Saturday, September 10, 2011

Close calls... too close

As my training is reaching its peak phase now, I certainly haven't been lacking in putting some excitement into the mix lately... and I don't mean good excitement.  Short version... within 5 days, I was "hit" by a car on my bike and got myself into a solo bike wreck.

Longer version...

As for getting hit by a car... without going into too much detail b/c it will just get confusing... I decided to go for a 3hr ride (60-70 miles) before going into work.  After riding for a good 2hrs I was riding by an entrance to an office building parking lot and was hit by an SUV who was trying to beat traffic and didn't see me.  Fortunately, I saw the car about to hit me and was able to pull out of the aero position to become more stable before she hit me.  Additionally fortunate, the older (60s?) lady driving the SUV hit the left side (so, she hit me perpendicularly) of my rear wheel and frame... no contact with my body, but I'm guessing it was a bit close!  Some more good fortune was that I didn't fall after she hit my rear wheel... it simply pushed my bike diagonally and I did this "squirrel-ly" looking move to ride out of it without going down.
It's all hindsight, but if she were a 1/2 second earlier or I were a 1/2 second slower... I probably wouldn't be racing in Kona next month.  The few moments when I knew I was going to get hit, all I was thinking about was "You've gotta be kidding me!!  All these sacrifices, long hours, and hard work over the past 4 months are going to be thrown away b/c of one foolish driver... effin A!"
Anyways, after she hit me I checked my bike and gathered my thoughts... once all was well, I started walking over the her since she stopped at the parking lot entrance after hitting me... makes sense, right?  Well, that's when she sped off into the parking lot as I was walking towards her.  After tracking her down, she claims to have not even known that she had hit me (even though she has a dent in her front bumper from the incident).... ugh, whatever, I get frustrated every time I tell that part of the story, but I'm just thankful that my body and bike was completely unharmed by the incident.

Now it's time to share MY idiotic move recently... after finishing up a ~120-130 mile ride, I unstrapped my feet from my cycling shoes and was just rolling the final 1/4 mile or so to my apartment, where I was going to continue with a 30 minute run.  Well... to put it bluntly, I just got stupid and lazy... as I reached back for something out of my jersey with my left hand, I decided to put my right hand on my aero bar to take control of the bike (what I should have done: put my right hand on the handle bar, which has more stability).  For those of you who are familiar with aero bar systems, you're very aware of the lack of control authority you have on the bike from this position.  Next thing I knew, my bike sharply turned left and SLAM!  I went to the ground hard and slid for the next ~10ft or so.  It was a very hopeless feeling since it happened so fast, I couldn't even put my arm out to brace myself... which, is a good thing b/c I probably would have broken something in that case.  Fortunately, I walked away from it with no broken bones or significant muscle/tissue damage... but, I did sustain a bunch of scrapes on my left side and my right shin kicked into the big chain ring causing a sort of puncture wound... it was one for the books.

I was planning to post pictures of the wounds, but decided against it b/c they really aren't pleasant to look at... especially the puncture wound from the big chain ring.

Next post coming (pretty soon actually)... I had a long talk with my coach, Kevin Cutjar of Endurance Planner, the other day and I've made some last minute adjustments to my peak training and race fueling... I'll talk about that more soon b/c it really was some valuable information that may help those of you who are also doing triathlon, or similar.  I'll also elaborate on my new motto by which I train... "Are you strong enough to go easy enough?"  -Kevin

Till next time... thanks so much for everyone's support.  With the race coming so quickly, all of you are really making a strong showing for me with your kind and supportive words... I wouldn't be doing this well without such stellar encouragement from you!  I'm thriving on it, keep it coming!!!



  1. Hey Mike,

    Just wanted to give you a shout and let you know I've been stealthily following your blog and great accomplishments and aspirations since you first started shooting for the Double Iron. I've been bragging about you to all my friends and am stoked you get the chance to go to Kona! My aunt lives out there and has always told me about her experiences volunteering for the race. You are in for one heck of a time. Best wishes and God Bless friend. You are a definite inspiration.

    -Scott Martinelli

  2. Thanks for the support Scott!!! I genuinely appreciate it... and it's always great to hear about someone new who's reading the blog that I never knew about!

    I hope everything is going well with you buddy! Take care!