It's been a long road since I did this to myself in June 2006.
That photo was taken in July 2006, about 5 weeks after the crash. Here's how it happened; I was sprinting for the sign at the end of a Davidsonville Thursday hammer ride leading "Rocket" Rick Schize with about 100 meters to go when my bike suffered a catastrophic chain failure and the rear wheel locked up while in a full 30+ mph gallop. I landed on my knee. I was out of the saddle sprinting so there was no way to save it. Had I been seated, it would have never happened. Aside from the chain, my Indy Fab Crown Jewel took a beating too. The straight bladed Steelman OEM fork was a goner, as was my rear D/A-Open pro wheel. I ended up rebuilding the bike with all new stuff, so it looks great now and rides even better than before. The crash had me in the E-room at Annapolis Med Ctr. the rest of that night. I got stitches and pain killers and was told no riding for 2 weeks. That was very optimistic. It ended up being closer to 5 weeks. My season was shot. The heartache of it all? I was doing great in my quest to comeback to full strength after a 5 year layoff. I had quit just about the time I was a couple top tens short of an upgrade to Cat 3. So my goal was to get those races done and get my upgrade. I can tell you that for the last 2 years it's been nothing but a struggle to get to where I'm not getting schellacked by Cat 5 doods. My biggest struggle these last 2 years has been to get back to the form I had before the crash when I was able to do the Davidsonville ride from start to end without getting dropped.
It finally came together for me last night. I'm happy to report that I didn't get dropped. It wasn't the fastest night and all the A guys stayed home but for me it was still harder than any race I have done so far this year. We covered the 32 miles in about 1 hour and 25 minutes. That works out to a 22.5 mph average, including the warm up and cool down. I can tell you that when it was on, it was on, 'A' guys be dammed. I had to dig deep to not let myself suffer the humiliation of getting spit off yet again. There were a couple times where I almost lost it, like the hills at Harwood, S. Polling House, finally Pax River. But I managed to find something deep inside that let me HTFU and suffer the pain. The payoff was tremendous. I cant even begin to describe the feeling that came over me when I crossed the line at the sprint sign before Governor Bridge Rd. I can describe the pain! It was horrible. But it was the sweet horrible pain of success and not failure. Whoo Hooo!
It's kinda funny when I think about the reasons that I have been killing myself training. Last night I realized that since the crash It has'nt been about getting myself a Cat 3 upgrade. It's been about exorcising my demons on this hard as hell training ride. Demons that dig themselves ever deeper into my pysche every time I fail or give up. To be honest with myself, I've been beating myself to death for a lousy training ride. A lousy ride that to anyone else on the club that is routine, but for me it's been anything but.