I often think back to how lucky were were to walk away from that incident with minor injuries. I can see it in Jimmy's eyes how the experience has effected him.
For the 1st week after the accident I woke up often, with many thoughts running through my mind on risk taking and the narrow margin many of us live in doing the sports we love.
This past winter I backed off of up to 50% of my objectives due to intuition or spidey senses tingling.
On this day my senses were giving me the green light... I guess I need to open up a bit more and remember the mountains are unforgiving when you let your guard down.
From the accident scene we made our way to the Pemberton clinic where we received top notch care. It was nice to see Ian Kruger, one of the nurses I met riding in the Chilcotins 2 summers ago. He is a skier/climber/mountain biker so it's great to have someone cut from the same cloth working on ya !
The Pemby clinic referred me to the Whistler clinics http://www.northlandsclinic.com/ and http://www.seatoskyorthopaedics.com/index.html
As it turns out I knew Dr. Cathryn Zeglinski through the mountain bike/ skiing network. She was able to see me in quick order so I could initiate my recover for the summer.
Her hands on assessment was a grade 2 trending 3 MCL tear which was an accurate diagnosis. My MRI findings I subsequently had showed a significant Grade 2/ non-distracted grade 3, full thickness injury and a posterior oblique tear of the meniscus. Sounds heavy, I wasn't sure what to think..
It was music to my ears when Cathy told me cycling was one of the best rehab tools for MCL injuries. I don't have to be told twice...perfect excuse to do exactly what I love to do even more !
Shortly after I connected with Dr Sally Clark of the Sea to Sky Orthopedics to further asses my MRI if I needed surgery.
It took me a little over 3 weeks to get the range of motion for a pedal stroke. As soon as that happened I headed down the Washington Coast for a couple of days with some friends who were surfing. The landscape at Westport is pancake flat and perfect for spinning. It would take another 2 weeks before I could think about getting out of the saddle. Riding is linear so there is no stress on the medial aspect. Pivoting or stubbing a toe or any kind of sideloading is a certain no go with this injury !
May 15, 1 month after the incident I did my 1st long semi hilly road ride and was able to stand on the pedals and give short bursts of speed.
Suddenly something dawned on me to possibly do the "Test Of Metal". I think I did the original race 17 yrs ago, had my top result in 2009 in 9th place so why not make this a goal.
Only problem was the event was sold out so I would have to qualify for an Elite License. Cycling B.C Grandfathered me the category based on old results so I was good to go.. except the fitness :)
May 24 I turned 44 and really questioned why I want to race with the elite..The lack of pressure to do well kind of helps I guess.
With my commitment to getting my knee strong and the TEst Looming I put in a month of big mileage. Strava is kind of addicting and i was able to track my progress. In my 1 month of prep/rehab I put in over 120,000 km of elevation gain and up to 15 hr weeks. My next concern was over-stressing the knee but I did not have any pain or inflammation.
A week before the Test I went in for a re-assesment and I was told minimum 6 more weeks and new diagnosis was a grade 2 tear.
Then I started to wonder if racing the Test was a good idea- 1 crash and I'm back to zero !
I was not too worried about hitting the deck unless the plunge was wet but things were lining up to be dry and my pre-rides were going smooth. 6 days before the race I did a pre-ride to see how things were going and I pulled off a solo 2:50 starting on Skyline..Shocker- I don't recall riding it that fast in the years I had been training all season. My confidence was tentatively high !
2 months to the day Jimmy and I nearly died I was on the start-line of the Test.. Pretty stoked to be here and looking forward to the day..
My tactic for the day was to latch onto a reasonable fast group and hang in there !
As the day progressed I realized somewhere along the line I redlined a little too long and the legs were barely turning on 9 mile so I started to slide backwards.
The descent went smooth, I had little cramping and came into the finish happy enough with a 3:06.
I was anticipating under 3 but still super fired up to post that time with a month on the bike and an atrophied leg.
From the Test I had a quick shower and headed to Ambleside for the WestVancouver Firefighters Charitable society's "Pipes By The Beach" fundraiser to take images for the event. It was a great lead up to Fathers day and it was well attended.
The event raised close to 10 grand for the society to use towards various charitable causes.
The Westvancouver Firefighters put on an amazing event once again !
Next up.. BCBR guest day, Cardiac Classic, Gear Jammer and JABR with more physio to try to balance out my leg strength.
Thanks @RydersEyewear.com @MEC @Dissentlabs @Giro @Alpina @Corsa