recovery update

I'm getting discharged from the hospital tomorrow morning! (tuesday)

I'm still a bit of a wreck, but I'm getting out of here and on to private life/recovery.
I have a foot-long incision down my spine that has to have dressing changes and at some point the staples and sutures removed. My right leg doesn't function normally due to extensive nerve damage, and there are still numb spots in that foot. I, to put this, have to retrain my bodily functions to work properly (muscle control).
At least a trainer using a comfort-style bike gets to be part of my physical therapy. :D

I'm going to have some wicked scars, though. I think this will satisfy my tattoo cravings for a while. The deeper road rash scars spider out from the spine incision, and I've got the trademark heart surgery chest scar now. If anyone in western NC sees a car cut off a biker and the biker lifts his shirt while chewing out the driver...that might be me. :lol: It'll be a while, but this ain't keeping me off a bike.

Horrid to some, hilarious to others: my walker now (on one arm...not done yet.) sports dreamcicle orange Salsa bar tape on the grips.

Be safe out there, ya'll. Let's keep as many of us on the streets as possible.

(no subject)

cheshire_house   from Asheville was hit by by a fast moving, hit and run driver  
 about a month ago. 
-He's had emergency heart surgery to save his life and spine surgery. He was in a rehab hospital, 
 but had to return to the acute care hospital due to a resistant strain of staph infection in one of his 
-He is online, if anyone would like to drop him a note.


Cycle North Carolina 2007

Odds and Ends

-This was my third C.N.C. and probably the easiest one. The route was pretty gentle, the weather was good, and the daily mileage was relatively short.

-We had a new CNC staff this year. They seemed to do a good job.

-I heard of a few wrecks; I didn't see any and wasn't involved in any.

-Around 1,000 people participated in various aspects of the ride. A six year old boy rode a tag-a-long behind his dad, pedalling all the way, and we had at least one rider who 83 years old. A blind woman rode as stoker on a tandem.

-I had a few people tell me that they had read my journal. Nimble Nate was recognized from last year's journal, as well. Someone actually accosted him for a statement that I quoted him on, comparing our country to 1930's Nazi Germany. Ha! He said,"You need to be careful about what you write about me!" I said, "Wait 'til you find out what you said this year!"

-I camped at E.I. on Saturday night and took the bus back to Banner Elk on Sunday. When we got back to Beech Mountain, where we had parked for the week, there were a couple of cars with windows busted out, which had been broken into. I think that CNC should attempt to provide SAFE parking for the week! I felt bad for the people who came back to discover their vehicles abused that way.

-I want to say thanks to Nimble Nate, Dennis and Kristin, David Tilley, Knut and Bjorn, Charles and the Duke gang, and everybody else who made this ride so enjoyable

Cycle North Carolina/Day 7

Kinston to Emerald Isle

Saturday October 7, 2006, 58 miles (93 km) - Total so far: 448 miles (721 km)

Despite the fact that it rained all night, it had stopped by six, when I crawled out of the tent for coffee. Again, the forecast called for rain, so we left early (around 7:00) to try to beat the rain. Dennis and Kristin had the train chuggin' hard, around 18 mph, despite the rough sections of cracked roads. Dennis was giving me pointers, along the way, on riding on flats in a paceline. We picked up Russ, from Asheville. The rest stops came and went. Before we knew it, we crossed the big bridge over the Intracosatal Waterway and were in Emerald Isle.

It was an anti-climatic finish at the Holiday Trav-L-Park. No cheering crowds, no kisses from pretty girls in yellow dresses. As a matter of fact, we were so early, that I had to help unload the trucks--what a bummer!

As always, we were treated to an end of ride party with chicken, fried fish, and draft beer. I spent the afternoon socializing, saying good-bye to friends, and making plans for future rides.

Cycle North Carolina/Day Six

Smithfield to Kinston

Friday October 6, 2006, 70 miles (113 km) - Total so far: 390 miles (628 km)

I left camp with Dennis and Kristin; we rode in to town and ate breakfast at a diner. The forecast called for rain, and it looked like it could break loose at any time. We cruised along on flat roads, mired in the odiferous aromas of the numerous hog and turkey farms which we passed. The fact that we were averaging 17.5 mph didn't seem to alleviate the smell. Outside of Kinston, a pick-up ran a stop sign and almost hit Dennis. We yelled, he stopped in the middle of the road, and Dennis had to swerve off to the right to avoid the collision. The driver just wasn't paying attention; we were the only thing on the road, and he didn't see us?

We arrived in Kinston and found camp at the Neuseway Nature Park. As the name suggests, it is on the Neuse River,which figures prominently in the geography of the eastern part of North Carolina. I was able to get my tent up before the rain hit. When it did come, it rained hard. I went to the shower truck and received an ice cold reception! I later found out that the other trucks had hot water, I was just lucky (stupid) enough to use the cold one! I was so cold at this point,(it was still raining) that I went back to my tent and wrapped up in my sleeping bag.

