Sunday, October 28, 2012

we did it

Despite my broken leg (3.5weeks out and is healing quite well) and Ginger's torn ACL (still torn), we are now married!

Photo: Marion

We got it all done (and cleaned up) before Hurricane Sandy.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A long painful night in the ER

Now that I have made it out of the woods and the paramedics arrived the wheels were set in motion to get me fixed.

Before I was transferred to the ambulance stretcher everyone (paramedics, fire fighters, homeowner, etc..) were in awe as to how well of a splint we made to keep my leg stable. Bruce and I thought nothing of it. We figured it was ‘all in a day’s work’. I was thankful for this splint for once or twice out on the trail I could feel my foot shaking independent of my leg even with the splint tight and aligned properly . That is not a feeling you want to have.

I was eventually transferred onto the stretcher and placed into the back of the ambulance. Bruce orchestrated with the firefighters where to take my bike (down the road to Bob’s house) and I bid him farewell.

In the ambulance the first order of business was cranking the heat to warm me up and then they could get my vitals. Both paramedics were apprehensive in cutting my cycling shoes off so they very carefully took my right shoe off together. They did a great job for there was little movement of my ankle/foot in the process.  Once the shoes were off my socks were cut off. The next order of business was a splint.
Do you have a SAM splint?

I know what you are talking about. We used them in the Military. Sadly, We do not have any.

Really? They are super easy to use and will brace my leg much better than our tree branches and bicycle tubes.

CT does not require us to carry them and our employer refused to purchase them for the ambulances.
He then began to fold some cardboard apparatus thinking that will splint my leg. I laughed and told him I’d rather keep the tree branches on my leg. The cardboard was abandoned and he then began to fumble through just about every compartment inside that ambulance. Just as I was about to tell him to stop and just take me to the hospital he found two splints a few feet long wrapped in plastic. They then tied those splints to my leg and we were off to the hospital.

The ambulance was now warming up and I was no longer shivering. The paramedic put an IV in my arm.
Should we do that before we start moving?

Nah. I do my best work when the ambulance is in transit.

With an IV then came some Morphine to ease the pain. By the time we reached Hartford Hospital I had two or three doses of Morphine. Didn’t really notice a tremendous difference in pain level though.

Alert and talkative the entire 15-20min trip, the paramedic and I swapped stories as he took my vitals and make sure I was alert. The driver did an amazing job navigating the bumpy roads to the hospital. None of the bumps made me cringe in pain from my leg. Or was it the Morphine?
That foot is not supposed to be twisted like that...

Once at the hospital, I was wheeled into the ER and was eventually transferred into an ER room and bed. Moments after entering the ER, Ginger arrived. The paramedics bid me farewell and told Ginger to take care of me. Various nurses and doctors and such came and went as they tried to establish my situation and what to do from there. At some point I got out of my cycling clothing. Nurses were apprehensive in cutting my bib shorts so Ginger helped me get out of them. Somehow we managed that without knocking my right ankle and foot.

Laying in the hospital bed with my foot slightly elevated was much nicer than sitting on my bike in the dark woods. The elevation helped the pain slightly. I still didn’t really notice much relief from the Morphine but just dealt with the pain. On the 1-9 scale I was sitting around a 5-6. The first time we went through that the nurse gave me a look and all I could do was

Guess I have a high threshold for pain?

First order of business were X-rays to determine the extent of the damage.
Once we knew what we were up against, an Orthopedic doctor took me into another room to try and re-align my ankle and foot. I understood this to be the first attempt before any decision is made for surgery. If this is successful then surgery may not be needed. Ginger and her sister were left to fend for themselves in my ER room.

