Monday, April 30, 2012

Sweet Melissa

I've raced with the BOB guys (Bunch Of Bikers) for a over a decade. Ever since moving to Massachusetts in 2000 they have been a mainstay in the New England masters racing scene for me.  I've raced and traveled to races with Duane Skolfield (their title sponsor) a bunch over the years and its always awesome to hang with him.

BOB put on their race yesterday in Merrimack, MA so I went up and rode it.  It was a tough circuit on choppy pavement that beat my hip up but was fun and good conditioning for road durability and such.  The course was laid out on a 6 mile loop featuring a stair step hill; that yesterday had a raging headwind, so it was quite tiring.

After the race some of the BOB guys (& my friends Earnie Taukus & Keith Kelly) went to  micro brewery in Haverhill, MA.  We chowed on some pub burgers and beer.  We didn't stay too late, everyone had to get home but Duane and I hung out for a bit longer just catching up.

On my way home I passed this pool place along the Merrimack river and decided to stop in and play a game.  It was still early and I didn't have much going on so at home so... When I got there the place was basically empty but I didn't really care.  I put on some Alman Brothers on the jukebox and started to play.


Sometimes hanging out by yourself is necessary and I was feeling good about a little solitude.  Riding your bike is a good place for this but so is a pool table.  I suck at pool.  I think it took me 20 minutes to clear the first table but that really wasn't the point.  I played four or five games and got a little bit better with each new rack.  A few people came and went but basically I had the whole space to myself and just rolled it like that. 

Peace.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Don't contemplate your navel

'So why do you race, he asked?' Fair enough question I thought then responded 'Racing requires my entire concentration, a place where everything else other than the moment is squeezed out.'  As he gave a slow head up and down affirmation and inquisitive stare I then added additional comment around the adrenalin sensations and acute tactile kinetics of racing and the whole bike chi thing, one within the flow and energy of the pack and such.  All of that is true but still I didn't feel like I'd answered the question completely.

That was 2 days ago.  This morning as I was thinking about it and as chance happens I clicked onto an article about 62 year old Francesco Moser jumping into a Pro1-2 race in NYC last weekend.


It was the Lucarelli Castaldi Series in Brooklyn's Prospect Park.  I've done this race in the past and while Prospect Park in Brooklyn isn't exactly Paris-Roubaix, (a race Francesco won in 1978,79 & 80), it isn't for pussies either.  It's a racers race and the guys down there roll it for keeps, trust me.  So reading about Moser, a legendary Italian war horse, swinging his axe with the NYC crew brought a huge smile to my face and my only thought was 'dude loves to race.'  There you have it.  A complete(d) answer from Italy's favorite rider.  He just loves to race, plain and simple.  Grazie Francesco.

It's a big world.  Riding isn't the only thing out there. So it's important not to be a jerk over your particular thing.  In other words, don't be 'that guy'.  Here's 'that guy' in France/I think. Given the International theme happening in this entry I think it's appropriate to display that this guy exists everywhere so please don't be him, anywhere, ever!  Thanks in advance.


People do all kinds of other sports and they have the same love for their sport as we do for riding.  Hell, some people's sport is shopping and acquiring stuff.  I'm not sure what that yield's ultimately but hey whatever gets you there.  Just be sure to know where 'there' is.

Peace and roll strong.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monster Glide

A couple of days ago I mentioned feedback on a new set of Corima wheels I was given by Corima rep. Gilles Lalonde.  I finally got around to putting rubber on them and getting them on the sled Friday evening and I looked forward to testing them on Saturday morning's Monsters Group ride out of Concord. 

The Monsters Cycling guys are to cycling what Gentlemen Farmers are to agriculture.   They do it with full passion but only on their own terms and when they want, which is refreshing and cool because it's low stress and really fun.  And like Gentlemen Farmers they know their 'craft' well and do it hard enough to be dangerous, meaning they can actually throw it down pretty damn hard.  A lot harder than you'd expect from a bunch of local friends that don't race would be able to dispense.

The Monsters have a bunch of different rides, all with different coded names.  I don't know them all yet.  I suspect that one is not an official Monster until, among other esoteric qualifiers, he or she knows the names and routes of all of them. 

On Saturday they did 'Sergio's Loop'.  I'm told there is an actually dude named Sergio that dubbed this ride but in two years I've never laid eyes on him.  I think SERGIO is actually an acronym for something nefarious and odd.  Regardless there is a section of road on this ride called  'Glide Hill'.  This is 2 mile down hill stretch that finishes with a few rollers at the bottom.  Monster ride protocol requires that everyone must stop peddling and glide this section as far as they possibly can with the goal of clearing the bottom rollers without a single stroke. 

