Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Chip-Seal Love

One should never discount the biting love that chip-seal can provide...on one hand it provides nearly endless traction for our tires to keep us upright and provide quick stops. On the other hand it wears our tires faster, provides greater resistance against our tires making us work harder to pedal (which could be good if you like sufferage), and it lovingly bites back when you impact it while doing an unplanned (or planned gone-awry) dismount from from your bike.

You may or may not know that smooth pavement is so much nicer to land on and skid many feet across since it tends only to scrape or rub the skin off over large surface areas of the body. Chip-seal just rips your hide off leaving deep lacerations everywhere which causes incredible amounts of bleeding and some interesting pain issues. I just so happened to take a recent low-speed chip-seal impact while doing a planned dismount from my cross bike where my cleat mildly stuck in the pedal causing an awkward skin on non-moving jagged rock (aka chip-seal) sudden-stop-to-forward-motion followed by copious amounts of blood and some pain.

Unfortunately I don't have the bloody gross pics right after it happened so you are spared the yuk (which I thought was rather interesting). I've since been patched up by Dr. Jane (a super awesome wound care doc) and healed up for the most part. My elbow obviously took the greatest impact and is still being protected every time I ride with an oversized guard.

The major damage consisted of 4-deepish lacerations and one 1.5 cm deep puncture into my bursa area (not good), but after a few weeks everything is looking quite good.

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