The re-alignment consisted of a lot of physical movement. At one point my foot was hanging from string tied to my toes and the doctor was pushing down on my shin and twisting my ankle. In-between movements she would take an X-ray of my ankle to see how things were adjusting. The X-ray machine was really neat. It consisted of two small plates suspended by arms coming off the machine. She could position these plates anywhere she wanted. As soon as the X-ray was taken the image instantaneously appeared on her computer screen which she then used to gauge progress. Real-Time X-Ray. Pretty neat.
Throughout the re-alignment process all I could do was lay there and focus on breathing. The breathing helped me cope with the pain. I thing I was given a local shot beforehand to numb my ankle some but there was still quite a bit of pain.

The re-aligning process was going well for a while and then it was determined that as she got one bone aligned well (lets say Tibia) the other bone (Fibula) was not aligning properly.  I was left alone for a while. The doctor was probably consulting with other doctors during this time.
 Tibia is lined up well now, Fibula is still off..

Laying in a bed with my foot hanging from some string tied to my toes got unpleasant rather quickly. It did give me time to scan the room and also chat with the various nurses that would come into the room, grab something off the shelf and leave. It was through these observations where I dubbed the room the ER Closet. With me in there this room also doubled as an X-Ray room for fracture re-alignments. Quite humorous when you think about it.

After a few hours and several consultations with the Orthopedic Surgeon on call that evening it was determined that I will need surgery to properly align my foot ankle and leg. Surgery consisted of placing addition objects to align the bones and keep them together. This is called fixation. Fixation consists fo internal and external. The former being all pieces (plates, screws, etc) staying entirely internal to my body. External being some pieces protrude out into the cast. Internal is desired as external fixation can, possibly, present infection down the road where the fixation device protrudes outside the body. The method used would not be determined until they had me open and were seeing the broken bones first hand.

My stay in the ER Closet was over and I was wheeled back to my ER room for the remainder of the night. During this time Ginger made her way back to the hospital. She left sometime before midnight to pick up a few things at home and go get my Jeep which I left at Bob’s house. While at Bob’s, in the middle of the night, she caught him up to speed with what was happening in the hospital with me. Bob also told her what happened out in the woods (another story I have to tell you).
Notice how the toes on my right foot are rotated to the right relative to my kneecap. Not good.

Time seemed to move quickly in the ER. By the time I got out of the ER Closet and back into my room within the ER it was around 2AM. I was hungry but was not allowed to eat for I was scheduled for surgery later that morning. Lovely. I purposely did not eat a large lunch knowing Ginger and I would have a great home-cooked dinner that evening. Seeing as I was in the ER, dinner never happened. I did everything I could to fight off the hunger. After dealing with the pressure and pain of my broken leg the hunger was an easy fight. The exhaustion overpowered the pain my leg and I eventually fell asleep for a few hours.

5AM arrives and doctors began coming in and out of my room talking to me about surgery for later in the morning. Groggy eye’d I did my best to answer their questions and figure out what was going on. I was first on the docket for surgery that morning, sometime around 9 or 10AM.

Around 7 or 8 I was greeted with a pleasant smile: Ginger arrived. It was difficult for her to see me in this condition and difficult for me to face reality that I was laying in a hospital with a broken leg just three weeks and change before our wedding. We both wanted to ask the Whys and the What-Ifs but independently knew it was not worth the effort. We could do nothing about it and had to focus on the current situation and how we would continue moving forward. These kinds of thoughts take massive willpower.

As 9AM came and went I was getting antsy to get out of the ER and into the OR for surgery. Surgery was the next milestone and my sights were set on that. Unfortunately, as the suggested hour came and went, my mental game was falling apart. I did my best to try and ignore this and focus on something else but it was difficult. Eventually I was moved upstairs to the OR. This was good news.

Surgery was supposed to last a few short hours but ultimately lasted a lot longer than anticipated. Before I went into the OR I met all the doctors and everyone had me confirm from my own two lips which foot/leg they will be operating on. It was during this time where I met Dr. Kevin Burton whom was the attending surgeon and was running the show in the effort to fix me. I also had to fill out the paperwork a second time for the paperwork I filled out in the ER got lost and never made it upstairs to the OR. Dr. Burton got Ginger’s phone number and told her how things would pan out and that he’d call her when they were done. She then wished me the best and went off to work. I was subsequently wheeled into the OR. Once in the OR I was transferred onto the operating table and the Anesthesiologist placed my arms out in a T on supports. I moved around a little bit to get comfortable and do not remember anything after that.

