Monday, July 23, 2012

Bloody RAPHA

As much as I hate Rapha and everything they think they know about me, I must doff my hat to them as they at least seem to know where I live. Friggin' hell, but Steida looks good these days.

Rapha Continental in Alberta with the first North American to wear the Yellow Jersey.

A little closer to (current) home... Beautiful shots, but riding in Java is ruined for me now as everyone will think I'm a hipster. WTF is up with the guy chowing down on the rice packet?. YOU HAVE FINGERS MAN... Eat like a civilized person...

And with that I'm off to bed as I have to face THIS in the morning: 130km, 2300m+ climbing, pockets full of snacks and suitcase full of courage!  Yee Haw!

Ciao Ragazzi,

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A sting in the tale...

...if you've ever invited a beautiful rubenesque lady to dinner, only to have her show up with some wafer thin, gristly friend in tow you will know how I feel shuffling along with these...

 Yesterday morning as I was preparing (ok, shaving my legs) for another 5 hours of glorious suffering, I took a step backwards in the shower to steady things up a bit and suddenly found myself wondering why I'd had the extremely poor foresight to have placed a bucket of red-hot rivets just there, where my foot needed to be at that moment.
  In an instant I was struck with the realization that only in Bugs Bunny cartoons are buckets of red-hot rivets left laying about willy-nilly and since I am neither a rabbit or a road runner there was a pretty solid chance that those weren't rivets behind me (although I was growing more animated by the moment).
 Now, where was it that I'd felt this sensation before? As my razor, soap and sanity tumbled to the floor, my mind fanned a flip book full of possibilities; Stepped on a wire? Mmm, nope hurts too much. Tack? Nope, not hot enough. Hot tack? Very funny asshole, but I don't think so. Snake? I bloody well hope not. Wait...I remember something about a garden. Poisonous Centipede? No, that's not it. Head Wasp? No.God! This is bloody going to go on for...what was that last one? Oh, Head Wasp...Tabuan Sira in Balinese. Remember, you got  stung in the leg last year? Swelled up like an Effing sausa...THAT'S IT!!!
 YEARS ago, while waiting in a doctor's office I read an account of a study of perceived pain levels resulting from the bites and stings of various spiders, scorpions, wasps and the like. For the life of me, I couldn't understand why anyone would inflict this amount of pain upon their person as the subjects endured multiple stings in the name of science. The descriptions of the pain and other effects that were experienced by the subjects were as revolting as they were scary and brought to mind some macabre wine tasting..."As vice grips on the effected area-Bold-Uncertain, with a sort of raffish abandon- Finishes in a peaty morose..." 
 Now, I've been around the block a bit and have had my fair share of bee stings, road rash, splinters, stitches, nailed/sawed/cut/smashed/frozen/burned/shocked fingers, broken hearts, malaria, worms and the like. But nothing and I mean NOTHING compares to the soul-searing pain that this little wasp's toxin produces.
 All of this was crashing through my mind at fission speed as I saw that poor little (motherf'ing) wasp crawling away from my foot in the most nonchalant manner, the flash of yellow on its backside making it look as though it were two headed. 
 It was all gelling together as a coherent whole as I pounded that little wasp into paste with a shampoo bottle on the black tiles of the shower floor, now on my hands and knees, slobbering and howling expletives, my wife bursting in with that ,"Oh for fuck's sake, what's he done now?" look plastered all over her long-suffering face...
 People say the honeymoon is over when you begin farting in front of one another. If there is any doubt lingering, It is well and truly Capital  D O N E  when your husband is a naked, slobbering, slippery mess huddled on the bathroom floor as he wields a razor blade on his foot, squeezing blood and stuff all over the place like some newborn calf hell bent on self destruction.
 I know the drill. Cut it, squeeze it, and ice the living piss out of it while keeping the pressure on for as long as possible. 
 As long as possible is about a half an hour. That's when you begin crying.
 I don't know WHAT it is with this toxin (venom?), but the side effects are particularly strange. At about half an hour in, there is a complete emotional tsunami experienced. It's nuts...Imagine being euphorically happy, desperately sad, lonesome, angry, frustrated all in the same moment. I mean, REALLY feeling it ALL at once and crying uncontrollably through the whole mess.
 This subsides leaving you feeling spent so you take to bed with your ice.
 A little while later comes the sensation of hunger. Crazy, ravenous, gotta-eat-half-the-f'ing-fridge-in-one-bite hunger. All the while the pain from the sting is building. A throbbing, sharp HOT HOT HOT pain, So while you are bonking out and wanting to fill your face, you are simultaneously getting nauseous from the level of pain. Like I said, VERY strange sensations.
 For The Record, I have a pretty clean diet, so there simply isn't much crap around the house, except for Kiddo's loot.It was c a l l i n g  me... HARD. Normally, I can't even look at that crap. I avoided it and satiated myself with a big bowl of oatmeal, 2 coffees, 3 bananas, a big slice of papaya 2 eggs and some dates, then hobbled of to bed with a handful of energy paste dime bags out of the freezer. JEEEZUS! 
 At this point I was just totally spent and shivering, so I bundled up in a sweater, wool socks and comforter.  
 Fuck the ice, I just want to sleep. Clock out for an hour and come out of it feeling like my leg has been set on fire. Just like last time, heart pounding like a son of a bitch and all the veins on my leg standing out like Sean Kelly's at a buy two get one free bap sale.
 The next few hours are just an escalating, horrendous pain fest. Short of breath. pissing every 10 minutes, shitting your pants PAIN. All the while feeling disconnected and a little drunk. Drift in and out of sleep. Hot and cold alternating.
  I think that first eight hour period is the worst pain wise and the weird psycho sensations diminish after this period as well.
 The next day the pain is gone save for that produced by swelling, which can be helped with ice and not moving around too much.
 If my last "adventure" around is anything to go by, I'll be able to get the Diadoras back on after 4 days. Anything before this and swelling starts up again.
 Around about the third paragraph I'm sure you thought, "Just go to the doctor for F's sake". Well, last time the advice was to keep my leg up and put cow shit on the stung area... I was thinking maybe more along the lines of cortisone or maybe some nifty anti-histamine or something crazy like that.

 As I sit looking at my mismatched appendages, a couple of things spring to mind;


There are some types of caterpillar here that cause a terrible skin and histamine reaction, but I have an amulet to keep them at bay...

Night All,