on wednesdays in the summer, i race mountain bikes.
some weeks this means i RACE. some weeks this means i show up with my number and take a start. it's a tribal thing, a matter of pride. it is what we do.
it is well known among my family that if you are being married or buried in the summer and you wish me to be in attendance, you will not get married or buried on a wednesday evening.
sick? take a start; see how you feel.
injured? take a start. for sure don't finish.
plain don't feel like it? put on your number and take a start.
yesterday was independence day. there was no question where i'd be, hand injury or not. but there was one other operating factor: EVERY july 4th race, i ride the course with small speakers blasting Stars and Stripes Forever.
granted, since i started doing it, july 4th has only fallen on a wednesday twice before, but it's a thing now.
and nevermind an injury on a part of me that i needed for steering and braking and such. an injury that happens to fall in the one place that keeps me from holding the handlebar.
so i suited up and put on the pack with the speakers and at the start crashco reached in to hit play and we were off.
my plan was to ride anything i could ride one handed and walk the rest, but in the end adrenaline got the best of me and i totally did NOT feel any pain in my hand and went ahead and used it.
and on top of that, it is really hard to be carrying speakers playing sousa marches on your back and NOT be pounding out a cadence of 120 (or 60) regardless of gear or terrain.
so i'm a little sore today, but none the worse for wear.
what was bruised before is still bruised, and what was cut hasn't separated.
good tight bandage, good tight underglove, good snug bike glove over that.
stars and stripes forever.