Many hours later (2 or 3 PM?) I awoke in the post OP area. Lots of people coming up to me once they saw me moving around. I do not remember much of anything as I was still drugged up from surgery. I do remember something about asking if I wanted a shot into the knee area to numb my leg if the pain was too much. I told them the pain was fine and the concept was dropped.

An hour or so later I ‘officially’ woke up and was alert and could see straight. The nurse was very nice and made sure I was comfortable. A while later they wheeled me out of the Post OP and across the hospital to my own room. The orderlies thought it was a race and were running my bed across the hospital. Watching ceiling tiles flash before my eyes and the bed moving side-to-side made me very nauseous thanks to the anesthesia still in me.

The nurses then popped in to say hello and check up on me. I think it was now around 5 or 6PM.  Dr Burton also came in. He said they found a few additional fractures not noted on the X-rays so that took them a little longer to get everything aligned than anticipated. He was pleased to tell me everything worked with internal fixation. Two permanent stainless steel plates and a total of thirteen screws to put this Humpty Dumpty back together again. I also had a giant cast on my foot that came up to just below my knee. This meant I could bend my knee which was an added bonus.
Ginger stayed for a little but and then went home. I was left trying to shake the anesthesia out of me and try to go to the bathroom.
Bright and early the next day I was greeted by Dr. Burton. Everything felt okay. I had some pain in my leg from all the work they did but a steady IV drip of some pain killers kept things comfortable. The pain at one point tipped 6 or 7 on the scale, higher than when my leg was broken. Guess it was the price to pay to be fixed.

My Friday morning in the hospital consisted of learning how to use crutches (I was very apprehensive of getting out of bed but forced myself up and moving around) and eating some hospital powdered egg breakfast. I spent the afternoon watching Vanilla Ice flip homes on HGTV with a break for more learning with crutches. By late in the afternoon I met all my objectives for dismissal and was able to leave the hospital. A few friends stopped by and helped Ginger get me home.

Friday night was early to bed. My bed, finally...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Getting Out of the Woods Alive

Continuing from where I left off...

There I was, sitting on the ground with a broken leg in the middle of the woods trying to breathe and forget about the pain. None of us has cell phones so we have to recall back to our Boy Scout days of what to do in a situation like this.

Build a helicopter out of sticks and leaves and fly out of there.

That is what MacGyver would do and three Engineers who are also Eagle Scouts are completely prepared to do such a thing.

Before we could do any of that we had to splint my leg. Stability and lack of movement were the key given both bones in my lower leg were now in two or more pieces and my foot was effectively just floating in space.  Bruce found two tree branches about an inch in diameter and we placed one on either side of my ankle (inside & out) spanning from my foot up to just below my knee. We then used his long sleeve jersey to tie the splints together around my ankle. We grabbed my spare tube from my Awesome Strap and did the same with my shin just above my knee. I wish I had photos of this splint but we had no cameras or phones with us.

Bob cleared the trail ahead of us from debris that may have fallen in the previous day’s storm. Both Bob and Bruce then then helped me hobble the 50 feet or so off this piece of singletrack and onto the doubletrack that intersects it. Picture one of them under each arm of mine.

From the doubletrack we figured out a game plan. We needed a plan to efficiently get me out of the woods.

~ build that helicopter and fly Doug out of the woods.
~ build a stretcher and carry Doug out of the woods.
~ Stay put entirely, one goes ahead to get help.
~ Ditch Doug’s bicycle in woods, plan which trails to walk out, one goes ahead for help, Doug and the other start walking out of the woods with makeshift crutches from tree branches.

