Tag Archives: Injuries

How very remiss of me!

Two days until I head overseas and there’s been nary a peep about my trip on my blog.

So yes… two days until I fly off to America for the third time. Whoo! I’m visiting the same places as I did last year (LA, San Fran and Seattle) but that’s because I loved them so much I had to go again. Part of me hopes it’ll snow but part of me also knows it’ll be a huge hassle if it does because I’m totally unprepared for it. It’s going to be really weird to go from very mild, warm weather to the cold. And it’s going to be cold in Seattle, probably in San Francisco too.

I called V Australia about seats on my flights and managed to get window seats on empty rows. Everyone must cross their fingers for me that it stays this way as that would be totally awesome. I love, love, luuuuuuuuuuurve the idea of having an entire row to myself. Being able to lie down would be blissful. On my first trip, I slept much better on the way home because I had an empty seat next to me and was able to sprawl a lot more. So, wish me empty rows ‘kay?

I’m heading off with my usual minimal plans and waiting to see what happens once I arrive. A few things have been arranged but mostly I’ll be deciding what I want to do once I’m there. I’ll definitely be seeking out some bike shops as I have a hankering for some new bike shoes and have been taken aback at how insanely expensive they are in Australia. Plus I want to see what jerseys I can get my hands on. And some new gloves wouldn’t go astray either. Hhmm… at this rate, I’m going to be spending all my money in bike shops and not on comic book art!

Speaking of comic book art, there’s only a few artists I’m actually interested in getting pieces from. In order of wantedness:
1. Phil Hester
2. Skottie Young
3. Dean Trippe
4. Joelle Jones
5. Joe Kelly
6. Dustin Nguyen/Derek Fridolfs
7. Francesco Francavilla

I have my fingers really crossed for Phil Hester and Skottie Young. Hester was my favourite artist on Green Arrow and I’m hoping I can get a GA sketch from him. I don’t have that many hopes of getting anything from Skottie Young but I figured I’d try my luck anyway. If I can’t get something, I just hope he’s got a a print of the awesome Amazing Spider-Man cover he did that features Deadpool. Every time I see it, I chuckle. Hopefully Mr Sale will have finished inking the page I bought last year and that’s the only thing I want from him. I got my 10 minute ink wash last year so I’m set there. Plus Tim has been extraordinarily generous with me and I have more pieces from him than I thought I ever would.

I am slightly worried about how I’m going to go on the flights with torn rib tendons. 14 hours in a seat is a long time. But my doctor did give me drugs that will knock me out so if nothing else I’ll take some mersyndol and pray I venture off into the land of nod.

My ribs are healing nicely and sometimes I actually forget they’re anything wrong with them. Until I stretch and then it’s a world of weird pain. It doesn’t exactly hurt, it feels really tight and constricted – like I’ve reached the maximum amount of flex they have. I am looking forward to the day when I can stretch my arms above my head without it hurting.

Ten days off the bike has really affected my riding. I’m at least five ks slower than I was a few weeks ago and I feel like I’ve lost a huge amount of power. I think my fitness levels have crashed too. I feel slower and heavier on the bike. But at least I’m back on it. I’m riding far more cautiously at the moment and I’ve noticed I’m taking far, far fewer risks than I was. This isn’t to say I took that many risks beforehand but I’m definitely backing off whereas before I wouldn’t have. Maybe that’s a good thing though. I’m sure I’ll live a longer life if I ride with more caution.

And finally, two stories from The Age website that caught my eye: Number of peak-hour cyclists soar and 14 cyclists injured in spate of accidents.

Check me out

I’ve signed up for Scotty’s Ride, the 54km route 🙂

I’m doing it on my own but that’s okay. I’m sure I’ll find someone to talk to along the way and I’m sure my family will be hanging about at the finish line when I finish (I know you’re reading Dad, so that’s a big hint). When I was in Year 12, I used to ride most of the route every single day after school so I have the advantage of actually knowing where I’m going. It should be quite pleasant riding past all the orchards as the trees will be full of budding fruit so if my memory serves me well, it’ll smell really nice.

Maybe next year I’ll tackle the 120km ride. Maybe. I suppose it all depends on how long this current obsession lasts.

I had a misadventure with a kitchen knife last night. I was quickly cutting up some lettuce for dinner when I subconsciously decided I didn’t need the tip of my finger and tried to chop it off. All I could think of saying to my housemate was I’m going to need a band-aid as the blood started to flow which, thinking about it now, was probably a little inadequate considering how much it bleed. To be gross, I even managed to cut through my nail. I’m apparently a big believer in if you’re going to do something, do it right even if it really hurts. And made it really hard to put my new bike tyres on. (See what I did there? Huh, huh?)

