2005 – 2009

In 2005, I shifted my focus to training to ride a flat century in less than five hours. I found a training plan in a bike magazine specifically for this purpose. Towards the end of the year, I logged 15 weeks of between 200 miles and over 300 miles on the bike. For the year, I logged 8,013 training miles. Unfortunately, my training for the year ended on November 27, the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

There is truth to the adage: It is not if you will crash, but when. Most bike crashes are self-inflicted, such as failing to unclip from a pedal at a stop sign. Others are the result of utter stupidity. I was leading a mixed paceline (single file formation) of experienced and novice racers from a former team at 20 mph on a local bike trail. I had just moved from the front of the paceline to the back of the formation, when I was struck from behind by a recreational rider who was speeding at over 20 mph to catch up with us.

As I fell on my left side, he fell on top of me, knocking me unconscious. I have no recollection of the next several days in the hospital. I suffered seven fractured ribs, fractured scapula, mild concussion, broken tooth, punctured lung, and nerve damage to my left arm. My training diary is empty until Monday, March 25, 2006: “…unable to use left arm to signal; pain from road vibration, balance affected, as were turning to right and left.” Recovery from the fractures only took a couple of months. The nerve damage to my left arm would eventually take 15 months to heal. I was still able to log 4,654 training miles for the year, mostly on the trainer.

In early January 2007, my doctor informed me that that two of 12 biopsy samples from my prostate showed cancer cells. While I decided how to fight the cancer, I continued my recovery rides, mostly on the trainer in the safety of my basement. On Tuesday, May 2, 2007, five months after the accident, I was able to resume training outdoors on a new carbon fiber road bike, a Specialized Roubaix Elite. In early July, I took an eight week break to recover from successful prostate cancer surgery. I resumed limited training for the balance of the year. I logged 4,080 miles for the year.

My 2008 training diary is empty until March 11, when I finally felt strong enough to begin a fast century training program. My weekly mileage began to climb: 100 miles, 150 miles, and over 200 miles. I logged 6,112 miles for the year.

Similarly, my 2009 training diary shows high mileage weeks. I joined the Syn-Fit Race Team and participated in a number of off-season group rides, but had no competition or century results. I logged 6,199 miles for the year.

NEXT: 2010 – 2018