Of course, we were probably at one of the furthest points from the forest service road on our ride that night, about three or four miles...
The agreed upon plan was something along the lines of the later. We agreed on which trails we would get out of the woods (One Hill to the Blue Blaze trail [aka Portland Res Road] to the Singletrack [down] to the forest service road). Bob would go ahead and get help while Bruce and I would figure out how to keep moving (if we could).
Sitting on the trail focusing on breathing and trying to ignore the pain, Bob turned on my HID headlamp on my helmet and took off for help. Bruce and I looked at each other hoping the other would know the right way to move me. I stood up again and tried hopping on my left leg with a tree branch Bruce gave me as a crutch under my right arm.

Bruce, this one crutch is not going to work. It uses so much of my energy to hop on my left leg and I am making very little progress down the trail. My hip hurts a tremendous amount from hopping.

Whilst standing I could feel all the blood rushing to my right foot and it hurt. I needed a rest from hoping on my left leg and we only made it a measly five feet down the trail. I then layed down on his bike with my stomach on the saddle and hands on the handlebars. Laying on the bike in a Superman like state, I haphazardly started pushing off with my left leg like a scooter. The bike started rolling forward and I more than doubled the distance traveled via bicycle.

Hmm… We have an idea here…

The downside to this was all the pressure on my abdomen from laying on the bike. I tried sitting on Bruce’s bike (his bike is smaller than mine) and it was more comfortable but the saddle was waay too low. I couldn’t keep my right leg in the air high enough to avoid hitting my foot on anything. Bruce then took my bike, lowered my saddle some and we carefully switched bikes. I turned the Pro-Pedal off my rear shock so the ride would be softer and tried it again.


This was working.

Working so well that I started riding away from Bruce and he was yelling at me to slow down for he was worried about me and my leg. That was when I realized that even though I can move on my bike with my left leg I really should slow down and take it slow and safe. The last thing I need is to lose my balance and fall over onto my broken right leg.

Bruce caught back up when I came to a fallen tree we had to get over. Normally I would ride it but in my state I did not want to risk trying to ride it with one foot clipped in. I can do some wild things but this was not the time nor the place. We worked together to hop me over the tree. This consisted of me dismounting my bike and using my bike as a ‘walker’. While standing on my leg adjacent to the tree, Bruce lifted my bike over the tree while I held onto his shoulder. With my bike on the other side of the tree I could hold onto that and Bruce helped me hop over the tree with my left leg. I could then remount my bike and start pushing off with my left leg. We are moving again!

Early on I was able to lean my right leg backwards in a horizontal fashion, rotate my pelvis forward on the saddle and kick off with my left leg. This worked for about half an hour or so and then the pain in my right leg worsened. The blood was pooling in my foot and both  my foot and ankle were swelling at a rapid pace. More pressure. I then resorted to riding in an upright manner on the saddle with my right knee up near my elbow so as to keep my right foot off the ground and away from obstacles near the ground. This worked great but used a lot of energy in my right thigh to keep my leg upright. I had no choice.

Negotiating my bicycle very slowly (slower than a hiker) through trails I ride weekly was difficult on my mind. My mind knows I can ride these trails well but I kept having to remind myself that I have a broken leg. The pain in my leg was constantly there and I was fatiguing quickly.  Somewhere down the first trail Bruce and I stopped for food. I ate my package of Shot Bloks and drank half my waterbottle of water.
I knew we were making great progress but we still had a long way to go. Bruce kept reaffirming how much we’ve covered and how well we are moving in an effort to keep things positive and keep my momentum both mentally and physically. I knew I had to keep going so I tried to block out all those negative thoughts but twice I failed and broke down in tears and hysterics.

How could this happen? I am getting married in three weeks and now I can’t walk. Ginger is going to kill me. I am never going to get out of here. My foot is destroyed. Months, if not years, to rebuild myself. What am I going to do?

Somehow, as quickly as I fell into that funk I jumped right out of it and kept on moving down the trail. I kept telling myself, verbally, that things are okay.

The next turn we’ll see the medical help coming up the trail and then everything will be okay.

