After two days of gloriously lengthy sleeps and severals small feasts, the haze is beginning to pass. In my newfound clarity I bask in the satisfaction of having made it across America, which at times seemed potentially doubtful, like that one time there was a car on my back, or that one time the ER doc looked at my elbow and said “ohhhhh that looks nasty”, or that one other time that I couldn’t stand up on the pedals without my leg seizing from not being able to ride properly for two days from that one time I was cut-off by a car and t-boned it at over 30mph…
But alas, I made it. But not without the HUGE amount of help and support from my entire crew, as well as from the hundreds of blog posts and FB comments from everyone following along. The “car situation” certainly changed things up for us a bit, at the time we were just getting into a nice race rhythm, found ourselves in 7th and moving forward and feeling good from getting ourselves comfortably across the desert, then the situation happened, and found myself quickly immobilized and en route to the hospital. After a few hours of x-rays, assessment, and some of the more painful scrubbing I’ve ever received, I was ready to be discharged. Everyone was ready to give every excuse for me to call it quits, and that was my biggest fear as soon as I saw the tire rolling over my shoulder, “That’s it, RAAM is done, after all the effort and preparation from so many people and sponsors, as if it’s gonna end here after just a couple days of racing. I wonder if I could still ride a recumbent? Maybe using just one arm? How bad is the bike? Must be totaled. Good grief. If by some miracle nothing is seriously wrong though, no question we continue on.”
And well, as miracles would have it, first my c-spine was cleared, then astounding the doc there was no break in my arm, maybe a slight bit of concussion but nothing too serious and some nasty bruises and bumps and road rash, bot nothing worthy of an excuse to not carry on.
About 6-6.5 hours after the situation, I was back on the bike heading into Monument Valley at dusk, a just reward as it was pretty much incredible. I was riding Ed’s bike as my back-up bike, and had to take my freshly crushed arm off the bars for every big bump or rough patch, not to mention the huge hematoma on my left hip made sitting and turning the legs over a little less than pleasurable, but we were moving forward.
So I digressed a bit into the car story there, but there were countless other great stories and I’ll surely get to some of those later. For now I just wanted to say thanks again to crew, the Laurentian University Alumni Association, as well as all the other people and organizations that helped us out.
I will endeavor to keep the updates coming over the next week and tell the tale that was our Race Across America.