A few years ago, my father came gimping back from chasing my dog around outside in his sandals. He had slipped, broken his fall, and ripped off most of his big toenail in the process. It was still attached to his toe when he showed me, his foot propped up over the sink. He pushed the nail, making the blood caught between toe and nail pulse a little.
“See, I ripped it off.”
I mentally shrieked. My entire body was covered in goosebumps. I almost felt like puking and pooping my pants at the same time. Yet another reason I could never go into medicine.
I felt the same way - and possibly queasier - last night when I helped Mike change the blood-soaked gauze that was patched around his sutures. And by “helped,” I mean “watched in morbid curiosity.” Because I obviously don’t deal well with blood.
Not that I didn’t expect at least some of this. Mike had surgery scheduled to patch up his hernia for a few weeks now, and with little time and sunshine left before he went under the knife, Andy suggested we do a few laps in Prospect Park on Sunday morning. A 44cm Bianchi Valle was offered on loan but it came with flat bars, so I stuck with the Cyfac, but managed to nab a used Specialized BG Toupe saddle. I was told that it would be better than the leopard print stripe number I was currently using but I had my doubts.
Yeah, I was wrong. Again. The Toupe is flat, hard, and feels like you’re sitting on the hood of a giant Cadillac. No shifting around or constantly getting out of the saddle. Extremely comfy, it helped me concentrate on not being able to really breathe while trying to hang on with guys who were dumbing it down for me but keeping it at a steady 19-20mph. The flats weren’t so bad; but you guys know me: anything with over a 2% grade is a pretty big challenge. Gears make it hurt less, but also just remind me of how much aerobic strength I don’t have.
After a few laps, with me trying to hold the yogurt I had for breakfast down, Andy was craving coffee so we made our way to Cafe Grumpy. A few minutes after pulling up, I was sipping a delicious Americano and got nibbles of chocolate chip banana bread, a pumpkin apple spice muffin, and a zucchini muffin. All of which hit the spot after trying to keep up with two steel frames that went way faster than the aluminum one I was riding. Coach DS was definitely right about how it doesn’t matter what your bike’s made of.
Fifteen minutes later, we were back on our bikes, headed to do more bike-related things. No more puking sensations this time, or goosebumps caused by bloody bandages, just good times. And enough fun for Mike to hopefully alleviate the pain of not being able to ride for the next few weeks.
Lucky for him, the rain’s been helping out. Hopefully my domestic skills are, too.