30 August 2011



As most of you probably know, a lot of my season goals have taken a very quick and unexpected turn for the different. I've had to make some serious life adjustments (as an adjuster, this is what I do best - or worst depending on which claimant and/or insured and/or supervisor and/or coworker and/or broker you talk to) that included setting aside my 300k per month for 2011 goal, then this last weekend letting go of my R-100 pursuit. I know, I know, there is no medal for R-100. I was 37 months into it and although I felt strong enough and even had a buddy willing to fly from Tucson to Seattle to ride with me for a 200k, I knew that it was more important that I come to terms with some changes going on. The quickest route to acceptance is through self-determination rather than having somebody tell me I can't do something. So, I determined that I'd rather do an 85 mile non-brevet style ride, relax, enjoy the day with a good friend and eat lots of pie, drink lots of coffee and generally screw off, in advance of checking into the hospital at the butt crack of dawn Monday morning.

Sunday was spent with family, getting my son's car up and running, washed, driven (with expired tabs) to my house for more work, storage or selling, and then doing a very nice little loop with #1 son, followed by a fantastic dinner and evening spent screwing off, and a good night's rest.

Monday morning, and here's where the story starts, included Josiah and I riding 6.7 miles to the hospital with not quite 500' of climbing involved. A very nice morning spin to get the legs under me and prepare me for a long day. I checked into Swedish Hospital at 7:24 and by 8:30 was tucked into a temporary bed where a lab tech came in and placed an IV in my left arm - right where my arm band and my "FIGHT THE PHOMA" support wristband for my niece was. She made a little bloody mess and was trying to clean it up, diluting it and making it worse so she decided she was going to cut my id band off. In the process, she cut my wristband and felt horrible. After a few hundred "i'm sorrys", she finally left and we joked about that all day, what an auspicious start to the morning. Now, mind you, RALEIGHDON DOESN'T TAKE LIFE LYING DOWN. He fully intends to negotiate long and hard in an effort to get a stationary bike installed in his room or a trip to PT every day to spin for a half hour or so. He's got it all planned oot, as he is wont to do. So next up on the agenda was the dietitian, Lara. She comes in. She looks vaguely familiar, but not really. So she gives me her talk about weight loss, diet, all the good stuff. She is ADORABLE! Obviously very athletic, gorgeous, long flowing brunette hair, dressed to the nines and extremely attentive. I think to myself this is a great opportunity to start the negotiations. So I start my argument. You do realize that the best way to stimulate appetite is to exercise and what better way than cycling. Yada yada yada. I go on and on and on, as I am wont to do.....

She finally cuts me off and tells me that she might not be the best person to talk to since her husband is and "avid cyclist" himself. Now sometimes when folks tell me this, I find out the guy rides every weekend 10 miles to meet his buddies at the tavern for the football or baseball or basketball or whatever ball game is on teevee and then 10 miles home. But then Lara called herself a widow. The only people I know who refer to themselves this way are either rando wives, racerboy wives (or racergirl husbands) or actual widows. She didn't put out that she had lost her husband physically, so I assumed her hubby was probably a racer. Then she said that, in fact, she'd just had to be alone for the last 10 days while he was off on a big ride. Raleighdon starts adding up days........."Really? Where was he riding?"


"Really? Does he ride with SIR? What is your husband's name?"

"Chris Ragsdale"

Oh him.........

Now I get it.

I did get my bike though.

For anyone unfamiliar with PBP, that is Paris Brest Paris, a 1,230 kilometer (765 mile) ride in France, the oldest and most prestigious cycling event in the world. Chris finished this year with a time of 44 hours 36 minutes. You do the math.


Mari Whitmer said...

Hey Donald! Did Mimi tell you my visualization of your hallway trek?

Hang in there, I'm thinkin of ya.


skottmyer said...

Don, they gave you a bloomin' unicycle!

Shan said...

Great story Don. We are rooting for you at this end!!!!

North Florida Randonneurs said...

No clipless pedals? Your on my prayer list buddy,