Sunday, August 12, 2012

Biking vs. writing: Biking has been winning

The last six to eight months I have been devoting most of my spare time to biking. I like to ride road bikes, the two-wheel, pedal kind.
Since January I have ridden about 3,950 miles with a goal of 5,000 by the end of this year.
I took two long rides this year. A 440-mile ride through the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. It's an annual ride put together by the Denver Post. This year we rode from Gunnison to Fort Collins, going over about six passes, include Independence Pass near Aspen and Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park. I finished that ride June 15. On June 20 I left for France where I joined a group which traveled to the Dolomites in Italy for a six-day ride. That ride was more challenging, 12 passes, climbing more than 43,000 feet.
I did well on both rides. Had a fall on the Italy ride which gave me some road rash and a sore shoulder but did not stop me from completing the ride.
I continued riding after I got home, until this last Thursday, Aug. 9, when I hit a gravel patch on a ride around my neighborhood streets. I was in the Bomar subdivision in southwest Denver. It is a large lot subdivision of small paved streets, gentle hills and very few hazards. Normally the streets are clean and smooth. Just before I fell, I pulled on to Sheridan Blvd. and increased my speed to get off the road because I could see a small pickup truck had just pulled away from a stop sign behind me. I banked hard to take a left turn. Right near a bush, still in the shadows, was a gravel wash, left there by recent rainstorms. I had no warning. First thing I knew I was on the ground, the impact was hard and I felt some pain. I must have flipped because I also injured my left side. The driver of the truck slowed to ask if I was alright. I nodded yes, and he drove off. I collected myself, straightened my brake levers and, after a few minutes continued the ride. After a mile or two, I decided I had better head home. Many years ago I had fallen and broken three ribs and punctured a lung. This didn't feel that bad, but bad enough to make me want to be off my bike.
I got home and I was a bloody mess all along my left side and I was in more pain. After about three hours in the medical facility, mostly waiting for care, the diagnosis was two broken ribs on my left and a broken thumb on my right hand. I got severe road rash on my left side from the tips of my fingers to my ankle. They were digging out gravel with a forceps.
I am now hobbled up, won't be riding for a while, so maybe I can get back to writing more.
I've completed about 21,500 words of the sequel to Forgiven and have pretty good idea where it's going. There are some details that I am sure I will have to iron out, and a lot of facts to check. But, I've got a good idea where I want to end up.
This novel will be a bit more in the sci-fi realm than was Forgiven. I want to deal more with the big question, "Are we alone in the Universe" and how the heck did we get here in the first place.
Maybe I will keep up with this blog more often when I get back to the writing mode.