Out of One-Hill and onto the Blue Blaze Trail (aka: Portland Reservoir Road). This trail was fairly flat in the direction we were going (north towards Glastonbury) except one short very loose rocky climb we had to go up. I was able to clip my left foot into my pedal and actually pedal my bike on the flatter sections. I would hear Bruce yelling at me to slow down which I then forcibly told my mind to slow down. It was also pretty much dark now. Probably close to 7pm. The accident happened around 6pm and we covered 2 miles.  With the rain the previous day the fog was rolling in. Our HID lights sucked in the fog. We couldn’t see more than 5 feet infront of us.

Need to keep on moving.

Through the flat section of the blue blaze trail and all that was left is this rocky climb. Beyond that we can descend down the Singletrack trail and onto the forest service road. Need to get through this climb…

I certainly was not riding up this rocky climb. The rocks are the size of softballs. Its difficult when you can pedal and I sure as hell did not want to fumble on these rocks and damage my right leg any worse than it already is.

Best thing to be done was dismounting and hopping on my left leg whilst using my bike as a walker to keep me upright. I’d push my bike out a foot and then hop towards it while holding onto the handlebar and saddle. One foot after another we went up this climb. Partway up I had to stop for more food and to rest my left leg. My left hip was killing me from the impact of hopping on rocks. We could not see the top but knew it was coming up soon. Bruce kept giving me words of encouragement that helped fuel me to keep moving.

We knew we were at the top when the rocks slowly dissipated and the terrain flattened out. Back on the bike pushing off with that left leg. A couple hundred feet up ahead was the left turn onto the Singletrack trail which descended off this tiny ridgeline down to the forest service road.

Besides the focus on moving down trail, both Bruce and I were starting to wonder where the medical crew was that Bob went to get. We knew Bob would follow through but where was the help? By now it is dark so we would easily see flashlights and headlights of any help coming up the trail towards us yet all we saw was darkness.  This weighed on us and our frustration increased. With the two of us frustrated, we could not feed off each other to keep encouraging each other to move forward. Our mental game was falling apart and falling apart fast!

Meanwhile, as we ventured down the Singletrack trail light rain began to fall. It is now dark, foggy and rainy and we are in the woods with a hurt bicyclist. The Singletrack trail did signify that we were ultimately getting closer and closer to the service road. Getting closer to the service road meant we were out of the woods.

The end was in sight!

The feelings of just about being out of the woods drove me to move a little quicker and make mistakes. The big mistake came when I was entering a little gully in the Singletrack trail. The whole time I was descending I tried to keep my left foot uphill and my hands on the brake levers. I would let the brakes out inch by inch and crawl down the hill atop the bicycle. Going into this gully I somehow lost my footing with my left foot and my weight shifted. I now found myself tipping over to the right side. Natural instinct is to put your right foot out so I did that (forgetting about my broken leg). As soon as weight transferred onto my right leg I toppled over in pain. I fell off the bike and let out a loud scream. I laid there clutching my leg in agony. Bruce grabbed my bike and took it down the gulley (which was about 15 feet long). I regained my composure and slide down the gulley on my backside whilst keeping my right leg up in the air. A minute or so later I was comfortable enough to get back on the bike and keep moving.

By now it was around 7:45PM or so. Almost two hours since I broke my leg and we still were not at the service road. Help was no where to be found. We were also beyond the halfway point on the Singletrack trail so we knew we were almost there. Learning from my previous mistake I slowed down no matter how eager I was to get out onto the service road. A few long minutes later we were out on the service road. The rain also subsided.

I never thought I would see this gravel road. I wanted to lay down with my foot up on the bank to get the blood out of my foot. My foot was now fairly swollen and I could not wiggle my toes and it hurt to move my leg. We looked both ways on the service road and saw not one light nor did we hear any vehicular noise. Bruce insisted we keep moving. We had about a mile of smooth road that was predominately downhill. Beyond that were residential houses. We were close to help! As much as I wanted to lay down I knew the ride out on the road would be a few more minutes. I dealt with two hours I could deal with a few more minutes.

