Saturday, November 28, 2009

Dirty Doesn't


So today was the Dirty Dozen and... I didn't ride. I wanted to, and the weather was perfect, and I trained for the last few months and got to know all of the hills (some better than others, but I still covered them all). So I was all ready. But then I went and messed up the middle finger on my right hand.

This past Sunday night, I decided to swap cranksets on the Bianchi. I picked up an Ultegra compact on eBay for a pretty great price. Brian was going to help me with it, but I wanted to get it on there before the ride and the instructions looked pretty straightforward (mind you, I've not done much mechanic-ing on my bikes up to this point), so I picked up a bottom bracket tool at Pro Bikes and got to work.

The swap itself was ridiculously easy. As I mentioned, the directions were pretty clear, so everything went off without a hitch. And then I realized that I had left the pedals on the old crankset. Which meant I'd have to wrench them out of there without being able to use the bike for leverage.

That didn't work out so well. I was working the drive side pedal loose, and all of a sudden (and way more quickly than I was prepared to handle) it did, in fact, come loose. The whole crank set sort of spun around with the crank arm and one of the teeth on the big ring jammed itself into my middle finger, right at the first knuckle.

One good thing is that it didn't hurt at all. Either that or, I was so focused on getting out of the garage and back into the basement to start trying to get the grease out of the wound that the pain was the furthest thing from my mind. Who knows. I don't remember any pain, and that's all that matters, right?

After scrubbing it for awhile and not being sure if I was doing a great job, I called up to Heather to come down and lend a hand. She could tell I had some trouble from the trail of blood that led from the garage door to the stationary tub. I asked her to go get a pair of scissors so that we could cut off the little flap of skin on top of my finger and see how clean everything looked.

Unfortunately, it wasn't a little flap of skin. It was the rest of my finger. The tooth had dug in at a deep enough angle it was pretty much just a puncture wound. I can't imagine it was all that far from the bone.

We got it cleaned out as best we could and headed over to my parents' house to get my mom's opinion (she's a nurse). She said it looked like we had done a pretty good job of getting everything out of there, but I made a doctor's appointment the next morning (my mom sent me to school with a broken collarbone when I was in high school, so if she says everything's okay, I'm still a little wary) just in case.

The doctor was also pretty satisfied that everything looked okay, but she gave me a prescription for some antibiotics anyway, AND I got a tetanus shot. All that was left to do was wait and see how long it took to heal.

And wait.

(The Finger on Tuesday)

For awhile, I really thought it might be good enough to go today, but then I realized I'd need to have gloves on all day and bear down pretty hard on the bars while climbing the hills. I figured I'd just end up tearing the whole thing open and bleeding all day.

I was pretty okay with my decision all day today, but then we ran over to the EEFC to pick up a few things. While we were driving through Squirrel Hill, we came up on big groups of cyclists heading down Beechwood.

Heather rolled down her window and asked if they had just finished the DD (it was about 4:45). They confirmed, and that's when I started feeling really bad about not being able to ride. I wish I had been out there with them. Oh well. Next year.

I just hope that the finger's in good enough shape for the Punk Bike Enduro next Sunday.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Ten of Thirteen isn't too bad.

Chris Mayhew organized a little Dirty Dozen scouting ride for Sunday morning. This was a good thing because a) Saturday was kind of gross out and I didn't feel like heading down for the WPW training ride, b) having skipped said WPW ride, I really wanted to get out and get some hills under my belt, and 3) Chris's plans were to do the whole thing, and I wanted to see if I could even make it through from start to finish.

Here are a few details:

  • Eight of us started from the Oval at 10:00 AM
  • The weather was great. Clear and sunny all day, with temps somewhere in the mid-to-upper 40s.
  • Three of us (Chris, Robbie, and I) finished at the top of Flowers/Kilbourne/Tesla sometime around 1:30 or so.
  • The five that peeled off at varying points in time did so of their own volition, not because of mechanicals or anything like that.
  • In the time between, we climbed ten of the thirteen hills on the DD route.
  • We skipped Canton, Boustead, and Barry/Holt/Eleanor.

All in all, I'd say I felt pretty good. I was still on my bike when I got to the top of each hill. I wasn't flying, but I wasn't puking, either. I was slightly disappointed that we skipped out on Canton, just because I still haven't tried it yet, but I'll just have to make sure I get myself over there this coming weekend.

At some point I need to swap a 12-27 cassette from the Portland to the Bianchi. I've been doing fine with the 12-25, but those two teeth might make a little bit of a difference.