The b2b Trip – Week #1

Wheel full 70px For those of you following along at home, it’s been a whole week that I’ve been on the road.  In that time, I’ve ridden 178 miles/~290 kilometers.  I’m making quite a bit of progress down the Southeast Coast of Nova Scotia.

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Wheel full 70px I haven’t added it up with any precision, but a good ballpark elevation gain so far is about 10,000 feet/3,000 meters.  Not bad for an old guy, eh?

Wheel full 70px Here’s a bit closer look.

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Wheel full 70px I have stayed on roads as close to the shore as I can, which has been both a blessing and a curse.  It’s great that, when those roads are level, they are absolutely flat, running just a bit above the high tide line, and sometimes for quite a ways.  The Nova Scotia coastline is as scenic as it gets, and I have hours every day to enjoy it.  Often these roads have minimal traffic, so I get to see the sights without worrying about getting knocked down by an inattentive driver.

Wheel full 70px On the minus side, when these local roads are hilly, they aren’t kidding.  When they were laid out, the cuts and fills of modern highway design weren’t in the cards yet, and there has been little effort to bring them up to modern standards.  The pavement is also often rough or otherwise in poor shape.  There are also long stretches without stores or restaurants for food or bathroom breaks.  You just can’t have everything.

Wheel full 70px I had planned to ride more miles each day.  What’s doing those plans in is my stopping every little bit to take photos.  I just can’t help it.  I’m probably also best off not trying to kill a bunch of miles/km a day at this point.  I am able to easily ride another 10 miles/16 km a day right now, I’m pretty sure.  I’ve not “bonked” yet.  My legs are feeling strong at the end of the day. We’ll see what happens when we pass Yarmouth and start rolling along on more level terrain.

Wheel full 70px A final word- Strava.  I am going to give up on Strava until I’m back in the ‘States and can turn my cellular data back on.  It has stopped working in the middle of the ride three of the last five days.  RidewithGPS, by contrast, has worked great.

So I Fell Off the Bike Yesterday…

…but since I fell on my head I didn’t hurt anything important.

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Wheel full 70px 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.

Wheel full 70px 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.

Wheel full 70px 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.

Wheel full 70px 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.

Wheel full 70px 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.

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Wheel full 70px 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.

Wheel full 70px 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.

Wheel full 70px 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.

Weigh-in #8 – Three Two Six!

…and he seeketh for a scale, and he looketh and looketh, and lo, he findeth one…

Wheel full 70px 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.

Wheel full 70px 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.

Wheel full 70px Not today!

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Wheel full 70px 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!

Wheel full 70px Next week should be interesting.