|My award is major, as you can see.|
I don't, unfortunately, have a picture of my injury because it is quite small. After an amazingly lazy Saturday morning (I woke up at 11, promptly moved to the guest room where I took a nap, stumbled down the steps to the couch where I played online Scrabble, drank a gallon of coffee, ate some eggs in a basket and watched some cartoons) I decided that I needed to go play outside.
My friend Dave agreed to join me for the first part of what I decided would be a 30-mile ride. He rolled up to my house at around 2:30 and we were off. I'd planned to do about 10 flat miles with a higher cadence followed by another 20 of hill repeats. The freakin' Philadelphia Water Department had other ideas, yet again. The paved trail leading to the loop we were going to ride was blocked by the PWD, so we detoured and headed up and down a few hills to get to where we were going.
Dave is the type of person who, when you ask him to go for a run or a ride, warns you that he is out of shape and will be terrible. He truly believes this. However, once you get going, it's all you can do to keep your lungs from bleeding and your legs from burning off as you try to keep up with him.
Yesterday was no exception. As we worked our way around the 8.5-mile loop I struggled to keep on his rear wheel as he tossed back questions about work, racing and travel.
"A 24-hour race in Virginia in a month."
"Nowhere fast," I gasped as we worked our way around the loop.
I swear there was a headwind the entire way.
I'd planned on doing a bunch of hill repeats at three different hills after the loop. Dave decided to stick around for the first few along a hill that I love. It's not technical -- a few loose rocks and broken pavement. Just enough to remind me to pay attention but not enough to make me scared. It's one of my go-tos both on bike and on foot. A gate is at the top of the hill. I've made a habit out of circling the gate and then heading back down.
Spring is apparently upon us. Between today and two weeks ago (the last time I was on the hill) there were some new green things and sticks. When I looped around the gate today I brushed alongside some sticks. The sticks had thorns.
"Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!," I sad. "My ear!"
Dave, who had been resting against the gate waiting for me for about a week and a half, started at me.
I grabbed at my ear and then ripped off my bike gloves. My bare fingers made it easier to grab and yank at the quarter-inch thorn lodged in my ear. Blood dripped off of my fingers and trickled down my ear.
Seriously, did I just get a thorn wedged in my ear while riding a bike? Yes. Yes I did.
I've knocked out teeth while biking (I wish I was making this up), cracked a helmet and have gotten more booboos on my legs than I can count. A thorn in my ear, though? Stupidest thing I have ever done on a bike.