Saturday, April 24, 2010

Toughest Man Alive

Cherry Blossom hasn't been so hot. I woke up sick Wednesday at 4am and have been going downhill ever since. Yesterday's first stage was fine, and I just finished in the pack. Today though I was struggling to hold position and missed some gaps, but ended up rolling in a group that finished ~30th places - except that I hit a rock with 50k to go and tore my nice Continental Force tire. No wheel car in sight. Some nice people up on the hill that I walked up to offered me a tube, but that wouldn't help. I waited for other fields, and the rest of the 1/2's eventually went by in small groups. After a good long while, I just hitched a ride back to the start with the good samaritans instead of waiting any more and doing 50k in the Gorge winds alone, way, way behind the last guys on the road. The crit wouldn't do me any good and the TT is pointless at that point anyways. Better to go sleep for a few days and get healthy again. This is the first time I've been sick back-to-back like this in a long, long time, too - after spring break's illness this is just frustrating as hell.

But the story of the weekend is James, from Lifecycle. He raced in the 4's and was involved in a massive crash on Stage 1. It sounds like the 2nd and 3rd guys in the front group crossed wheels on a descent and took out 20-25 guys or something. James went down. He cracked his helmet pretty badly, got massive road rash, and broke several fingers and messed up his wrist. He finished the race, riding another 25 miles. Mike and I were at the finish as he came in and he told us all about his crash. We asked him if his hand was messed up, since it was swollen and bleeding and his fingers looked like he shoved them onto a belt sander. He nonchalantly said:

"Yeah, looked down and these three were pointed off to the side like this. I pulled them straight so I could keep going."

He had bone chips in his wrist, broken fingers, and clearly dislocated knuckles. He pulled them straight and finished the race. No big deal. He was worried about having busted his new helmet. Shattered bones? Eh, 'tis just a flesh wound.

Watch out for that guy when he upgrades. He is tougher than nails.

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