During one of the many conversations with Sandra this week, I remembered what I often told my Dive Master trainees when discussing risk management, accidents and fatalities in the diving industry.
- It is a number's game. If we keep taking people underwater, three times a day, seven days a week, at some stage something bad is going to happen.
Luckily, and with lots of hard work trying to minimise the risks, I never had a fatality while instructing. But, bluntly, I had to say to Sandra that training on the roads and getting hit by a vehicle was just a matter of time.
Training and the end of it for a while
The week started with an easy flat ride on Tuesday. After what happened on the weekend, I chose the Nundah-Nudge Beach bike path and Boondal Wetlands to stay away from people and cars in general, coming home with 2 h/51km in the legs. Just what it was prescribed... well, with the exception of my three sprints at the Nundah circuit.
I still like to get on the bike in the middle of the day. The wind has been fairly strong and mostly W/NW at those times and it has been warm. Firstly, I am not an early morning person, if I can avoid getting out of bed at 4:30 AM, I will. Secondly, chances are the Tour of Bright will be run in very hot and windy conditions this year and I wanted to be prepared for that.
So, the Wednesday ride was planned as 3 hours of medium intensity, 80 to 90 Km, and I left just after 12 PM. I like to do those sessions on Mt Nebo road, even knowing the intensity would rise too much during the first 6.5 km stretch to Mc Affees.
I take a few back streets on the 30 min ride to the bottom of Mt Nebo road, but it is too often that I observe cars going through red lights (in the middle of the day!)and/or cutting me off just to stop at a red light first. It must be the game to play, if some one drives a Ute or a V8 in this city.
This time, it happened on a section of the route I always take an additional care. Like this: driver stopped at intersection; driver gives way to the cars in front of me; driver looks at me; driver smiles and steps on the accelerator... I am not kidding and I was pissed off...
I went on. It was 36 C when I passed the green road sign, the warm head wind and dry air starting to hurt my lungs already. The combination of the two sending my HR to 86, 87 and 88% (170 bpm). I thought I was going to explode before I topped the first climb.
- Ah, well, Mt Hotham might just be like that... push it on!!!
The temperature dropped by 1 or 2 degrees as I rode up and every time I started one of the descents, I would splash myself with lots of water. I really needed to cool down. I also needed to practice my skills on the down hills, hence my max HR for the climb been on a descent (if the Polar was right).
I made it to the 300 m sign in good time but I was already too wasted and could not stay on the big chainring and sprint to the marker. By the sounds I was also making, my perceived effort numbers must have been 9 or 10... 17'19" with an average HR of 163 bpm. Huge in those conditions.
From there, it was the usual "enjoy the climb" approach, L to M intensity, again putting a bit of an effort on the descents and corners. I reached Jolly's lookout in 44'33" and the coffee shop in 48'35". Not Cat 1 times but pretty good for me.
From Mt Nebo on, the ride gets even better. A beautiful descent with lots of fast corners and another 240 m of climbing before the turn off to Samford Valley. The road then turns very steep and I had no problems keeping up with a car for most of the way.
Along Highvale, with a nice tail wind this time, I did one 12 min effort, averaging 43 km/h. It took me to Samford Village quick so a really cruise return home via Bunya would still get me home around the 3 hours/80 km target .
It says everything. I didn't make it home last night. A driver decided to put an end to my ride three or four kilometers from home, and on Rode Road of all roads...
The result is: a couple of small fractures on C5, a fractured rib and a very sore right leg, as it took all the impact that sent me up in the air.
It is all a bit unbelievable at this stage so I won't go into details but I am off the bike for a while, ten to twelve weeks, and will not be doing the Tour of Bright this year (again!) .
"say you will, say you won't
say you'll do what i don't
say your true, say to me
C'est la vie"