Brandy and I walked out of our home today and saw the wonderful and serene sight of a rainbow. It really started my day off on a positive note.
Doc Altman. This gentleman set my thumb in the ER and did my pre op this morning.
I went to my pre-op appt today with the doc that treated me on Wednesday night. We went over my vital signs, a questioaire and the risks involved. I signed my consent and I was sent on my way. I guess I'm healthy base on the blood pressure. Of course they put the cuff on as soon as you sit down from walking in from the waiting room. My pulse seems high.
I don't think it takes an experienced medical professional to see the difference between the first (bad) x-ray and the second (better).
My doc says I will be operated on by the best hand surgeon in the Southern Cal Kaiser network. I think they HAVE to say that. Imagine my discomfort after being told that I will be put under the knife of the worst hand surgeon in the network
THE REST OF THE SET IS AVAILABLE HERE . MAKE SURE YOU GO TO THE LARGER SIZES OF THE RAINBOW AND THE X-RAYS (IF YOU ARE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE).
Well, it's a sad day for me today. Last night on my commute I was attacked by some pyscho, who on top of having mental issues, was also intoxicated. Totally unprovoked and inexplicably this person began berating Brandy and I with obscenities, and was full of rage. One theme of his repertoire was his insistence that because I was Iranian that I should go back to Iraq. Do you see how disturbed this person was?
We tried multiple times to disengage with this person but to no avail. We also couldn't leave because Brandy had a flat tire, and that was why we were stopped in the first place. We couldn't "escape" this maniac's torment with Brandy's bike in it's unservicable condition. Ultimately, "pyscho" grabbed me with both hands and was about to head butt me with his freshly shaven head, consquently I HAD TO defend myself.
A scuffle ensued. The details are hazy but we were introduced to the sidewalk gracing the entrance to the 7-11. I released him but I was attacked again. Once again to the ground we went. This time we were introduced to freshly deposited oil stain in the parking lot of the aforementioned 7-11. I then released him.
On the occassion of his second release he actually lunged at Brandy. She had been frantically communicating with 911 before the first incident of grappling began. When he charged at Brandy...OMG was that a very scary millisecond! I shoved him away and stood between Brandy and him. I believe he finally realized he was crossing serious lines, and also noticed that Brandy was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher. He fled the scene on his mountain bike.
We then find out from a bystander that he IS deranged. He gave us a name and address which we provided to one of the four squad cars that responded to the emercency call. One officer even commented to another officer about a third officer's experience with "pyscho", "Oh _______ almost shot him the other night."
Now there's more bad news. In the scuffle, I suffered a dislocation and Rolando's fracture of my right thumb. I currently have cast-like splint and will require surgery to properly set my thumb.
I will have surgery on November 6, 2008. The hand specialist is recommending a permanent T plate and screws to help my body mend the multiple fractures in my thumb.
And the worse news of all....I am being told a minimum of 12 weeks off the bike!
Stage Eight: Almost Amboy to Twenty Nine Palms, 58.2 miles. Elevation Gain: 4170'.
"After you pass through the funky throw-back hamlet of Amboy (where you can not count on any services), you cross the valley and at mile 472 begin the last climb: 1500 feet in 10 miles to Sheephole Summit (Mountain Section Ten). The climb begins gradually and gets steeper near the top. The shoulder is very sandy; the crew should be careful with the vehicle. A quick descent leads to the rough road and rolling slight uphill to the finish line."
This ranks as the point of the race where I hurt the most. On the way to Baker from Shoshone was my lowest point mentally. But Amboy, for a brief moment on the Sheephole climb, was my lowest point physically. I was hot. My triceps hurt. I couldn't switch to my TT bike because my undercarriage hurt too much. I was getting a headache from dehydration. AND I was just done with this race. I did my best to push through the hurt. I sucked down a 50 oz hydration pack of plain water from Nathan Sports and was thinking that's just not enough.
Thank you to Motor Tabs for providing different flavors for my CarboPro Motor Tabs cocktail.
Amazingly in this desert landscape, I found a shrub just tall enough to crawl under. I got off of the bike, crawled underneath the shrub and folded over like a towel on a rack. I was not having fun. I sat there and tried to hide from the afternoon sun.
I then realized that would not be enough either. I resorted to ice cold water poured on my head. Brandy then began to work on my triceps, which were aching.
