Getting into a bicycle accident, a near miss or experiencing a moment of road trauma, can cause emotional scars that far outlive physical injuries. As a cyclist, runner and inline skater, I’ve encountered occasional collisions and many near-misses; with cars, trucks, Sunday AM church-goers, squirrels, bucks charging out of the woods, hitting potholes and losing layers of skin, the dreaded biker road wobble at high speed descents, dogs without leashes, cattle crossings, geese crossings, falling trees and have gone airborne after getting nicked in a draft-line. After each incident, the physical injuries heal (mostly), yet the emotional scars take more work. Sure, we return to our favorite activity, maybe gently at first, maybe more aware of the potholes, or the lurking dog, but the confidence has been eroded. And, confidence needs re-calibration in the form of encouragement to make it’s comeback.
Last week, my touring bicycle partner found herself in a nasty cycling accident. The kind that requires a trip to the hospital ER, but fortunately not the kind that requires any long term stay. She was bruised from head to toe, her bike trashed. Her bruises changed color every day, and gradually the body does what it does best. It heals. One week later, my touring partner returned to her bike saddle. Still scarred, still wounded, she returned to the saddle to join me for a 55 mile training ride. And, I couldn’t be more inspired to be in the company of a true road warrior. A nod to you Lois as we train for the B2B (Bar Harbor to Baltimore) bicycle tour – 3 weeks away.