Ice, ice, baby (redux)

Chillin’ back at the crib.

Ordinarily this space is reserved for displaying my irritation with the world at large. Today I highlight my own blithering idiocy.

I stuffed it into some trailside cholla on a loose, mildly technical singletrack descent yesterday, collecting a few jillion thorns in my left hand and spraining that wrist.

Naturally, I was riding a drop-bar bike on terrain better suited to flat bars and fat tires. I knew it was wrong, but I did it anyway.

The bike is fine; thanks for asking. But that left glove is a total loss.


28 Responses to “Ice, ice, baby (redux)”

  1. Sharon Says:

    Hope for a speedy recovery!

  2. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Cholla? Anything but cholla! Why couldn’t you pick a nice friendly prickly pear? It wasn’t a teddy bear cholla or jumping cholla, was it? They are the worst.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      PS; duct tape works well for pulling the little spines out. Time to start drinking again, me thinks. Take two Guiness stouts and call me in the morning.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      This was a cane cholla, Pat. Nice long spines, most easily pulled out at trailside while cursing loudly.

      Actually, it could’ve been worse. At least I augured into the hillside at left instead of going over the edge at right. I hate it when that happens.

      And yeah, I looked long and hard at the bottle of tequila in the kitchen. One good dose of cactus deserves another. But I had to fetch groceries from Whole Amazon and bring Herself home from the airport, so it was ixnay on the oozebay.

      • JD Dallager Says:

        PO’G: Wow! Hope you recover quickly!!

        Watch out now for infection! Speaking from experience here. Those cholla spines probably have everything from coyote urine to tarantula poop on ’em.

        Also glad Herself is back safely to provide a little sympathy…..and probably to wonder whether “With age comes wisdom” has any real merit to it! 🙂

        Stay safe…..speedy, full recovery!

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Thanks, JD. So far, so good. Being mostly coyote myself I hope to avoid the infection that attacked a pal who sandpapered his ass with some Moab sandstone some years back.

        As I recall he had a couple-three rounds of antibiotics and the medicos were talking about sawing some bits off. Happily, that proved unnecessary and he remains as intact as it is possible for an old journo to be in this climate of economic uncertainty.

  3. Libby Says:

    Ugh! Hope it’s not bad and the ice works. I suppose it’s not helpful to suggest you try to rest it. When will Herself return to the Casa?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Thanks, Libby. It’s not awful, just an annoyance. Hardly any trail rash, just a swollen wrist and fingers. I believe I’ll be running for a few days.

      Herself is back in residence. The cats saluted her with hairballs and The Boo pooped in the house. I contributed a bottle of rosé, which I think was more warmly received.

  4. khal spencer Says:

    Ouch. I have dislocated two fingers (on separate occasions) doing the famous ass-over-handlebars trick on trails around these parts. Its a real pain sitting by the trail putting one’s fingers back in the geometry where they belong. Someday I will learn. Get well soon.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Yeah, me too … one thumb, one bird finger, both on the left mitt. That paw takes an awful whuppin’.

      This was my first Albuquerque endo, and only my second cacti collection. The first was in Las Cruces, and cost me some Steelman bibs.

      • khal spencer Says:

        With me it was a right thumb and left pinky.

        I was descending a steep trail near Water Canyon and caught the front wheel on something and flipped the bike, dislocating my thumb on impact. I got it back into its socket so I could shift the right shifters on the way home, where I was supposed to be making Thanksgiving dinner.

        Second time I caught a 4×4 rut with the front wheel and went flying AoH and came down on my left hand, dislocating the pinky. Damn, that hurt for months.

        On one other occasion, I stuck the front wheel in a rut on a Bandelier Tuff trail and slammed my forearm into the rocks as I pivoted over the bike. Thought I had broken my arm and when I took the jersey off there was blood on a lot of stuff, but turned out to be a bad bone bruise.

        Mountain biking is tough on old farts. Where the hell is my barca lounger?

  5. ryansubike Says:

    Well if it makes you feel any better I tried to Gene Autry on my touring bike last month (step on pedal, push off swing other leg over saddle) and ended up ass over tea kettle in front of a lovely female friend whose bike I had just made ride- able and for good measure I seriously un-trued my rear wheel.

    Pride goeth after the fall I think is what they meant to say. Hope you heal soon.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Ooo, that’s the worstest. Lucky for me I had just exchanged greetings with two dudes who were headed in the other direction. Had I been a little quicker on the trail I might have landed on one or both of ’em. I don’t always like having an audience.

      Speaking of which, back in the Eighties I remember our club president turning up for a group ride with his first set of clipless pedals. Well sir, he sails into the grocery parking lot, botches the unclipping, and goes down in a heap in front of us and everyone who had eyes to see through the store windows. Good times. Maybe not.

  6. karen young Says:

    Once on a dogwalk at PicachoPeak, enjoying the sun, Calif poppies/lupines/hummers, our fine rescue racer greyhound Andy, got 4-5 jumping cholla pods embedded on/in his rear prominents. We always carried combs to flick out the pods flying onto shoes, ankles, shoulders, hands, fingers, paws and even balls! Ouch for sure, those fishhooks hurt.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      Those jumping chollas are the worst. Our old dog, Beau, just walked by one. I didn’t see him brush against it, don’t think they really jump, but if he did he hardly touched it. He got two of those pods in a back leg, and we got spines in our fingers using the comb to remove the pods. Beau was not amused.

      Patrick, I haven’t crashed into a cactus in 20 years of trail riding around here. This is your winter testing grounds bud. Come on down.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Aren’t you glad we bipeds shed the bulk of our fur along the evolutionary path from There to Here? Thank Dog that The Boo is a city feller. He can collect enough detritus just plodding along a city street.

  7. Hurben Says:

    Man, I’m glad that we don’t have bad shit like that down here in Gods Zone. Unlike our friends over in West Island, (AKA Australia), where practically everything can kill you!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      That other island has all manner and variety of hazard, no? Including the local bipeds, as I learned once while drinking with one. My liver has never fully recovered.

  8. Hurben Says:

    I do like that picture of an ice bag though, I’ve only seen them in cartoons, we just generally grab a bag of frozen vegetables out of the fridge. Normally peas because I’ve been told that if you’ve had a vasectomy, the sharp edges on frozen carrots in mixed veg are uncomfortable

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I forget how we wound up with that ice bag. Hurben. I usually just pour ice into a Ziploc bag, which is what I did this go-round until Herself saw me and said, “We have an actual ice bag, you know.”

  9. Carl Duellman Says:

    will this incident be a topic for one of your comics? hope it mends quickly so you can get back on that horse.

  10. Pat O'Brien Says:

    How’s the hand and wrist this morning? I took a second look at the picture, and it looked like some serious black and blue was going on.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Doing OK, Pat, and thanks. Third finger purpled up pretty nicely, and the base of the index was swollen, as was the wrist. But a little ice-pack time, rest and light stretching seems to be doing the trick.

      Also, the not falling off the bike seems to be beneficial as well. I have rarely toppled out of the old office chair, praise be to Sauron, may his Eye grow ever redder.

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