Downhill in the foggy dark. When the road flattened out I clipped my left foot in and we pedaled comfortably out into the residential neighborhood. Immediately there were headlights coming towards us and I thought ‘ambulance’. The headlights then turned into someone’s driveway. It was a car. I told Bruce to ride ahead and flag them down for their phone. I’ll catch up. While Bruce was trying to explain to this family our situation I rode up to the driveway and dismounted my bike and proceeded to lay down on the ground. My left hip was sore and I needed to lay down and get my right foot elevated.

Bruce called 911 and they confirmed there was a call out for us already. He then told them the address of the house we were at and that we were safe but needed medical attention. The family came over to ask me how I am doing. Next thing I knew two or three firefighters arrive. I was laying on the wet asphalt driveway shivering because I got cold from the rain and tired from the two hour effort to get out of the woods. The firefighters covered me in their jackets (those things are amazingly warm!). They said help is on the way. I had to call Ginger but I completely forgot her phone number. The only number I could remember was my parents’ in NJ so I had Bruce call them and I told them my leg was broken and had them call Ginger so she could me at Hartford Hospital.

The news media arrived during this time. The firefighters kept the media on the other side of the road and I covered myself up completely with the firefighter’s jackets. Everyone was in awe at our splint on my leg.  Sometime thereafter an ambulance came and they got me on their stretcher and into the back of the ambulance.

One step closer to finding out how bad I screwed myself up and one step closer to being fixed.

I had a long night in the ER and then a few days in the hospital. More of that to come....

Monday, October 22, 2012

When you least expect it... Snap

Back on Wednesday October 3rd I was out on my weekly Wednesday ride. Pretty much my only ride during the week this fall given the demands at work and the wedding planning. It rained cats and dogs on Tuesday of that week. Bob, Bruce and I felt it was still okay to ride mountain bikes Wednesday so we tried. Whit stopped by on his road bike thinking the trails were too wet. We told him a Mazzwy ride can be done on a road bike but he opted to not join us for fear of ruining his tubulars.

Staying high in elevation the trails were perfect. Not 'hero dirt' but tacky. Leaves started falling (it is Oct in New England) so the trails were changing. This is my favorite time of the year to ride. The trails are different from what you remember thanks to the leaves. Keeps you on your toes. So I thought…

First 30 to 45minutes was fun. Very technical trails without any issues. The SF100SS was amazing. I wasn’t even hot dogging anything either. Just riding along getting a feel for the fit on the bike how it reacts on the terrain. Since the previous ride, I added a longer stem to open up the cockpit some and also replaced the worn rear shock DU bushings with needle bearings for a silky smooth operation.

Next section of trail is what we call Two-Hill. A short little up and down over a knoll. On the descent there is a chicane where you make a quick left around a big rock and then a quick right around a tree to avoid another rock. Earlier this year I learned to wheelie drop off the big rock and straighten the trail out rather than riding through the chicane.
On this day I did the same thing. One hour into our ride, I came up over Two-Hill and on the descent rode up and over the rock with a 1-2ft wheelie drop off the backside. Exactly like I have been doing all year on my hardtail, only this time I did not ride away from it.
The fall line points towards the right, in the direction the chicane directs you. Coming up and over the rock places you a few degrees off the fall line in a partial traverse setting. Not a big deal. You work the bike into the trail as you come off the rock. Not a big deal. Brand new Schwalbe Racing Ralph 29x2.35 with 18psi of air in them. The caveat this day was the wet leaves.

I still do not know exactly what happened because I went from wheelie droping the rock to sitting on my ass in the dirt in a split second. So fast that if you blinked you would have missed it. So fast that all it takes is one snap of the fingers.

Snap indeed. Not my fingers though. My Fibula and Tibia in my right leg just above my ankle. Add in a dislocated ankle for good measure too.

That is right. What appeared to be a simple crash turned out to be probably the worst crash I have ever had from a bodily damage standpoint. My faceplant a few years ago could be comparable but this one will be much harder and longer to recover from.

