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I forgot to ask how many….

You will have to read this post, almost in its entirety to have a shot of guessing how many whats?

This morning I drove to Hemet. By the way, I discovered that if i move the seat in my Kia Van up a notch and then lean it back a notch or two my legs and glutes get much less achy.  I took my road bike with me to Hemet so that I could do a ride while Cheryl and her mother had time to visit.

I headed out from my mother in laws house, out of the tract, a half mile down a sidewalk and then headed southwest along a rural highway there. The highway is a nice place to ride. It has a wide shoulder with bike lanes on both sides. From the highway you cannot see it, but the road goes right by Diamond Valley Reservoir.  As I headed west, I noted that I was mostly on a slight incline with a couple of steeper sections. There was also a light wind from the south west. In spite of the resistance I maintained just under a 15 mph pace. I have averaged 16 plus on a couple of my longer rides lately, but those had been point to point starting at my house and ending in Lancaster. They had a net elevation loss and perhaps some net wind assistance. So, I was excited to see if I could average 16 on this out and back course. The temperature, by the way was in the upper 80s so it was not too bad.

At about 11.7 miles I happened to reach an intersection where I could turn back. I would have to hurry to make it back by my predicted return time of 12 noon. Sure enough, the ride back was a little easier and a little quicker. I watched my Garmin and saw the difference between my pace and the 16 mph pace (3 min 45s a mile) get smaller and smaller. Around 20 or 21 miles I noted that my average had exceeded 16. The highway ended and I headed back into Hemet. Still noting 17 plus on the instantaneous speed whenever I saw it. I turned onto the narrow street and headed down the sidewalk.

I was cruising comfortably down the sidewalk. It was a narrow walk way with poles to dodge. There was a teenage guy on a skateboard headed toward me. I timed it to pass him between the poles. He was on the street side and there was a hedge of Oleanders on my right. Just as I was passing, the Oleanders turned into some other sort of tree. The branches had been cut off, but they still overhung the sidewalk. I could not swerve as that would push the youth into the traffic in the street. I hit the tree and continued onward. I remember saying ouch but remained straight heading down the sidewalk. After a few moments I realized that I could not see out of my right eye. So, I coasted to a stop. Now I am at the corner, the entrance to my mother in laws tract. My first thought is that I pushed my glasses into my face. I take them off and they are in tact. I notice blood dripping onto my legs and bicycle. I figure I must have cut myself pretty good, but I figure I could ride the mile back easier than I can call for help so with one eye I ride.

At the house I find the hose and turn it on my face. Cheryl was just about to leave to buy lunch but she gets out to see what I am up to. I see her turn white looking at me. Without dripping too much blood I try to get into the bathroom and I finally see a huge gash just millimeters below my right eye.

So, off I went to the emergency room. I forgot to ask how many ….. stitches the doctor sewed into my eyelid. The worst part was the pain killer shots he had to put in before he started stitching.  The doctor told me to stay out of the sun for 6 months!  What?  That is not possible. Well, I am supposed to protect it from sunlight as much as possible for 6 months in order to minimize the appearance of the scar that I am likely to have when this is done. I happened to have one of those disposable sunglass shields from my eye doctor in the car so I wore it for the drive home. My plan is to wear it when I run or ride for a while AND to always wear a hat outside, which I typically always do anyway.

The good news is that I completed 23.58 miles in 1:27:54. My average pace even including the one eyed last mile was 16.1 mph….

3 replies »

  1. Your eye looked bad this morning! It was very fortunate that you did not take a direct hit to the eye. As Karl and I set off for another Out-N-Back I heard Lauren ask you if she could see your eye again. From the distance I could hear her say “that looks much worst then I thought”.
    Hey, Mr. Lister……..How many stitches did you get?

    Best wishes on a speedy recovery.

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July 2011


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