As my housemate put it, Lisa has new shoes. According to my brother’s much more experienced eye, I didn’t really need new tyres but we swapped them over anyway and now I have spares. He gave me an excellent lesson in how to do it even though he had to do most of it because of my stupid finger. It was a case of I did the easy bits, like get the old tyre off and he did the hard bits of getting the new one on. He even showed me how to use a lever to get the tyre back on, which is something I couldn’t figure out on my own. He made it look so easy but I suppose that’s what happens when you’ve changed as many tyres as he has (he’d already changed four tyres that day and they were much tighter than mine). I need to practice it. It’s going to be the only way I can build up enough hand strength and develop a technique that works for me. When my finger heals, I’m going to start practising on my old bike. That way when I get frustrated, I can put the wheel down and walk away without having to worry about having a bike I can’t ride.

So now Lisa is sporting a pair of Continental Ultra Gatorskin tyres. By all accounts, I should have these tyres for quite a long time and they’re a reasonable training and great commuting tyre. I already like them better than the other Continentals I had. They felt more grippy then the old ones and handled this morning’s wet weather quite well. They seemed to kick up less water onto my back which is nice and I didn’t have saturated feet even though I ended up riding in the rain. The old tyres kicked up an amazing amount of water and the front tyre always dumped it onto my right foot. The Gatorskins are meant to be very puncture resistant which is something I need. I’m curious to see what they’re like on a dry road but I might have to wait to find that out!

If I’d known what today had in store for me, I would’ve stayed in bed.

The inevitable has occurred and I finally fell off my bike.

Me being me, I had to do it in the most spectacular fashion possible with as large an audience as I could manage. Corner of Flinders Lane and Swanston St, just up from the busiest intersection in Melbourne. Actually, I should be glad I didn’t have my tumble on the Flinders St/Swanston St intersection because it is the busiest intersection in Melbourne and I would’ve been squashed flat.

I got caught in tram track. And that’s all I know. I felt my back tyre slip into the track and the next thing I knew I was flat on my back in a world of pain. At least I had my helmet on. It did its job and protected my head from injury as I slammed my head into the ground really hard. I’m also glad I had my backpack on because it protected my spine.

It’s kinda scary. I really don’t know what happened. One minute I was upright, the next I was lying on the road surrounded by a bunch of concerned people.

I hit the ground so hard my feet came out of my pedals. Yeah, I don’t do things by halves. I managed to skin my right elbow even though I was wearing a long sleeved t-shirt and a waterproof jacket. It’s not so painful now and is covered up with a bit of gauze to stop fluff getting stuck to it.

The problem is my right hip. I have an intramuscular hematoma, which is basically a bruise inside the muscle or to be really icky – a sac of blood that’s formed inside the muscle. I have a big lump and it hurts likes a fiend. From what the doctor told me, it’s going to take a few weeks to dissipate.

Ahh… yes, the doctor. That didn’t go so well.

I waited for an hour for my appointment with a doctor I hadn’t seen before (which is my fault – I should’ve asked to see the one I normally see). He was nice enough but I didn’t like him as much as my normal one. He checked my elbow first and wasn’t too concerned with it. The fun started when he saw my hip and told me I had a hematoma forming. They can be left to sort themselves out but one thing you can do is drain the blood out of the hematoma which reduces the swelling and speeds up recovery time.

Uhh, yeah – great in theory, not so good in practice.

It started off okay. He injected quite a few dabs of local anaesthetic but when it came to using the larger needle, he couldn’t find the right spot. He managed to hit it once with a smaller needle and quite a lot of blood came out. But every time he tried with the larger needle, he couldn’t find it. The was more anaesthetic but he pushed the needle in too far one too many times and I wanted to vomit from the pain. Then I nearly passed out. It was obvious the blood sac was located too deep in the muscle for the anaesthetic to work and every time he dug in with the needle, it was excruciating. My hip is going to hurt for a few weeks but that’s something I’m prepared to live with. It’s better than being poked with needles.

So today’s lesson was if my instincts are telling me really not to ride my bike, I should listen to them. The irony of the situation is that I was only riding into the city to take my bike in for its first service. And I was only at that end of the city because I decided it would be a better idea to catch the train than ride in the pouring rain which started just after I left home. Of course, by the time the train arrived the rain had stopped but I figured I’d already validated my ticket so I might as well use it. Everything just went wrong.

The question now is what happens the next time I get on my bike? I was lucky I wasn’t seriously injured and if I was made from tougher stuff, I would’ve continued on my way. But I’m not, I was shaking like a leaf and I still feel a little teary even now. The shakes have gone away but I know the next time I get on my bike, I’m going to be afraid. A little fear can be a good thing but if I don’t get my confidence back, I know I’ll lose something I love. I’ve fallen off before but for some reason, this feel different. Probably because it hurts a hell of a lot more and I know how close I was to seriously injuring myself.

However, I think I’m a cyclist through and through. My first question when I was able to talk was where’s my bike?