Sunday, March 4, 2012

Road Rash

What's worse? Skidding on the asphalt, feeling your skin burn, and who knows what's happening to the expensive carbon machine that you were sitting on until a few fractions of a second ago? Or is it feeling like an idiot, for having screwed up so blatantly? I can now tell you: neither. It's ten times worse of both having to shower that newly acquired road rash once you limp home.
Let's not mince words: I am a total wimp.

With that out of the way, I can't count how many times I have seen a pro rider on TV, top of his game, descending towards victory, hugging turns like a demon one second, and the next sliding down, shining sparks from the pedal scarring the pavement? Maybe he took a gamble on an unknown descent, or made a simple mistake, like crossing the treacherous center line, and there he goes using the softest parts of his body as a brake. And every time I thought, what a dolt, shouldn't he know better than that? Well, today I know, because I made exactly the same mistake.

But fear not: amazingly, my Colnago "Aida" was just fine. And the skin, they tell me, might eventually grow back. Never before I appreciated carrying a first aid kit in my jersey pocket. I put it together long ago, and seldom updated it. I would recommend this to any cyclist: get one together, carry it with you, forget about it until the day you will need it (which we all hope will never come).

Here's my kit
First Aid KitAside from the obvious (car or house keys) I include some cash (just in case you need a cab ride home) antiseptic and cleaning towelettes, soluble mineral salts and salt pills for cramps, recovery, antibiotic cream, assorted bandaids in various sizes, the bigger the better in this kind of accident. You might also want to stock up on pills, for allergies, pain killers and the like. Oh, and some Imodium might help too, it might make the difference between a good day and an interminable sequence of painful rest stops.

I pack it all in a sandwich bag, then into a zippered cordura one, which fits most jerseys just fine.

Listen to the Road Rash man:  don't leave home without it!

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