The next series of pictures shows what a little water, a little shade and A LOT OF LOVE AND CARING can do. Notice how I go from the depths to new highs! Thank you Brandy and crew for taking care of me. Ticia, you captured a very important moment of the race-something that Brandy and I will always reflect on as a turning point. And Jason, steady Eddie, always there. Thank you all.
The look on my face should explain that I am not happy with the current situation. On the descent off of Sheephole Summit my Nightrider MiNewt headlight was loose. The MiNewt headlight is attached to a bracket which "clamps" to your handlebar by a tiny screw. Tighten it too much and you can't rotate the light, too loose and it will eventually fall off.
The very poor condition of the roads had rattled the headlight loose and at over 45Mph per hour I was trying to hold on to the light and/or work it completely off. But you don't have access to the screw because the head of it is on the underside of the bracket. I was trying to take it off with my left hand but I needed to refuel from the climb because I had 25 miles of steady uphill towards the finish. I would put my left hand back in the drops and drink with my right hand. For some reason I only drink with my right. Don't ask me why.
Well the headlight fell off the bar and hit my spokes. LUCKILY, I was going so fast it could not get stuck in my spokes and richocheted off to the left side of the road into the bushes. Emergency procedures now. Flag the crew vehicle careening down the road behind me over 45 Mph, come to a complete stop as soon as possible, get off the road, get the crew vehicle off the road and tell the crew what has just happen. We had to stop right away or risk loosing the general area where the light was ejected. You travel huge chunks of road will traveling over 45 Mph (if you have to walk it).
Why the heck would Vireo stop on a descent when he loves descending? I tell them what happened and the world's greatest crew jumps into action. Brandy grabs the spare lights and zip ties. Jason doubles back on the road UPHILL digging in the bushes. The search is made more challenging because the light is NOT illuminating-- the battery pack is still on the bike. Ticia is instructed to grab the camera and document. Within five minutes light is found, screw tightened beyond rotating tolerance, reaffixed, crew in van and we are down the road. What a great example of teamwork 36 hours into the race!
Ahh the Finish Line
I spent 28 minutes off the bike in the final stage of the Furnace Creek 508. Added to my 2 hours 36 brings the total of off the bike time to 3 hour and 4 minutes. Not bad in 37 hours of racing. I am pleased with how little time I spent off the bike. It is a huge improvement over years past. But NEXT YEAR I would like to break 36 hours and that means I need to stay on the bike at least one more hour out of the 3 hours I spent off the bike this time.
Just for S & G's I took the 3:04 time off of my total time of 37:34. I then computed my average speed with just 34:30 and that came out to 14.7 Mph Avg Speed. So the point here is even if you can't ride faster spend less time off the bike and you can improve your overall time significantly.
Stage Seven: Kelso to Almost Amboy, 33.8 miles. Elevation Gain: 2280'.
"Compared to the just completed Baker Grade, you now head up a slightly steeper climb: 2000 feet in 12 miles to the top of the Granite Mountains (El 4000’) (Mountain Section Nine). The downhill to the outskirts of Amboy is fast and long; watch out for cattle guards."
I was still very excited to be seeing different parts of the course in the daytime. It was really a totally different 508 for me this year.
Once again, the next climb isn't difficult, but it just goes on forever. As is typical on these desert climbs, you get hit with most of the elevation gain in the last few miles.
So after my neck massage I felt like a new man-- not really, but it sounds good. Anyway, in the next series of pictures I chase down a rider because I need something to do, and it helps me get up the mountain faster. The picture of me with one of my hands up is just showing one half my "chompers". It's just part of the game I play of Pac-Man on the climbs and gobbling up the riders.
Here I am cresting the Kelso Climb with Jaguar and his crew. Notice how I have to warn the crew vehicle that there is a car rapidly approaching.
I spent another 10 minutes off of the bike on this time station. Two minutes at Kelso and 8 minutes getting a neck massage and trying to rest a little. The total time off the bike is now 2 hours and 36 minutes in 32 hours and 41 minutes and 451.3 miles 32,000+ feet of climbing.
Almost Amboy 451.3 10/05 15:41 32:41:00 13.81 02:23:00 14.16
I am an Ultra Cyclist and father who completed 2- Person Race Across America (RAAM) in 2007. I have finished Furnace Creek 508 SOLO FOUR consecutive years in 2006, 2007 (Fixed Gear)2008, and 2009. I am a Trans Iowa finisher and a Super Randonneur. I am a cycling coach with clients ranging from endurance cyclists, to triathletes, to beginners just entering the sport of cycling.