Winter Wipeout

Ninja? Badido? Swatt agent? No it's just Señor J in full winter regalia.

It looks like Mommy Nature must have tied one on last night and gotten confused with her thermostat settings as Florida woke to temperatures in the high 40’s! That might not sound like much to you Northerns, but for the typical Floridian, that is arctic-like cold. The flip side though is we’d be in the 70’s by mid day, but that still left us layering up for today’s ride.

I decided to stick with my base layer and tights combination which worked great yesterday. Señor J on the other hand showed up looking like a SWATT agent, only on bike. He had the full winter regalia on including thermal top, tights, long fingered gloves and even a balaclava…he really hates the cold.

With 10 days left before the big century ride, the plan was just to do an easy 30 mile spin to keep the legs fresh. It took a few miles before we acclimated to the cold, after all the with the mercury sitting at 46°, the wind chill produced on the bike must have easily been in the high 30’s, but once we got a good sweat going, the temperature was a non issue. In fact it’s rather pleasant riding in the morning chill.

The ride was swift and rather uneventful as we maintained a nice 22 MPH clip down Tree Line, that is until we got to the intersection of the I75 overpass. I was tucked a mear 6 inches or so off Señor J’s back wheel as we approached. As soon as we hit the intersection, the light turned yellow. Now normally we just buzz through the intersection, much like any motorist does when the light changes from green to yellow, but today Señor J decided to hit the breaks…all good, unless you have me 6 inches away, speeding up to clear the light.

Needless to say I careened into Señor J’s back wheel sending me down hard to the pavement. Curiously, as with most accidents, or traumatic events, time always compresses allowing you to analyze the situation and make choices in fractions of a second. Knowing that I was going down, even under full breaking power, I actually had time to consider whether I should fall to the curbside or into the traffic lane. I chose the traffic lane, as curbs are very intimidating and like to break things. I also had enough time to curl up and absorb as much of the impact as possible.

I landed on my left side, my head and hip taking the brunt of the force. In fact my noggin smacked the pavement pretty hard leaving me seeing stars for a few seconds. Señor J helped me untangle myself from my bike and I began taking inventory on all my parts. Everything appeared to be in working order, so my attention turned to my bike.  It too was fine as it had a much softer landing, namely me instead of the pavement. It only needed a  few adjustments to straighten the brake hoods and unjam the bars. Señor J gathered up all the other bits spread about like water bottles and glasses.

Bumped but fully intact noggin thanks to my helmet.

We remounted and took a break at Miromar, to assess any missed damage. Apart from a little road rash on my noggin and the obligatory bumps and bruises, everything seemed fine and functional. I have to take a moment to mention how important it is to not only have a good helmet, but to wear it correctly. If it wasn’t for my helmet, I’d would have probably been knocked unconscious, or worse. The helmet did what it was designed to do, absorb the brunt of the trauma and protect my noggin. Sure my face got a little scraped up, but without the helmet, who knows what would would have happened. The same could be said of my cycling gear. My new Sugoi tights were ripped up, but they protected my knee . My gloves also got ripped up, but protected my hands. The moral here is to invest in good gear, it can and will save your bacon one day.

We rode home leisurely against a stiff wind. I was experiencing some soreness in my right ankle, but otherwise I was fine. Upon reaching home I took a well deserved hot shower and took another personal inventory. The final damage tally was a bump and road rash on my noggin, a bumped left elbow, a big bruise on my left hip, a pumped left knee, a bump and bruise on my right shin, and a bumped and bruised right ankle. It could have been a lot worse, but thankfully it wasn’t. I’ll be back on the bike tomorrow.

Route: Miromar-30
Ride Time: 1:42:05
Stopped Time: 38:06
Distance: 29.98 miles
Average: 17.62 mph
Fastest Speed: 24.82 mph
Ascent: 863 feet
Descent: 822 feet
Calories: 1519


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