Friday, April 13, 2018
With warmer weather and more sunlight in Athens, planning a long bike ride takes a lot less work. Fewer lights, less clothing and so forth. So this morning, I kept to my plan to get up early and attempt a 300 km ride.
It all started so well. I was out the door by 6:30am and rode up that hill to Sotira. From there it is a bit up and down until you get (well, really a lot more up) to Erythres, then the down starts. When I rode this route last in February it was pretty. Today, with flowers and fields of grain peeking up, its gorgeous.
I am tired, so I am going to cut to the good stuff. At 155 km, just before Marathonas, I was descending on wonderful roads with a few bends. Here is a monster home at the top. It was a nice road and a good time.
And here is what the valley below looks like:
Alas, there was some water across the road. I can’t say if I was braking (tight bend, near the bottom and I couldn’t see around it), or whether the water was soapy from someone’s house cleaning, but in an instant both wheels went out from underneath me and I went down like a rock. Other than tipping over on Milos, that I joked about before, this is the first time I have crashed since March, 2007. On that day I was also completing a 300km ride and was about 150 km in. I guess it’s a thing with me. (That time it was on gravel and not nearly as graceful as today. I still have gravel lodged in my body from that one).
People ask sometimes, “why do you shave your legs?” Yesterday, fortuitously, I shaved my legs for the first time in 6 weeks. THIS is why we shave our legs. That should heal pretty nicely with no hair in there to mess it up and make an ugly scab.
I hit my arm, my leg, my hip and my head. I don’t know if the helmet helped to deflect the impact, but my head hit the pavement directly and I was seeing stars. Luckily there was not a single car that passed and I had a few moments to sit on the road and consider my options. When I had confidence that everything was working as it should I got the heck off the roadway (blind corner!) and sat down to inspect bike and body.
All was good, so I rode to the next village and took a longer stop to let the adrenaline rush fade. I couldn’t see my head, but I knew it was bleeding (I wear a sweat cap, and when I took it off, it was bloody), but after a while I realized that I should take a picture of myself and look at it from there. Here is what that looked like.
Despite my determination to complete a 300k ride, the better course was to get back to the boat before pharmacies closed and get cleaned up. So instead of 300, I cut things short and finished with 270km and a good story.
Here are all four of my wounds. I don’t even have a headache now, so the head thing was strictly surface. My hip isn’t so lucky and I have likely pulled a muscle, but it will probably take a day or two to figure that out. Cycling is ‘okay’, but walking requires a bit more effort.
So, that’s it. Barely a scratch 😳 or four. I have eaten, now I will put some protection on the wounds and then I sleep. That’s it for tonight.