Friday, July 28, 2017

A Bike Ride - Small(er) Whoops

A Bike Ride

Thursday 27 July 2017
41 min
8.5 miles
13.7 mph avg

About 7:30AM I left Falls of the Neuse Dam on the Neuse River Trail and was doing great. I was not trying to crank it up or lollygag, just having a good ride.

I passed under the I-540 bridge and was just about to go under the Buffalo Road bridge when I was distracted by something and swerved on the grass.

I looked up and there was a sign right there, I swerved to miss it going further onto the verge and there was a concrete cylinder with a manhole on top about five feet high.

I thought, "GOT TO SWERVE!" And the next thing was "splat": I was on the ground one shoe on, out of the clips, and one shoe off, it was still in the clips. Front wheel and handlebars twisted, water bottles ejected, frame tire pump just hanging loose, and the chain off the front sprocket.  I rolled onto my left side, gasping for breath: I had the wind knocked right out of me, my right chest area was really hurting, my right index finger was gashed and bleeding and my upper right arm was really hurting.

Two cyclist came by, stopped, helped me call Evelyn and 911 and volunteered to take my bike in their pickup. The correct characterization of the Two Cyclists is actually Two Angels.

I told E that I would meet her at REX Hospital and she and our son, who is visiting right now, took his car and collected our car.

At REX I got X-Rayed and stitched up and am now back home, only four stitches in my finger and three broken ribs. The ribs were not displaced.

The Doc said "Six-Weeks" and stitches out in five days. I'm drinking lots of gatorade and taking a Hydrocodone/Tylenol mixture.

And thanking my lucky, lucky stars that neither my hip nor my knees were affected in the least! And thinking; "I have now set a new dumb-ass-cyclist record".

I believe I was not properly hydrated when I started the ride. This caused my BP to drop 41 min into the ride which in turn caused me to go off the trail onto the verge an not be as responsive as necessary to avoid what happened.

The good news is I will NEVER leave on a bike ride again without being properly hydrated. ☹️

Friday, July 07, 2017

117 Years - 3 Total Eclipses Of The Sun SE USA

117 Years
3 Total Eclipses of the Sun
Southeastern United States

Over the past one hundred and seventeen years there have been three total solar eclipses of the sun that were visible in the Southeastern United States.  

The first occurred on 28 May 1900.
The second occurred on 07 May 1970.
The third will occur on 21 August 2017.

I was standing the backyard of the home I grew up in, with my parents, my older sister, our neighbors and my grandfather on the 7th of May 1970.  I was engaged to be married and my then fiancĂ©e was teaching school in Wilmington NC.  She had a group of her kids singing for a teacher's meeting on Wrightsville Beach that day and asked everyone to let them be excused for a bit to out in the parking lot to see the eclipse.

As the eclipse became total I recall it was as if the sun had set or was about to rise but the direction of sunrise/sunset was around the entire horizon rather than just to the west or east.  That was until you looked up and there in the sky high over head was this perfect deep red ring in the sky with streamers surrounding it.

My grandfather who grew up along the NC/SC border near Tabor City NC said, "Yes, that is exactly how it looked with I was just a boy!".  My grandfather was born in 1888 and would have been 12 years old in 1900.

So now this year on the 21st of August if all goes well I will see the second total solar eclipse of my life and can say, "Yes, that is exactly how it looked when I was 23 years old!"

I expect there is no one alive today who can recall seeing the eclipse of 1900.  My grandfather saw two, and I will likely see two, and my father saw one (1970).  There is nice symmetry there.

Below are graphics depicting of these three eclipses. 

28 May 1900

07 May 1970

21 August 2017