really don't think that is the answer.  I want to be able to face my fear and be able to ride at the level I did before my crash.  I don't want to be scared, but confident having learned from my pervious mistakes.  I do, however, want to be smart and cautious while riding so I can be as safe as possible.  Most of all, I just want to ride.  

Why am I talking about all this anyway?  Well, George and my dad have a big ride planned for Friday, and although no one asked me to go, I'm going anyway.  I'm really excited to go because I've been waiting for a time to get out there and ride George's newly discovered "best place to ride a bike ever".  After I invited myself to go, I took it right back (riding 40 miles before my 20 mile run on Sunday seems kind of stupid to me).  They convinced to go and I'm going, but I started thinking of the possibility of big hills and declines.  George said there are two!  

I'm going to face my fears.  Me, Pink (my bike), 40 miles, 2 descents.  See you Friday!  


G. said...

Be careful little girl! Conquer! xoxo G.

Nusz9 said...

You will be fine! I know the feeling after a bad bike crash but we must pick ourselves up and get back up again. Have fun and the ride will be good for you before that run. It may make it harder but will result in a better finishing time.

tracey smith said...

I'm jealous! I am starting back at spin class today- does that count? Have fun and ride those brakes!

robringer said...

you won't be alone on those descents this time. Head up, always looking'll do great.

jamie@sweatyhugs said...

Have a great ride out there!

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