Long-distance bike trip food goodies.
Long-distance bike trip food goodies.
…but since I fell on my head I didn’t hurt anything important.
All kidding aside, it was one of those “perfect storm” sort of accidents and I could’ve been seriously hurt. A guy in an oncoming car who stopped and told me that he saw the bike go over ejecting me off of it and all of a sudden I disappeared with a shoe flying up in the air. What happened was when I fell off the bicycle I went over into a three foot deep drainage ditch in the brush along the side of the road. I landed more or less upside down and on the back right side of my head, which is not a good thing and when you had cervical spine surgery just three years ago.
The reason all that happened was as I said above the result of a perfect storm of events. I was on a steep uphill portion of the road. Traffic was fairly heavy, so I was this close to the shoulder as possible. The pavement at the edge of the road was extremely degraded and broken. The white line was right at the edge of the pavement. The dirt shoulder was about 6 to 12 inches/.2 to .3 meters wide.
I had just reached the effective end of the usefulness of my front mid-range gear and had shifted into high gear. My right foot was at the very top of the crank rotation. The high gear failed to immediately engage, and the resulting chain slippage allowed my right foot to go forward very fast, pulling me to the right and unbalancing the bike. My front tire almost immediately caught the edge of the pavement and I went over.
The aforementioned motorist said from what he had seen that he was certain I had been seriously injured. He wanted to call an ambulance. I was able to more or less stand right up and told him I was fine, but that I could not find my right shoe. It took a while to find it- it had flown about 10 feet/~3 meters further into the brush on the side of the road. What did hurt was my neck, which felt very achy when I turned my head from side to side. Visions of my trip being over right there filled my mind. I walked the bike a few feet up the road to a driveway entrance and sat down on a rock ledge.
The pain in my neck at that point did not seem to be getting any better, but it also did not seem to be getting any worse. I said thank you to the various motorists who had by now stopped and offered assistance and decided to ride on for a while and see how I felt. So I rode about 10 miles/16 Km further from that point before deciding, out of an abundance of caution, to find a motel and stop early for the night. Within a short distance of making that decision the Atlantica Hotel beckoned.
The desk staff there was very sympathetic and concerned. When I convinced them that, no, I didn’t need to go straight to a hospital and, yes, all I needed was just a room with a comfortable bed for the night, I was given one at what I am sure was a substantial discount, as it turns out the Atlantica is quite the fashionable resort property. But that’s story for another time.
I contacted Heather and informed her of what had happened. I told her that I planned pretty much to head for bed and rest through to the next morning. I said that if my neck didn’t feel any better today or I awoke with other issues, I would head for a hospital.
And today I feel fine. Oh, there’s a little residual twinginess, but it’s nothing I can’t deal with him and it’s not the kind that makes me apprehensive that something has really gone wrong and it’s just waiting to do me in. So my ride continues. I have tons of great pictures and a lot of route information to post, but that is dependent on a fast Internet connection wherever I spend the night. I’m at a Provincial Park tonight, so finding one is not all that likely. But I will be back on track, posting-wise, within the next few days.
…and he seeketh for a scale, and he looketh and looketh, and lo, he findeth one…
I found a medical clinic in Chester, Nova Scotia about 15 minutes into my ride this morning. The kind lady at reception, when I said I was weighing once a week, stopped me there and said she’d show me where the scale was.
It was an older beam and sliding weight scale. When I was over 350, which was all of the last ten years plus, I couldn’t use these because they max out there.
It was a little awkward. I forgot my iPhone, which was charging at the Subway a few doors down, so had to use the Canon. Trying to position the shot shook the scale and everything started bouncing up and down. I couldn’t get an angle that included me. But with everything settled down, I weighed 326 pounds/~148 kg. Wow!
Next week should be interesting.
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Here I am at Hubbard’s Beach Campgroud after an almost 29 mile/47 km ride yesterday that was surprisingly challenging around St. Margaret’s Bay.
The RidewithGPS link is here [linkie].
I guess I should note that this was after a 5 mile/8 km round trip early in the morning into the village of Peggy’s Cove, so that bumps my mileage up a little bit. The Peggy’s Cove ride will be the subject of a separate post probably tonight.
The total elevation gain yesterday turned out to be significantly more that it was a day one of the ride. So much for trusting the RidewithGPS estimate that it makes when you plan out the route. Or, it could be that the altimeter readings as I’m riding along are not accurate, I don’t know. What it certainly is in any event is that where the rubber meets the road there were a ton of PUDS (pointless ups and downs) the first half of the ride up the east side of the bay. A crest of 100 feet/30 meters might look like a little bump on the elevation profile, but it’s like riding your bike to the top of the 10 story building. Think about that. Now think about doing it over and over again maybe four or five times in an hour. Uggggggh!
