2005 – 2009
2005 – 2006: ANOTHER SERIOUS CRASH
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.
2007: A CANCER DIAGNOSIS
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 a six 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.
2008: RECOVERY CONTINUES
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.
2009: JOINED A NEW TEAM
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.