There is a difference between feeling pain and getting hurt. Pain is draining. Pain is demoralizing and pain is emotionally degrading. Anyone who has felt true pain in a lasting state can attest to it’s burdening effects on mind and spirit. Getting hurt on the other hand is what can make you appreciate what it’s about to be alive.

This past weekend ride was destined to be overshadowed by more than just rain clouds. Riding out on the morning 40 I felt a bit off, Not focused, but a bit preoccupied with thoughts I could not shake. But after a few miles I was able to refocus and find ride clarity. The legs opened up a bit and flowed with oxygen. The engine was starting to warm up. Until the black cat crossed the road before us…silence you fools! You shall not curse this ride!

Five miles later it happened. Coming off a pull and drifting back into the pace line my teammate in front rubbed a wheel and went down. Domino effect and I was next. I did not feel it at first. I was down for a few minutes. It’s an odd feeling to know you are lying in the road, completely helpless and not really able to get up. The cars are coming! But you don’t care. You are on your back looking at the rainclouds and taking mental inventory of your body and its limb by limb status. Silently hoping you can get up un-aided.

A few minutes later I was up. I was ok for the most part. Even my bike made it through relatively unscathed, But, looking over at his bike my heart sank. He was ok barring a few scrapes but Heavy Eddy had done the real damage. The rear wheel had been shattered. Three spokes cracked, the derailleur and dropout of his titanium road machine totally bent beyond ridability. The consensus was that I had fallen on his bike. Later that day the battle scars seemed to confirm it as my marks were more than normal road rash crash damage. I feel worse and worse the more I think about it. Wishing I could have given a bit more space before I tried grabbing his wheel. This is a form of pain. emotional pain. A pain I am truly sorry I’ve inflicted upon him.

Two days later I re-inspect my wounds. I am still feeling a bit of “hurt” So nasty. Black blue, yellow, raw skin exposed and bruises beginning to change to all colors of the rainbow. Oddly enough I am actually finding a positive. I am thinking about where I was a year ago pre-spine surgery.  Pain from my degenerating discs, arm, hand, leg pain and weakness was keeping me off my rides. Today, I count myself lucky to be in this state. The hurt is reminding me that I did something to get to this state. Riding a 40 miler in pace line, wheels kissing at 22-25 mph. Something I could not do a year ago. Now, I just hope the titanium frame can find the same expert surgeon as I did, and will soon be back on the road again.

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