Stuporbowl is always something to be remembered, and always good for getting injured or losing stuff.
This year was no exception for me.
I remember many years ago crashing on my left side coming home from it. At least, I remember going to the ER the next morning. It turned out that I hadn't broken my collarbone, but just separated it a bit. For several months, I couldn't lift my left arm above simply horizontal.
I've been much better lately. I mean - getting too drunk and crashing my bike? Almost non-existant. Even just wrecking. I haven't fallen down on a bike in a couple of years. No road rash, no bruises, nothing at all.
Yesterday was Stupor Bowl 16. I think that means 10 years since I last injured myself coming home from the race.
A friend of mine and I worked a stop together this year, but we weren't great about coordinating with the organizers. So we didn't end up with the greatest stop. We were out at Sporty's Pub which was on the second speed manifest. It was a pretty great place, and the waitstaff treated us great. They actually had some really good beer and food, not what I was expecting given it's location. They said that they'd recently started making all their own sauces and using a lot more fresh ingredients. The pretzel sticks were some of the best I've ever had. It was happy hour, so all the pints were $3.00. For some really high-quality craft beer. They also had a deal where if you get a coozy than anything in bottles or cans is $2.00 off (think that was it) all the time. Plus, if you travel with the coozy and photograph it, you could win a gift certificate.
But what ended up meaning was that less than 20 people came through our stop.
This was a race with over 350 people. But apparently the best case speed route was 50 miles.
It was a high of maybe 10 yesterday, and there was some wind.
I was actually pretty happy that it was cold, it was nice to have real weather for the out-of-towners to deal with this year. But 50 miles for a race like this was crazy.
Also, I don't like the way it was split up. This is a huge race, but part of that means that you have to be good with to the volunteers. Having them sit for 3 hours before seeing anyone is just stupid. I get that it can be necessary, but part of what makes volunteering at races fun is interacting with people. You want to see your friends.
Dunno, it was fine, we had tons to talk about and catch up on, the food and beer was great, the people that came through were almost all friends. But still, I kind of wished that we'd seen more people.
Anyway, we went to the Crooked Pint for the after party. Which was also pretty great. They had Bitter Neighbor on Tap which I drank apparently too many of.
On the way out, I was having trouble getting all of my stuff together. Ended up breaking my zipper on my winter jacket, and had real trouble getting everything on and ready for the trip. Rode home with the velcro and the strap from my messenger bag holding things mostly closed. I know it was chilly, I remember that much.
What I don't remember is actually wiping out. It was snowing on top of ice and I'm sure I just slid out - I had a pannier on my left side filled with beer so I fell to that side. I tend to always fall on that side. I didn't fall hard enough to break any bottles. I didn't feel all that bad when I got home - I hung up bike up and tried to put the beer away, stumbled in to my bedroom and fell into bed.
This morning, I realized I must have done more than I thought. Woke up really early even though I was hung over and found some ibuprofen, lay down for awhile longer, but still my elbow and ribs really hurt. My ribs have been hurting for a couple of weeks, but they felt worse. I couldn't straighten my arm.
A few hours later, I tried getting dressed and ready to head to the ER, thinking it was probably broken. Turns out, I was right. It took forever to get dressed. Even putting socks on or tying my shoes was excruciating. Putting shirts on? Hell.
Once I got dressed, I walked to the ER and spent awhile waiting. Finally I got x-rayed and then spent more time waiting. They wouldn't let me drink any water which was really hell. I have a bit of a dry cough, and coughing really hurt my chest. Drinking water would help with the throat, but I couldn't have any.
When they finally came in, it turned out that my elbow was broken. It's a "Radial Head Fracture" and apparently it's really common. There's not much that can be done, it's not even bad enough to need a cast. I'm going to be in a sling for a week or maybe a bit more. I'm probably not riding a bike for longer than that.
It's really limiting. You don't really notice how much your mobility really until you lose it. I'm really not used to it at all. It's been forever since I wasn't able to ride a bicycle. Or do simple things. It's frustrating.
I have friends who are going to help me make up a bunch of food Tuesday, which will help out a lot. I talked to my boss today and let him know I'm not going to be able to make it into the office for a bit. Thankfully I can still type, so I can work. I just can't really travel. So that's good.
It was kind of interesting though, the doctor came back in and asked me if I'd ever had back pain. She didn't think it was from this injury, because she had touched me there and I didn't wince, but there was a problem with my spine.
For the last 7 or 8 years, I've hard random back pain. I don't remember what the first injury is.
I remember the first time I noticed it. I was really broke and went to a show at the t-rock. I was so broke that I actually smuggled in a 12 pack of black label in my bag to drink. But I didn't end up drinking any of it, though I wore the bag all night.
When I was going to leave, I wept 'flopping' over from the weight of the bag. I'd be fine if I stood perfectly straight, but if I leaned at all I fell over. Someone gave me a ride home (I don't have any idea who) and I think I spent a couple of days recupperating at home. Never really thought about it much, but every few months it will seize up and for a few days I won't be able to bend over and just hurt really bad.
She said one of my disks is actually compressed kind of. I must have broken it at some point, or something else. I asked if there was anything that could be done, and she didn't really say, but the implication was no. So I guess I'm stuck with it for life. Which kind of sucks.
I have to follow up with Orthopedics in the next couple of days for the elbow, when I schedule that I'm going to ask them to look at the chest x-ray and tell me if there's anything that can be done.
It's nice to know what's causing it, I guess, but still, kind of sucks.
Then again, kind of interesting to know that it's entirely possible that I've broken my back and never even noticed or slowed down at all. Maybe I'm actually more resilient than I give myself credit for. I've always basically thought of myself as a wimp when it comes to pain. But maybe I'm not?