We caught a shuttle into town and ate Chinese food at the House of Wang. Janis from Wisconsin joined us for dinner. Janis told us that she is attempting to do rides in all fifty states, she has sixteen under her belt at this point. We asked her about various rides and she told us about seeing Robin Williams on RAGBRAI, one year.

As we were eating, Dennis said that he thought that he saw Nimble Nate ride by. I put a call through to him and left a message. Later he called and told us that he was the official last rider into camp! This is what happened:

Nimble Nate stayed with his buddy the previous night after attending
the NC State vs. Florida State game. NC State won in overtime, so it was
the wee hours of the morning before NN got to sleep. NN arrived back
to camp around 8:30 the next morning. As he drove up to camp, he saw
the luggage trucks heading down the road. NN chased the truck down and
got them to stop so he could throw his luggage on the truck.
Unfortunately, his helmet must have been on the truck, so he didn't
have it to put on his head. He rode without it. At some point,
officials from CNC noticed that he was riding without a helmet, and
said, "No helmet,no longer on this ride." NN was able to borrow a helmet
from somebody, maybe a SAG wagon driver, so he was allowed back in the
ride. Being in the back of the pack, NN got to meet all the 'back of the
pack' riders. They laughed, they joked, they partied, and they had a big
time. Nimble Nate arrived in camp around 5:30.


time for a ghost bike project

I got hit-and-run a couple of weeks here in asheville. I'm still in hospital, but am on my way to revovery.

I just found out some scary news: this month, there have been 4 hit-and-run bike vs cars...and I'm the only survivor.
I say it's time for a ghost bike campaign. I've got a couple of scrappers myself that I'm going to use for where I got hit.

Who's in?
  • Current Mood

Cycle North Carolina/Day Five

Holly Springs to Smithfield

Thursday October 5, 2006, 52 miles (84 km) - Total so far: 320 miles (515 km)

Nimble Nate was up and ready to go this morning. We passed by the first rest stop and pulled in to a Bojangle's for breakfast. I was disappointed that I didn't see any one dancing (you know,"I met a man, Bojangle, and he'd dance for you"). We wound our way through the Campbell University campus (home of the Fightin' Camels). The road consisted of short rollers and was flanked by cotton and tobacco fields. I joined Dennis and Kristen in downtown Smithfield for lunch. I ate a big lunch salad; Nimble Nate left to go to an NC State game in Raleigh.

We set up camp in a big treeless field in the blazing sun at Johnston Community College. Dennis said, "Look out for fire ants," and, indeed, it was fire ant country. There were mounds interspersed throughout the area; we had to scout the area pretty hard to set up in a safe location. The port-a-john numbers were inadequate, and I could envision long lines in the morning. The showers were good and hot, though. I guess I've camped in worse conditions on CNC.

The shuttle stop schedule was pretty bogus. They would take you to an Outlet Mall (who wants to shop on tour?) or to downtown. I asked about BBQ, since Smithfield is known for its BBQ:

"Sure," they said, "we have great BBQ."
"Does your shuttle take us there?"

David called the local police department and asked for a good place to eat BBQ. They recommended the White Swan. Dennis, Kristin, David, and I split a cab to the little restaurant on the outskirts of town and had the best BBQ of the trip. They call this BBQ southern-style. We sat around and entertained each other with bear and snake stories, while people streamed in and out, getting to-go orders to take home for supper.

The taxi driver who carried us back to town told us how he was a recovering quadraplegic. He injured himself in a fall and suffered edema on his spinal cord in the C-spine. He'd been in recovery for four years and had regained much of his ability to function. It was inspiring to hear his story. When we got to town, we hung out in a coffee shop and told each other more bear and snake stories.

Cycle North Carolina/Day Four

Burlington to Holly Springs

Wednesday October 4, 2006, 69 miles (111 km) - Total so far: 268 miles (431 km)

I left camp this morning around 7:30. Nimble Nate was still in bed. I quickly met up with Dennis and Kristen in the cool morning fog. As I mentioned before, Dennis and Kristin are from Carlilse, Pa. Dennis works in dairy (which comes in handy if you want to know the difference between Cool Whip and whipped cream) and Kristin is a piano teacher.They were doing the optional century, so they were riding at a good pace.

Before long, we picked up Mark, from New York, and continued to ride like hell. Mark is a huge guy, a big hammer; he looks like Hulk Hogan and is built like Arnold Schwarzenegger. These three pulled me over the rolling hills, we were among the first riders to each of the rest stops. At mile 39, we crossed the Haw River on an old closed bridge. At mile 63, I parted company with the three maniacs; they were going on to pursue the century, and I was heading to camp. I was one of the first riders to arrive at Parish Womble park in Holly Springs. I snagged a nice campsite in the shade, ate a hot dog, and jumped in the shower.

