A melancholy melody embellished by the baritone voice of Sean Rowe travels into my brain through headphones while I disassemble the Mooney’s rear derailleur. His voice is a bit haunting and his lyrics inspire reflection. This peaceful moment of music induced meditation is interrupted by the constant recollection of aerial flight into the windshield and rearview mirror of the Chevy pickup that drove through my rear wheel without braking and without remorse. Trucks don’t feel.
I landed face down in the tarmac unable to lift myself. My breathing was labored and shallow. “Ribs”, I thought. I bellowed in pain like a harpooned walrus. It seemed to help. I tried to lift myself but the pain from the broken clavicle was enough for me to surrender to the generosity of a stranger as he thankfully redirected traffic until the arrival of the ambulance.
Three weeks into recovery I am compelled to ride. The Oxycodone makes me anxious, my mind lacks focus and thoughts of over 6 months of base building followed by 2 months of power building in the mountains of Georgia weaning away, weigh heavy on my mind. Idle time furrows the mind preparing for planting the seeds of despair. I feel broken.
The violence of the impact is evident in the dents and shape of the rear wheel. My rear wheel had been ripped from the drop outs and the chain was mysteriously pulled through the derailleur cage. After a brief inspection it appears that the rear derailleur may be designed to allow this to occur. I made a couple attempts to open the cage wide enough to put the chain in the proper position. I needed to disassemble the cage. This led to cleaning then repacking the bearings, reassembly and adjustment.
While performing the repairs I became too tired to ride but my thoughts turned to riding and my mood improved. I lay back in bed satisfied for the moment with having accomplished a simple task. The Mooney is on the indoor trainer prepared for the ride.
It occurred to me as I wandered off into drug induced bliss, that when you repair the bike, you repair the man.