Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Good Ride Spoiled - ER/Silly Safari Edition

Yesterday started off with me planning a photo safari by bike. Back in the Canosia Wildlife Reserve was to be the location. Deer, bear, moose, coyote, wolf, or anything else that moved was to be my quarry. I packed my DSLR and lens' in my back pack, along with  food and extra clothes, and set out to capture some images in the forest. I've ridden the road/trail many times before, but not lately. Things have changed - the hills have had some furrow/berms cut across them, and about a half mile from the river I was trying, road stopped. It appears the area has  been logged in a most bizarre way. A quarter mile wide pile of logs, branches, and debris stops anyone from getting through. I tried walking though, but it was almost dangerous, what with all of the sharp sticks ready to go through one's foot. I'm glad I was wearing MTB shoes with a stiff sole!

Frustrated, I turn back to scout another route. About a quarter mile into the return route it happened. I was trying to carry some speed going up a long hill, I hit one of the berms. A split second later, I was on the ground, unable to breathe. Finally, I did manage to breathe (obviously) but very painfully. I got to my feet and surveyed to situation. Cameras, cell phone, bike, all intact. No skin loss. To cuts or bleeding. No real signs of impact, just pain along my left side, plus difficulty breathing. I tried to ride the rest of the way up the hill, but deep breathing was unbearable, so a slow hike-a-bike up the grades and more coasting down, along with soft pedaling on the flats.

I finally got back to the van, loaded up and headed up the Lavaque Road. A stop at my folks house to grab some Aleave and rest, the home. We ate dinner and later headed to the emergency room at St Luke's Hospital to see what was going on. The doctor examined me and called for a CT scan, as he suspected I had damaged my spleen. Results were negative on the spleen damage, but showed a broken rib and the others badly bruised. Treatment? Nothing but some Loritabs and rest. Stay off the bike for a while, take a deep breath to make sure pneumonia doesn't set in ( due to shallow breathing, pneumonia is common with rib injuries), and stop taking metforman for a few days due to it's interaction with the CT contrasting dye  - that can shut down your kidneys. That would be just what I would need!

Climbing to the sun.

Weird place to pile wood and boulders.

Looks like big kindling for a big fire!
All in all, a beautiful day to take in the fresh, fall air and perfect weather. The ribs will heal and it's just another lesson learned. What lesson? 29ers' can't roll over anything if you don't pay attention!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Piedmont on Foot

Piedmont trials on gorgeous fall day.

Lots of climbing.

Up and up.

Believe the signs!

Rock drop. Not for me at this time.

This ones not too bad. Thanks, COGGS!

Still some beautiful foliage.
I went for a ride this morning on the Piedmont trails to see what the more advanced areas were like. Tough, twisty, up and down, rocks, more rocks, roots, you name it, it's there. I was very cautious and still had a couple of biffs. If there's one thing Duluth has, it's variety of riding that's second to none. Varied terrain from one end of town to the other, beginner to advanced, no one is excluded. Today my lack of fitness really stood clear. I haven't been out much due to so many circumstances beyond my control, but things are kind of settling down. We'll see. The pics above are from this afternoon, when I went back and walked what I had previously ridden. I was right, this is tough terrain. I'm glad it's just up the hill from where I live. Nothing more humbling than riding over your head!