Mostly recaps of two wheeled rambles through the countryside, but sometimes thoughts on other things.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Thrills and spills

5 of us took off from AL 14 and CR 75 on the Prattville loop, as advertised. We would have had 6, but one went to Tuesday night's venue for some reason. Don't know if he got in a ride or not. It was a perfect evening for a ride. As Austin noted, "I looked outside and thought do I want to do a system upgrade on my computer, or ride?" Well, duh. He was sporting a club jersey, so I guess we know how the call went.

We split up downtown. The over 50 set took the low Gin Shop Hill climb past Continental Eagle, while the young legs pounded up Deer Trace with its wicked little 20% climb. When the spry fry were late in joining us at the fountain we headed back towards the base of the hill. Then Auston called me on my cell to say that Phil had spilled descending Gin Shop. Wow! I pedaled back up to where they were and some kind Samaritan had taken Phil (we thought) to get to a doctor. Another rider, who we did not know and who was providentially in the area, said he had a truck a mile away and would come back for the bike. I waited with Austin and Robert, and John headed back home (he came straight from his house, and the light was getting low). I looked at Phil's Lemond, and a spoke was loose on the Bontrager Race Lites, allowing the front rim to adopt a wavy gravy attitude. Robert was behind Phil on the road and said it looked like he just lost control of the bike going down the hill. I know little about low spoke count, high tension wheelsets, so perhaps Mike Munk or some other more informed person than I can bring the club at large up to speed on any recommended maintenance for others who may be sporting similar wheels.

Phil actually came back with the other rider in the fellow;s truck , and got the bike, then took Phil to his nearby home, where his family could take over. Phil, weigh in with the doctor's report when you can.

After we saw Phil safely off, and talked briefly about the whole situation, Austin said that looking at Phil's helmet, it may have saved his life. Helmets are mandatory on club rides, and having crashed myself, I also know they save lives. If you don;t wear one, get one. Wal-Mart sells inexpensive ones. If it fits, and has the ANSI sticker inside, it can save your life. And, as a reminder, helmets are single crash use items. If you slam your head in one, no matter how good it may still look (the helmet, not you) ditch it for a new one. There can be hidden damage in these things.

By now it was turn on the lights time and we stepped up the pace for the second half of the ride. The 3 of us had lights and we basically rode together. Thanks guys for slowing down so the old geezer could get a little protection from your lights. we made it to the parking lot before twilight ended; that last stretch on Old Ridge was our reward at about 25 mph.

Hope to see some of you at the Old Howard on Saturday. Let's wear our club jerseys if you have one.



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