Sunday, July 11, 2010

Achilles Heal

I actually want my Achilles to heal. Tore it up yesterday after about ninety miles of riding. The storm clouds were moving in from the northwest as we were approaching Sandpoint, ID. As I learned from my friend Kris in KS, turtles will go to higher ground when it starts to rain. Sure enough, heavy traffic and a turtle playing Frogger on the double yellow line in the middle.

A pretty big sucker too. So I wait til the traffic clears and get to saving. Go pick him up while I'm still on my bike. Start moving towards the guard rail. The whole time he's starting to pee. So I have him at an arms length. Make it to the rail and lose my balance while trying to avoid getting a turtle shower.

Ended up losing my balance and was locked into my pedals. Went right down on my right side. Landed on my knee and elbow. But the turtle was okay. Managed to not let him hit the ground.

Fell right into the road with an oncoming truck. Luckily he was a ways away. Took me a minute to get up. The turtle scurried off over the side mad quick. I picked myself up and surveyed the damage. Two lacerations on my right knee. One on my elbow. Then I peaked at my left Achilles heel. Don't what I did too that. Must have caught it on the guard rail or my pedal.

The bike was fine except for a bent water cage. My ego was in check except for the fact that I should have done the rescue mission off the bike. Fully loaded bike in the middle of the road after biking 90 miles with a peeing turtle who is trying to pry himself out of your hand is no good. Yeah, he was clawing aty fingers trying to get me to drop him. Rescue mission was a failure!

Last night we wanted to do about 20 more miles. But with the rain coming, the fall and talking to a local about camp spots we settled right where we were. It happened to be a beautiful campground right on a lake. So we set up camp. It was a chore for me. I was really sore.

Then we got on the bikes and went for a swim. After the nice liaison of that section informed us the spot we chose was spoken for. He was a real character about it. Comes up on his golf cart with his wife. "hello". Like the McFly hello. So I respond in kind. Wasn't feeling to pleasant at this point. Him and his wife talking to us from 30 feet away on their magic carpet ride.

So I asked if there is another site. He says yes, #62 over there. So after we have already set up our tents we have to move. Not such a big deal. I ask if their are showers and he just laughs. Says, "yeah one big one...the lake.". Then I ask if there is a restaurant. His wife says next door. Lady were in the woods. Which way is next door?

So I'm walking up this embankment with my tent in one hand and my bike in the other and he hands me an envelope. They have envelopes where u pay the camping fee at the kiosk. But he feels it necessary to give me that one. I put down the tent and take the envelope. His wife says, "say thank you!".

OMG. U got to be kidding me. I got blood running down my leg and I have to deal with these awesome folks. Why can't they do their job and stop us before we set up our tents or put a reserved sign?

So after a swim on the lake and getting cleaned up, I was limping. It really hurt. Unfortunately I have a high threshold for pain. This morning I packed up camp figuring I would try to make it to Sandpoint. If I couldn't make it there I was in real trouble. If I did make it and couldn't go on at least I could get a hotel and some proper rest. Then of it didn't feel better go to the ER. Thought this could be a game changer.

Made it there pretty well. The first few hills were rough. Couldn't apply weight to the left side at all. Even putting on pants this morning. Then trying to click out of my pedals hurt like hell. The other factor was there is an AT&T store there. Was hoping to get the new iPhone. They were closed, bummer.

Got some coffee, made some pb&j's and was feeling hopeful. Actually went 98 miles today. Have some ground to cover to get to that ferry by Friday. So had to man up and suck up the pain and get through it. Felt really good to. Would have been real easy to not even get out of my tent this morning. Or get to town and just give up. I'm really looking forward to getting to that ferry and having three days to relax.

Right now I'm sitting on hard ass gravel in the parking lit of the volunteer fire dept. We are camped out back. I'm charging phone and listening yo the insects and bats fly around the lights above my head. We stopped at a camp about 25 miles back to go for a swim. There were no kids today. It was an in between day, so just staff. They let us swim and gave us some food. We just weren't allowed to use the toys because of insurance purposes.

Thanks for following along. I need to go rest my wounds.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


  1. I've rescued many a turtle, in the same manner you described, will think differently about it in the future. Heal thy wounds, make that ferry. Ryan, your fellow riders are from Asheville, so am I. Rock on Asheville on Bikes

  2. Take care of the leg please Ryan. Future turtle rescues will be aided.
    Anna Lisa

  3. ouch. But I like your play on the Achilles heal/heel. Sometimes we need a good metaphor to work through.

    Hope the heel heals. Missoula misses you guys.

  4. Wow, just a few days til you can rest up on the ferry to AK, right? Sorry you got hurt - and while rescuing a turtle of all things. Where's the karma?!

    p.s. those douchebags at the campsite seemed like the lamest people to run into at that particular moment... tho I had to smile reading your description of the encounter!

  5. the universe knows you helped that turtle out, ryan. sometimes there's a silver lining to a bloody heel. maybe you needed to slow down and rest for mysterious reasons. feel better. we are all cheering for you.

  6. The scars'll make a good story.