When I came off the rock my front tire washed towards the left. The whole bike went down on the drivetrain side. My handlebars twisted around completely (almost as if I was doing an X up) and I went down. I am not entirely sure of the sequence of events but I think the angle my bike was falling down at versus where my body was position was enough to snap my leg in half. Somehow after that my right foot clipped out of my pedal. I then landed in a seated posture in the dirt with my legs straight out infront of me. Bike to the left of me about a foot (ie: I was not tangled in my bike). No head impact. No upper body impact. In fact, not a scratch anywhere on my body except my right ankle/foot/leg…

So there I am sitting in the dirt feeling tremendous pressure on my right leg. Pressure I’ve never felt before (never broken a bone before). My kneecap is aligned with my hip but my right foot is pointed out to the right about 45-60deg when it should be vertical up towards the sky.

“This is not good.”

I felt my shin and there was a huge bump just above my ankle. No skin punctures though. Just a huge bump. I couldn’t move my ankle either.


I heard Bob and Bruce coming so I yelled at them to slow down for I need help. Not a scream. Just a casual yell to alert them I am on the ground infront of them.

I then felt myself going into shock.

Spun myself around with my feet uphill from me and then I laid down so the blood would flow to my head and I would not pass out.

“What are we going to do? I think I just broke my leg. I can wiggle my toes but it hurts and I can’t move my ankle. My foot is not where it should be. Freaks me out!”

Bob and Bruce took one look at me and immediately knew I could not ride and needed medical attention.
“Where is your cell phone?”

“In my Jeep.”

I said while tipping my head down knowing I just destroyed all immediate chances of getting help.

Stay tuned... There is more to this coming....

August & September

A very quick re-cap of the past two months:

Early August - DarkHorse40 – Great start. Flat on lap one. Cramps on lap two. Turned my race into a fun ride and the frustration of flats and craps disappeared and bike riding was fun again. Stopped to help Tom from Niner with his flat near the end. Finished the race just outside top 10 singlespeed but had a huge smile and helped people along the way. Fun!
Photo: Ed Burgess

Work got in the way of bike riding. 15hr days. No time to ride. Body was exhausted. Ontop of that, Ginger and I got engaged in July and have been busy planning our wedding for late October 2012.

Kingdom Trails trip with Ginger over Labor Day weekend by way of a stop in Stowe VT.
Stowe Trails (photo: Ginger)

Early September – Business trip to Atlanta – Big thanks to Mike Stanley from Niner for letting me borrow an Air9 Carbon while down there. Another thanks to Eddie & Namrita (race promoters) for letting me stay at their cabin the night before the race. Almost went from couch to FG100miler but was worried I wasn’t going to finish the race in time to catch my flight home so I did the 50miler.
FG50 – Good start. Lots of fire road climbing at the start. Dicky and I played games off the front with the locals. I faded on the first long climb a few miles in but recovered. Legs completely blew up at the 2nd aid station. Full on cramps. From there to the finish I tried to ride and had no gas for ‘racing’. Rode some awesome singletrack. Really loved how snappy the Air9C is in acceleration. Rigid fork in Georgia is not bad at all. Nothing like rigid in New England.

T-Hom's driving drink of choice.
T-Hom's coverage of the event.

New Bicycle….  Despite working insane hours, trying to plan a wedding and not riding I found time to sell a bike and buy another bike.
2010 Gary Fisher Superfly 100 Singlespeed. RockShox SID 100mm travel 15mm thru axle fjork.  23.5lbs with spare tube and multi-tool. 

Replaced the worn rear shock DU bushings with needle bearings from Enduro.  Still working the chain tension. B-tension on Shimano road derailleurs is not enough (currently have a Shimano 105). When I can ride offroad again I am going to try a SRAM road derailleur as they have a higher B-tension. SRAM works great in this application for friends of mine.

Three rides on the bike and was having a lot of fun. Think this might be my race bike for 2013.