When I reached Provincial Route 3 at Upper Tantallon both the grades and hills leveled out significantly. The lanes were no wider, but there were better site distances. Today, though, I’ll return to the local roads and so will lose that advantage.
Strava was still crapped out yesterday.
I deleted and reinstalled the app last night and we’ll try it again today. We’ll see.
Oh, and I almost forgot a teaser.
Have a great Sunday, wherever you are.
Here’s what I’m doing today.
About the same length as yesterday. I’m still getting my sea legs. Less ups and downs, though, as the ride runs pretty much right along the shores of St. Margaret’s Bay. I’ll get started around noon.
Just a short post without photos or much description to let you know I made it on the first day of my ride to my goal: King Neptune Campground in Indian Cove, Nova Scotia. I plan to write a detailed post with pictures and description for each day when I have some leisure time. Here’s the RidewithGPS information for yesterday.
The RidewithGPS link is here [linkie].
A couple of things from yesterday. I was out the door and checked out of my room by 10, cleared the grocery store where I bought some supplies for the day by 11 and was out of Halifax proper by about noon. All in all, I rode about three hours out of the eight I was on the road, averaging just under 10 miles an hour. My overall average speed has improved about a mile an hour since I started riding with gear just a few short days ago.
I spent another two hour’s stop at Shaw’s Restaurant in West Dover about 10 miles from my final destination eating an amazing dinner and sitting on a deck looking at even more amazing scenery. Shaw’s will get a post of its own coming up.
By the time I left Shaw’s the sun was getting fairly low in the sky’s. Because some clouds have moved in it was getting darker then I cared that it would be on a fairly busy road, so I skipped Peggy’s Cove and rolled onto the campground. This morning I backtracked about 2 miles leaving my gear at the campground to ride through this amazing village. It will also get a post of its own.
While RidewithGPS hung in there, a couple of things didn’t work yesterday. Strava crapped out and completely reset itself about 5 miles into the ride. I tried for a little bit, but nothing I had done was recoverable. I now feel rewarded for using both Strava and RidewithGPS even though it is kind of a “belt and suspenders” approach. My Scosche heart rate monitor also appears to have died. I had fully charged it the night before I left, but I was unable to ever synch it and it appears to be kaput. I’ll look at it more carefully when I have some time, but I don’t have a lot of hope.
I said no pictures? Well, I can’t leave you without this teaser. It just wouldn’t be fair.
Day 2 awaits!
I’m going to take a nice easy day along the coast southeast of Halifax.
This is an extraordinarily scenic stretch and it looks like I’ll have perfect riding weather.
Right before I stop for the day I’ll cruise through Peggy’s Cove, which is the archetypical tiny Nova Scotia fishing village.
I should have ample time to look around. Film at 11.
I’d be seriously remiss if I departed Halifax on my trip without mentioning Bikes by Dave [linkie], a local bike shop that I stopped at on Monday to get the Surly checked over and to ask a couple of questions that I had.
When I called to set up a time to come in I was told that there was a several day wait for service but after I explained a little about my trip I was told to come on over, as they were always happy to make a little room on the schedule for someone on a long-distance tour.
When I arrived, Tom, the shop’s mechanic, quickly and efficiently went over the bike, addressed my questions and concerns, and made several helpful recommendations concerning my route down Nova Scotia’s southwest coast. It was obvious during the 30 minutes or so that I was there that, if anything, the info about being busy was an understatement. It was a busy shop, that’s for sure.
When the bike was ready Dave Marder, the owner, rang up what I thought was a very reasonable amount for the time Tom spent. If I lived in Halifax, I know where I’d take my bike to get worked on.
You’ve probably noticed that my posting here has been a little light the last couple of days. I was very up on Monday over the results of my weigh-in that day, but the failure to arrive of the meds I needed in order to be able to take off from Halifax really had begun to pull me back down. I had begun to feel like August was completely slipping away, and… enough of that.
In short, just before lunchtime some welcome newes finally showed up on the USPS tracking site.
An hour later, and the last obstacle to me and heading south was in my hand.
I could ask “Whose priority?” but that would be snarky and completely out of keeping with my celebratory mood. I’ll post some info about tomorrow’s ride later on and then head for bed early, as I’m planning a 7:00 a.m. start.