A Note from Fatty: A couple days ago, I got an email from Scot “Chuck Ibis” Nicol, honcho-in-chief of Ibis Cycles. Here it is, in its entirety:
Got bit by a tree.
Wanna see the before?
To which I of course responded, “Well of course I want to see the before. And I want to hear the story!”
Chuck obliged, and sent me the story of what happened, along with photographs. I thought it was an interesting story, partially on its own merits, and partially because Chuck’s storytelling style is so incredibly different from mine.
As a result, I am going to do something a little different. I’m going to post his story, but I’m also going to add commentary in key places.
IMPORTANT NOTE: There are a couple of very graphic photos of Chuck’s injury here. If that kind of thing bothers you, you seriously should not read today’s post.
It was a beautiful day in the La Sal range above Moab. It was threatening to be 100º in Moab and we decided to head uphill. So we decided to do a ride up around 10-11K feet. It was spectacular, September 28th and the Aspens were going off.
[Note from Fatty: So far Chuck and I are pretty much in alignment, though I definitely would have gone on for a few paragraphs about the lack of oxygen. And I probably also would have talked about how in spite of my lack of training I was managing to climb like a mountain goat on crack.]
It’s a hardcore ride, check out the hikeabike.
[Note from Fatty: OK, I would never just say "it's a hardcore ride," as if it were a throwaway clause. If I'm on a hardcore ride, I'm going to make it the centerpiece of the story. I'm going to go into detail about how hard it was, and exactly what was in the core, and then somehow manage to be both boastful and self-deprecating at the same time about how I managed to ride something that I wouldn't have thought I could. I probably would also have spent about 300 words describing what was going through my head as I pushed my bike across those rocks.]
But again the views were spectacular.
After a while, I ran into a low branch with my leg. Simple as that. Probably enjoying the view or something. I was with an experienced guide from Western Spirit Cycling, and he said it was the largest laceration he’s ever seen in 10 years of guiding.
[Note from Fatty: Frankly, I just can't even comprehend the beginning of that paragraph. You tore most of the skin off one of your calves, 'simple as that?' I would reconstruct the moment, millisecond by millisecond. I would describe the branch in such a way that would make women and children tremble. I would turn this story into a seven-parter, with the entire second part being about the exquisite pain I experienced at the moment of injury, the third part being about the pain I experienced during the next two minutes, and the fourth part being about how I passed out upon looking at the gory inside of my leg.]
SImon and I turned around, the other 6 went on. This is a very big epic ride. I was less than half way.
Rode back to town, 26 miles, with the “flapper.”
[Note from Fatty: If I were writing this story, part five would be called "Riding into town with the flapper," and it would be 1200 words long. ]
The rest of the images tell the story.
[Note from Fatty: I passed out for a moment, just looking at that thing.]
The nurse drew a smiley face on there for me.
The ER doc was a magician with the stitches. I got 8 inside and 18 outside.
Yesterday we rode the Virgin River Rim Trail. Wow!
[Note from Fatty: I would make part 7 of this seven-parter be all about how I anguished over whether I would ever ride again, then how I made the heroic decision to go riding the next day and about how the pain was nearly unendurable, and yet I survived and am a better man for it.]
PS: Is anyone going to be driving from Santa Cruz to Santa Rosa next week? And if so, would you mind picking a road bike up and hauling it over for me? Chuck’s gonna loan me a sweet bike for Levi’s GranFondo, but we need to get it over there. Email me if you can help.
PPS: Don’t forget that today and tomorrow are the last days you can enter the Orbea Orca with Shimano Di2 / Ride for the Roses contest.