Friday, June 8, 2018

After the Fall

After my little spill, I got up, stood Vanessa up, sat on her and got her started in two tries, then drove off to finish the remaining legs of the day.

Her front wheel and steering were not working well together as they had gotten skewed by approximately 15 degrees.  I rode that way until I came up to find Charlie (twelvetoes) working on his scooter.  He had fallen three times on the same road.  He got on the seat while I held the wheel and we got it straighteded.  I finalized it a little bit down the road to get it just right.

I had tired of the dirt and gravel and had found a paved road to take to the checkpoint.  It cut approximately seven more miles off the dirt road.

When I rode into the village, knowing that I had blown the SCR leg with the time spent riding and getting back on the road, I wanted to rest a minute at the general store.

I thought I wanted to eat and get a drink but found that I wasn't hungry.  The nice lady working at the checkout counter helped me get some ice for the bump.  I ended up buying several first aid items to help me get going again.

But when I felt that the swelling was too great to spend another 5 hours in the heat of southern Nevada and Utah, I called Ken to pick me up.

He arrived and loaded Vanessa onto the trailer.

Ice at the General Store

Vanessa on the trailer

We rode around Las Vegas where Ken said it was time for ice cream.  He found a Dairy Queen and got me an Oreo Blizzard.  It helped.  Then to the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, where I bought my Lifetime Senior Pass to the entire National Park system.

Eventually, we got on I-15 and made our way to St. George.  Everyone was already there, the bane of riding support is you are usually last getting to the finish hotel.  I wanted to get Vanessa cleaned up to ride the next day and washed her, using water and towels provided by the hotel.  She looked good.

Then Ken, loudernorth and I decided to walk a block to find a restaurant for dinner.  When we got there my knee was hurting badly when bent.  I made it back to the hotel when Walt offered that I probably should get it checked in a local clinic.  I hailed an Uber and headed to one that was supposed to be open 24 hours a day.  It wasn't, but was next to the hospital, so I checked into the ER.

They asked me questions and took an X-Ray that said my leg wasn't broken.  When I told her about my Factor V, the doctor never seemed concerned.

At the St. George ER

I went back to the hotel and could barely sleep due to the leg pain.

The leg looked worse in the morning.  No riding for me, so I loaded in with Ken.  Earlier in the morning Ken and Mike loaded Vanessa into Doug's trailer.  The intent was that Ralph, driving for Doug, could ride around the difficult parts of the day while Ken swept the broken scooters on those parts.  We had room for two scooters.

We started by following the official route that took us for no reason off of 9 so we could ride on another ten or so miles of dirt road.  There was not even a photo bonus to make you do this part but I had programmed my GPS to follow the official route this year.  The Helix group was negotiating a very soft spot when we caught up with them.

Then we came to the entrance to Zion National Park.  It was busy but spectacular. Oh, how I wanted to be riding through that place.

We came up to another long dirt road but Ken decided to backtrack and go around, a route that would have been a wonderful alternative to the dirt so prevalent this year.

We then took the long Burr Trail that had 40 miles of dirt including the famous switchbacks.  They were spectacular.

Then we crossed Lake Powell on a ferry.

We made it to the hotel in Bluff without having to pick up anyone.  We were late and everyone else had eaten or had plans.  Ken and I were in different hotels, several miles apart, so he dropped me off.

I went into the hotel's restaurant for dinner alone, but within a minute Cheryl appeared.  She asked me how my leg was doing, then,we talked for a few minutes before Bagel appeared, so we joined him for the remainder of the dinner.

The next morning we started out towards Trinidad where my brother David was to meet us.  Riding in the support truck made this not so good because we would be late getting in, but I had no choice.  The leg was looking bad.  Shortly into the day, Ken had a call from his brother Scott, who had the belt break on Big Red.  We thought we knew where he was but he wasn't there.  After a few more calls we determined he was on a part of the leg that Ken had skipped without realizing it.  Scott's route was on my GPS, but not Ken's.  More confusion, but I found him on my iPad map.  We were 25 miles past him so more delays.

We turned around and found him alongside the road.  He had the transmission cover off and was being helped by Moses, a local missionary.

We made the final fixes and Scott buttoned everything up and headed out.

Within a few more miles we came across Galen and his friend Brian.  Galen was riding a modified Ruckus that he had ridden to the second day start from Kansas City.  Nice young fellow whose name I butchered several times before finally getting it right.  He had decided to abandon the Cannonball, fix his scooter at the next stop and ride home.  I later found out that he was unable to get it repaired, so I assume he got it home on a trailer.

Then we got a call from Scott saying that Big Red was overheating.  We stopped and Ken asked where I had left the gallon of coolant that Sean had given me in Death Valley.  Scott filled the small coolant tank and headed out again.  He was a real trooper.

I was hobbling around in much discomfort and showed the boys the leg, then went back into the back seat of the truck to get ready to move again.  Ken came up and said that they had an impromptu meeting and decided to drop me off at the ER in Durango.  I could have said no but agreed that it was the right thing to do.

Ken asked me what he should do as we approached Durango.  I said that he was providing support and needed to just drop me off and continue.  I checked in and said goodbye.  My Cannonball was officially finished.

Big Red overheated two more times this day, so Scott's Cannonball was essentially over as well.  He rode with Ken the remainder of the Run.

He asked if he could ride Vanessa and of course I said yes.  But the tie down in Doug's trailer on day three failed and she bumped around inside on her side all day.  When they got her out to ride, she would start but would stall.  So they gave up riding for this year.

Our teammate Walt did well.  He finished third in spite of missing two legs on day 1 by going to the alternative checkpoint.  That cost him at least 200 points.  He lost by less than that.

We were also supporting Matt and Shane.  They both finished.  

I remain disappointed, but life goes on.

The leg in the hospital

Durango ER  Cannonball Over

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