I’m in Maui. Yes, you should be jealous. If you have never been here you are seriously missing out. Beach, sun, wind, and great pavement for riding. There are lots of road riders out here taking advantage of the weather and raking in the miles. I’m sure there are lots more riders over in Kona, but their beaches aren’t as nice. I know, I flew over Kona once. I got here last week with my bike in tow to put in a solid two weeks of training and go home fit a tanned.
Before I left I found this 100km organized ride to do on Sunday. Early start, no real race to it, just a bunch of locals and tourists out riding their bikes around the West Maui loop. Now it’s important to note here that I always do my best to blend into my surroundings. I wear marathon shirts to run in and cycling clothing to ride in. No where was there a hint that I’m in fact a triathlete in disguise. Donned in my Gran Fondo jersey and upon my trusty Trek Madone (sans tri-bars) I set off with a group to enjoy the sun.
Having only had ridden 50km up to this point, I was a little concerned with the distance. I’d done this before though; the “off the couch” kilometer-doubler. I figured if I took it slow and made sure to eat and drink I’d make it around the loop just fine. Besides, there was a sag wagon out there to pick up the ill-acclimatized Canadians on the course if need be.
Away I went, following a few guys and finding a nice group to settle into. We had the wind at our backs for the first little while so it was easy going. I notice a few shaky riders in the bunch and make a note to avoid them a little and sit with the guys that look competent, hoping I looked somewhat like I know what I’m doing.
I’m sure I really impressed them too. Around km 15 or so, I’m skidding down the highway on my shoulder, head and hip. I have no idea what has just happened, I just recall thinking to myself “I just crashed my bike and I’m on the road.” The next few minutes are a bit of a blur. I know I caused the crash and I see one other guy went down over me, thankfully more people were paying attention and there was no huge pile up. I remember shuffling my butt off the road onto the shoulder and a few people asking if I was ok. Yes, I think so. I haven’t broken anything I don’t think and I can talk…kinda. I look at the one guy also wearing a gran fondo jersey and figure he must be Canadian too. He’s asking me if he can call anyone. I tell him its long distance and he calls my boyfriend. I apparently didn’t notice that he was holding my phone that must have flown out of my pocket. Luckily Matt is up ahead having a coffee, but it must have been a bit of a shock to have my phone call and some guy on the other end. When the guy asks if I want to talk to him I’m not able to. I need to lie down. A wave of nausea floods me and I’m squirming on the ground. Shhh, don’t tell that part to my mom. Crap, she’s one of the three loyal readers I have. Sorry mom didn’t want to worry you!
So there I am:Maui road kill. Most of the riders continue on except for one kind man. I attempt to chat to him to keep from freaking out and find he’s from Jasper,Alberta and has done Ironman Canada 5 times. I’m not sure how we always find each other, but tri-nerds unite!
After not too long, my boy picks me up. I get upright and immediately need to lie down again. We decide in the car that I should go home before heading to the clinic so I can get cleaned up and we don’t freak out my mom. Oh yeah, how cool are we? We vacation with my mom. Same scenario plays out when we get to the condo; I try to stand up, get dizzy and nauseous and have to lie down again. I manage to make it to the bath tub and get warm and somewhat cleaned up. My mom comes in from her run and spots my bike. I hear “oh no.” “I’m ok mom!” Parental freak-out avoided.
After getting some clothes on and calling my health insurance provider we set off for the clinic. The advantage to a ride that starts at 6:30 is that you can ride, crash, shower and still arrive at the clinic before the crowds. The Doctor asks me the usual questions, “how did this happen?” “Am I on any medications?” “How long are you visiting Maui?” Then he goes to work cleaning me up. He gets out some gauze and a big bottle of Iodine. I’m no doctor or health provider, but do people still use Iodine? I’m sure most minor cuts and wounds were to be cleaned with saline solution. At least that’s what I’ve learned from Grey’s Anatomy, House and ER (the old ones with George Clooney). Ever had a cut cleaned with Iodine? He might as well have been using lemon juice and sandpaper. He eventually had to have me lie down again as the pain was making me nauseous. Ick. He has a surprisingly good bedside manner and I manage a few jokes about wanting to take a piece of Maui home with me in the form of road dirt. He informs me that that’s bad luck, you don’t say? Finally once all the surface cuts are cleaned and bandaged he moves onto a neurological exam. I seem to be feeling better and pass all his little tests. He throws in an X-ray of my now swollen foot and ankle for good measure, but finds it’s just pretty banged up. With a fist full of antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and instruction to stay out of the water (Maui is riddled with Staph bacteria) I head home for a nap.
Great day two of my training vacation.
So here I sit. I don’t mean to brag, but I’m awesome at healing. It’s been 5 days and I’m growing gleaming new pink skin on my shoulders and elbows, my foot is a sexy purple with yellow tinges and I have finally gone swimming in the ocean.. I still have a few of those thick scabs that if I were a 9 year old boy I’d be picking them off.
I have even ridden my bike. Get back on the horse and all that stuff. The shop that put on the ride had her fixed up and ready to go the day after! Big kudos to the guys at South Maui Bikes for being super nice to the dumb Canadian chick that tried to use her elbows to slow down.
I’ll admit to being a little nervous on the bike, but I’m really lucky to be healing so quickly and not to have had worse injuries. We must have been going at least 30km/hr when I went down. I’m not sure, however, as my Garmin might have saved my wrist from getting injured and decided not to record the ride at all. It’s also missing most of its face now, oops.
So what should we all learn from this? Well, my note about being camouflaged as a cyclist is imperative in these situations. I would hate for it to get out that I’m a triathlete and contribute to the stigma that triathletes can’t ride bikes in packs. I easily could have worn some Ironman jersey or boasted as we rolled out, but I didn’t. Fe-ew.
It should also be learned that your elbows are really hard to reach on your own. Try it, go home and try to one-hand bandage your own elbow. I think maybe I’ll ride in elbow pads from now on or fashion some titanium elbow caps for everyday use. I bet they’d catch on.
They say there are two types of cyclists: the ones that went down and the ones that are going down. I hope I’m in the former category for at least a little while longer.
Now, if you’ll excuse me I have a sunburn that needs tending to.
it actaully doesn’t look so bad in this pic eh?