Essentially 'Glide Hill' is a classic roll-out test but drafting is allowed so this makes it more of a roll-out hybrid, which is interesting.  But regardless, 'Glide' was a perfect opportunity for me to check out the rolling resistance of the new Corima Aero's.  I could bore the tears outta you with details but the bottom line is that I took the lead going onto 'Glide Hill" and made it passed the bottom rollers with ease.  In other words I made it wire to wire without drafting at all. I've never been able to do that before.  I've been able to actually make it before but only with drafting.  As low tech as this may sound, I can say with confidence that these wheels (Carbon clinchers) can really, really roll.  I only know one other guy that has been able to make it wire to wire without drafting and he was on Lightweights.  These Corima's, while not chump change and not quite as fast, are half the price of the Lightweight's.

I spoke with Gilles at length at ATA Cycle yesterday. Gilles has a lot of cycling background and its always interesting to hear his insight and spin on all things racing.  It was nice to be able to share the story around the 'Glide Hill' test.   He wasn't surprise but loved hearing it, of course.   He mentioned that Corima wheels were also ridden by Kazak rider Maxim Iclinsky (Astana) to win this years Leige Bastone Liege which, unlike the Monster's Glide Hill test, is an actual substantiated & raging endorsement.

As an interesting aside, La Fleche Wallone Feminine 2012 was won by American Evelyn Stevens.  Evelyn is a local girl from Boxboro, MA, just a couple of miles down the road from here.  She she grew up and cut her racing teeth here.  Congratulations to her!  This was a huge result for her and American Cycling.

Peace and roll strong.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Delirium

I want keep record of this picture for posterity and other things.  It was taken from a cell phone in Copley Square (Boston) a week before this years marathon.  It looks sort of grainy and old, reminiscent of Victorian photographs of Back Bay in the mid 1800's but also, and more to the point, reflective of  my mood & physical condition at the time.

It had been a crazy hectic and busy couple of days and I was beyond exhausted.  I was way down on sleep and way off on training too and this is a dangerous combination for me.  My homeostasis is fickle and it doesn't take much to lose.  A little too much of this and not enough of that and the next thing you know I'm in the weeds feeling like 100 miles of bad road.

I think this is part of the aging process.  Maybe we get less resilient or maybe we just get less tolerant of feeling like crap. Whatever the case I know that my well being requires much better.  I don't like walking around in haze.  Chill-axing a sidewalk cafe with hangover shades aside....Life is too short. There's enough to brood over without needing this, too much we can't control in this veiled life of beauty and heartbreak.  I'm at a point where everyday needs to be pinned with a gold star.  This picture reminds me of such things.  

Peace and roll strong.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Racing solo be aero

The Charlie Baker Time Trial (CBTT) is a weekly TT series in Concord MA.  It's been going on for over twenty years and is currently run by the Northeast Bicycle Club.  It's a 10 mile loop and depending on weather gets anywhere from 25-75 riders doing it.

Last Wednesday was the first one of the year.  It was cold and I had no intentions of riding.  My friend John Laupheimer heads it up.  John is making a run at National Track this year and just got back from 6 week training in Tucson, AZ so I headed over there to hang & say hey.  I have a bunch of other friends that do it too and I wanted to catch up with a few I haven't seen in a while.

Like last year CBTT is sponsored by Speed Merchant Aero Research & Testing (SMART). SMART is owned and operated by Armen Pantalone.  Armen is an engineer by trade and not only did he design and build SMARTS Low Speed Wind Tunnel he also does the testing and consultative piece.  Armen is a tech guy that loves bike racing and Bass Ale.  Trust me on both.  Speaking of Tech....


I visited SMART two years ago to gain insight around air drag on a non-aero bike.  Here's a picture below.  Not many guys care too much about this but I race alone most of the time so I have to ride unprotected in the wind more than most so I pay attention to the forces in play here.   I also need to understand this stuff because my shoulders are broad and angular and catch much more wind resistance than many of the better riders who have narrow, tubular (aero) shoulders and don't need to think about this as much me.  And when you race alone every little bit helps.  It's also fun to just tweak around with esoteric equipment.  I guess it's fair to say I have a thread of tech geek in me, so what-eve... 


A couple of years ago my training friend (L. Mossman) asked me why I don't ride on a team. We had many talks like this; why we ride, train & race and such, and I remember saying the answer was pretty simple.  I said I'm a local racer & I race locally for fun and there just aren't that many different guys around locally to where it was necessary to be on a team and still have fun.  The bottom line is that I think people lose sight of this. Being on the same team with every decent local rider isn't fun to me and it yields far less challenge than racing solo. I like the autonomy of racing alone (or with one other guy) and I learn more.

