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Making it happen  //   Tuesday - November 9, 2004

Well, I made it. Last week's hand trauma looked like it was going to destroy the canal ride I had been organizing for this past weekend. I went to an orthopaedic doc on Friday who confirmed I was most likely going to need surgery. He scheduled me to see a hand surgeon on Monday afternoon. When I asked what I shouldn't be doing, he said "It's simple, if it hurts, don't do it".

Internal debate ensues. I'll be cutting it close to make the Dr. appointment Monday, but it's doable. The thumb is splinted to prevent further injury. The big question is, can I ride a loaded fixed gear 190 miles on a dirt canal path full of roots, rocks and ruts without being in constant pain?

I go home and do a test ride and it doesn't hurt, but I can't grip the bar well. No thumb action and the index and middle fingers are swollen huge and mostly unusable. I get a sort of claw grip with my fingers and figure it's workable. At least for the lap in the neighborhood, who knows what two and a half days of riding will be like.

I swap the moustache bars for a pair o Nitto cruiser bars flipped upside down, then right side up hoping for a better hand position with less weight on the injured one. I settle back with the M-bars. They are what I'm used to.

And off we go, for an incredible weekend, beautiful weather for November, 60 F during the day, mid-30s at night. Eleven riders, five on fixed gear. More on this later. I survived without further injury, made it to mile marker 0, made the Dr. appointment on time and am now scheduled to have this torn ligament repaired. A bunch of time off the MTB, but at least I can road ride. And think of the fresh memories of this weekend to help get me through...

- riderx


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