The first-ever LimpStrong Ride for the Femorally-Assisted is on the books, and it was a screaming success. The day of the event featured a bizarrely perfect, "how lucky can I get?" forecast: Sun with a high temp predicted for the low 70s. I overslept (which would come back to haunt me) and didn't get my lazy arse on wheels until about 9 in the morning. At that point, it was still a brisk 50 degrees, but still ever-so-pleasant for late October in Iowa.
I spun through downtown Des Moines, passing the hospital where, just six months prior, I'd had the surgery and recovery that inspired the ride -- sheer, unplanned coincidence, since it just happened to be on one of my usual routes. But as long as that particular deus fell out of the machina, let's just pause to thank...
- The guy who answered my curse-laden 911 call (hey, a broken leg HURTS!)
- The paramedics who carted my broken carcass up from the trail
- Dr. Stephen Taylor, surgical superstar (and his right-hand man Jim)
- Every poor sap at Iowa Methodist Medical Center who had to deal with me
(Astute readers will note that I didn't mention my wife. That's a whole separate post, and a debt of gratitude that pretty much guarantees I'm hers until that whole "death do us part" thing comes to pass.)
But, Digression Man, back to the ride. Headed out on the Great Western Trail, an old rail-trail that makes a just-shy-of-50-miles loop from my house. Did that 50 in an uneventful 3-plus hours and stopped at the house for a quick lunch. A little neck soreness inspired me to raise my handlebars a skosh, then it was back out, headed west to the Walnut Creek Trail which would connect me to the Greenbelt Trail which would connect me to the Raccoon River Trail (not nearly as complex as it sounds, truly.)
Walnut Creek turned out to be another unintentional stop on the Tour of Bad Femur Memories, since it was the trail where the whole thing went down (and by "thing", I guess I mean I went down). Sure enough, there was the accursed spot where a bit of gooey mud had treated me to an expensive and painful pratfall. Note to locals, it's where the trail goes under 63rd Street... and if anyone found a battered black Zefal hpx-4 frame pump there in May, it's mine and I'd love to have it back.
Once I cleared the metro area, things got a little ugly. A pretty rugged crosswind marred miles 60-70 and 80-90 -- not the time you want to be fighting the environment. Note to self, next year's LimpStrong should be a group ride (who's in?), so the "don't mock me for being a quitter" motivation is right there beside me rather than lurking in the blogosphere. This is also where oversleeping paid me back in pain; had I dragged myself out two hours earlier as planned, I would have been done and home snoring in front of a football game during the worst part of the day, not beating my head against a wall of wind. But, with the help of a good mix on the iPod (yes, I'm sometimes one of those guys, sue me), I muddled through, knocking down exactly 100 miles in 7 hours ride time, 8:30 total door-to-door time. Not close to a personal best, but for my first hundred in nine years (and my first-ever solo), I'll take it.