Sunday, June 1, 2008

new bike first ride and a little crash

I didn't mean to start my first ride on my new carbon Felt Z35 with a crash within sight of my house. It just happened.

Lucky for me, it was a no-speed, can't-get-my-foot-unclipped, oh-crap-I'm-falling-over accident. No scratches to the bike (whew!), but today I've learned I bruised a rib pretty badly in the brief encounter with the asphalt. No other bumps, bruises or scrapes that I can tell.

So, I knew I needed to be careful on the Felt, as I was making a transition from my K2 hybrid bike sit-up bike to a road bike. It's been about 18 years since I last pedaled around on a road bike, not since college when I rode around with the UCSD cycling folks. And in the intervening years, I'd gotten comfortable riding motorcycles and mountain bikes and had generally forgotten what it's like to have so much weight over the handlebars. It was this weight over the bars that was my undoing at the start.

We live on a bit of a hill, and normally that's no problem as it allows me to coast down to the T intersection to start my rides.

Yesterday was different, however, as I was a little unnerved by the gearing and the shifters of my new Felt, and by the time I'd coasted down to the corner, I was in the wrong gear and desperately trying to do something, anything to maintain momentum until, shit here comes the curb, must stop. Whew stopped yet can't yank my foot out of the clip. whump.

My right side hit the ground and I was back upright before I even realized I'd hit the deck (luckily no traffic around to witness my graceless start). All seemed right with the bike (and me) so I pushed off again and there were no other problems.

The rest of the ride was rather dreamy, to be honest. The shifting was solid (thanks Shimano Dura Ace) and I love the way the bike feels underneath me. I was worried that my gearing had changed dramatically and I'd lost a lot of room in the lower gears so I'd suffer on the hills, but that didn't materialize. I wound up passing quite a few folks out on their own rides, and by the time I was screaming down the last big hill on the way home, I was really appreciating the aggressive posture I was forced into by the configuration of the bike.

Yes, my lower back hurt from the new posture on the bike, but I know I'll get used to that in a little while. The aerodynamic trade off is well worth it.

What I'd blocked out of my memory from my previous road bike days was the fact that the saddle on a road bike puts a lot of pressure on a certain nerve bundle right between your legs. So you lose all feeling down there for a good hour after the ride. Numb like someone shot it full of novacaine. I'll have to read up a bit to see if this is normal. If not, I may have to get a new saddle sooner than later.

In any case, I've posted my Garmin stats from the ride below. It shows heart rate v elevation, and you can see the initial blip in the red line from when my heart went pitter-patter thanks to the crash, then it's back to a regular workout (if a little low throughout). In any case, it was my fastest ride yet.

Now, if only my ribs will heal up enough so that it doesn't hurt when I laugh.


twinga said...

Ha ha... sorry, but this is too funny. I wish I could have witnessed it :) ... ok, jokes aside, sadly I must tell you that this broken/hurt/somehow injured rib thing usually starts paining on the second day, and won't stop paining for 3 weeks or so. How are you feeling? Get well soon!!

Jenni G said...

I have to tell you I laughed out loud reading about your crash. Laughing WITH you, not at you because I can see myself doing the same thing. Thanks for the smile in morning rush hour traffic! I hope no serious damage was done to your ribs.

I'm still using non-clip pedals with those annoying straps and wearing my slip on Skeetchers for shoes. My transition during a Biathlon I did last week was a nightmare! I anxiously await the Specialized Trivent tri shoes and Shimano 105 pedals I ordered to arrive. Soon, I too will be wobbling thru my neighborhood, trying to avoid humiliation while getting used to being clipped in. I can't wait!

ThomasK said...

Thanks for the well-wishes, you two. I'm happy to report that I'm able to laugh right along with everyone else at my foibles without (much) pain in the rib.

I had to take a couple days away from training, though, but I got back in the pool this morning for a 2000m swim with the Masters team and am feeling good. Off to do a seven mile hike after work as training for Mt Whitney, so it's a nice cross-training day.