That evening, Charles, Dennis, Kristin, and I caught the shuttle into town. We got off the bus at a shopping center and were enthusiastically greeted by a scantily-clad, blonde play-mate, who encouraged us to dine at the Beer Gardens. She said that they had put on extra staff, and "were ready for us."
Who were we to argue? David, a cop from Thomasville, joined us for dinner. I had a good NY Strip with portabellas and finished it off with ice cream.

When we returned to camp, we were serenaded with a loud beach band, who were going full-tilt boogy. It sounded like a fun party, but I crawled into my tent and went night-night.

Cycle North Carolina/Day Three

Clemmons to Burlington
Tuesday October 3, 2006, 69 miles (111 km) - Total so far: 199 miles (320 km)

Today was the day of the great rest stops. The town Of Thomasville provided us with the most gracious welcome that I've ever had. The mayor greeted us all as we got off our bikes and shook our hands. A grandmother dressed in purple hugged us, volunteers gave us massages, and we were served delicious hot soup by the Community Kitchen to ward off the cool temperatures.

Nimble Nate's mom and dad met us at the third rest stop. His folks' home is in this area and his third grade teaching assistant was among the volunteers. I met up with my friends, the Duke Gang, at the fourth stop. They are all R.N.s who work together at Duke; Charles, Amy, Heather,and John. John's eleven year old son, Jonas, was also riding. We rode together to the final rest stop at Homeland Creamery and sampled some tasty free ice cream.

Camp that night was at Lake MacKintosh in Burlington. Again the facility itself was nice, but there was a big faux pas with the arrangement of the shower trucks. There was no city water to hook to, the connections to the pumper truck were different sizes, blah, blah, blah. In other words, forget it. So, jump in the lake, right? Wrong, the park allowed no swimming! I took a sink bath in one of the bathrooms on the grounds. Stuff happens, learn to expect the unexpected, etc.

Nimble Nate's folks showed up at camp as we were waiting for the shower trucks, and we went to town with them. We ended up at Sal's Italian restaurant and I had an angel hair pasta and shrimp dinner which was scrumptious. The building itself was actually being re-roofed at the time and dinner was accompanied by pounding and hammering. When I returned to camp, I sat on the grass by the lakeside and listened to good local bluegrass music. It was another perfect evening on CNC.........

Cycle North Carolina/Day Two

Wilkesboro to Clemmons
Monday October 2, 2006, 61 miles (98 km) - Total so far: 130 miles (209 km)

Cycle North Carolina got off to a foggy and cool start this morning, but it did turn into a beautiful day to ride. Me and about nine hundred and fifty other nuts and misfits cruised through the rolling countryside, leaving Wilkesboro behind in our wake. Our first rest stop of the morning was at the Raffaldini winery, where you could purchase wine by the bottle at 9:00 in the morning! We did get our obligatory PB&J sandwiches at the second rest stop, though.

I rode with several different people during the ride through the back roads, passing fields of tobacco and soybeans. I always enjoy the social aspect of the tour, meeting new people from various places and seeing old friends from earlier rides. Cyclists are indeed nuts and misfits, dreamers and philosophers. Who else in this day and age would think that it's fun to ride bicycles cross-country, sleep in tents at night, and use port-a-johns for calls of nature? I must say that I'm proud to be a member of this sub-species!

Rolling into Clemmons we did encounter some hostile and aggressive traffic. I guess that I'm spoiled living in Franklin where people are more apt to wave at you as they pass than to try to crowd you off the road. We did experience one psycho woman who travelled down several miles of road, holding down her horn button and yelling at us to get off the road. As she slowed beside me, to give me her opinion of bicycles as unacceptable modes of transportation, I noticed that she not only had a cigarette in one hand, but what looked like a mixed drink in the other. After ten minutes or so, I heard the horn coming again. She actually made another pass at us--this time with her bird finger in full flight! I laughed so hard at her that I almost fell off my bike.

We somehow made it to Tanglewood Park (just barely) without being maimed or killed by the hostile Clemmons drivers. The park was nice, a great setting for camp. It seemed to be a country club type of place, and I don't think they knew what they were getting into by allowing a bohemian crowd of cyclists to invade. Between the tents, laundry hanging in the bushes and trees, and bicycles scattered everywhere, the golfers must have been horrified. Poor things!

Nimble Nate was excited to take us to one of his favorite BBQ restaurants. So we jumped on the shuttle with Knut, Bjorn, Dennis, and Kristen, for a trip to Little Richard's. The great tasting Lexington-style BBQ was an excellent way to end the day!