The truth is I have more fun racing against most of the local guys than I do racing on the same team with them.  This isn't a statement on them personally in any way because I pretty much like everyone out there..nor is it a statement about myself.  It's just the way it is.  Local racing should be all about healthy competitive fun.  That's it.  I've raced on several good regional teams in the past and these were cool experiences and quite challenging too but I've never actually understood why local racers like to race on these big ass local teams.  The sheer size in numbers forces negative racing which takes all the fun out of it for everyone.  This puzzles me.  To each their own.   Peace and roll strong.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bike fit is a moving target

I'm obsessed with bike fit.  Many of us are.  The biggest reason for my obsession is the leg length discrepancy of my right leg, or should I say, what I thought was a discrepancy.  I've mentioned the car accident I had in 2008 which resulted in my right leg being half an inch shorter than my left.  The last several years have, in part, been spent working on getting my balance on the bike back.   This has been quite a process and I've have learned many things. 
The latest revelation has been very recent.  It turns out that I don't have a leg discrepancy at all.  My legs are actually the same length.  What I have/had was an injured leg with massively compromised functionality.  Basically my body was hiding/tucking everything away from the injury giving me a crooked posture.  This was not visible at a glance so it was hidden from me but the condition was there & it shortened the flexibility range and stress mobility of all the ligaments & muscles in my right leg. 

Regardless of my situation, leg length discrepancy is fairly common. I just heard that part of the reason Eddy Merckx was such a freak over his bike position was that he had an undiagnosed leg length discrepancy during his racing days.   Yeah, I guess he only found out about it after his son Alex discovered that he had a leg length discrepancy and they measured Eddy (35 years after the fact) to see if he had one too and sure enough he had a large one.

So; how do you know if you have a leg discrepancy?  Or like me, a leg that is compromised in some way forcing it to function as if it was shorter?

I was able to determine my issue (after many years of trial and error) by an examination of my core muscle strength. I'm not talking about the 8 pack glamor ab muscles.  I'm talking about the small stabilizing muscle deep down inside under the glamor stuff.   For lack of the technical word I'll refer to these as girdle muscles.  The girdle muscles, I have come to learn, have everything to do with 'balanced posture' (on and off the bike) and have to be worked in a very isolated and specific way.  I discovered my imbalance through Pilates instruction.  Yeah I know that sounds kind of Fem-bot but hey...'what ever gets you there'.

Anyway Pilates is a good place to start.  Hey don't get me wrong I'm strong.  I can do sit ups like Balboa but the isolated movements of Pilates displayed that my girdle strength was weak like Adrian.  I've been doing Pilates for the past 4 weeks and have seen a noticeable lengthening of my injured right leg and a return of muscle balance.  So much so that I am in the process of slowly removing the shim lift in my right shoe entirely.  Take what you want from that.

I am going in for my second fit analysis of the year on May 19.  I do two or three bike fits a year as my fitness, strength and flexibility all change with conditioning and weight loss.  I do this because as my fitness changes, so does my optimized position and I like to feel good on the bike at all times.  I'm interested to see the indexes of this report are going to be after doing the Pilates.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Weight watcher

I just got off the scale.  It read 187 lbs which for me is within race weight & I'm surprised because for all intents and purposes I've done basically nothing for almost 2 weeks, and 3 weeks prior to this my training had tapered off from 20-25 hours a week down to about 5.  There are lots of reasons or this and I've written about some of them, but the point is I only step on the scale if I'm motivated to get the ball rolling again and I was really expecting to see 195-197lbs.

That having been said I think there a couple or reasons for this.  Primarily I think the fact that I have been walking quite a bit and a lot more than I normally do and the fact that I've been eating a lot of ethnic food have a lot to do with it.  For instance, I was in Philly a few weeks ago visiting for a while.  Philadelphia, much like Boston, is a walking city (meaning you can walk the whole thing without to much trouble) and so I walked around there a bunch.  I've also been in Boston proper a lot recently too and so have walked there quite a lot too.

You don't see a lot of fat people in the city.  I think it's because the people there are much more active than Suburgatory folk.  City dwellers have to walk everywhere to do anything, so they're in much better physical shape than Suburbatory people.  The city also offers a lot more stimulation than Suburgatory generally does; therefore, not only are city dwellers forced to be more active just getting around, they are also more motivated because there are more things to do, so they burn calories all the time without even realizing it.

I've been in the suburbs for the last several years.  To do or go anywhere out here you have to get in your car and drive.  Basically you end up sitting around on your butt a lot more (a lot more than city dwellers do) which consequently leads to a lot more fat people.  The recent proof for me is that without any meaningful training over a 4 week period I maintained a race body weight without doing much of anything other than walking around a lot...and some bit of cleaner eating.

While on the topic of weight, check these out.  Courtesy of Claire Wood & Keith Kelly at New Balance I was given a pair of these during the Boston Marathon on Monday. I don't know what model/name they are but they weight just 7oz and feel like you're walking on a cloud.  I haven't worn running shoes in years but these doggies have me wanting nothing else on my feet.  No really, they are that good.  And not for nothing, no less than 3 strangers complimented that they looked great on.  That's saying something too, no?


This picture was taken in the second floor of the Solice Pub on Boylston St., half a block from the finish line.  We watched the race from here which was cool.  Literally cool because the outside temp was like 95 degrees and the streets were a mad house of people. But it was a good time for sure.  We ended up spending the night in the Lenox Hotel courtesy again from Kel and NBal.  Kel was exhausted from 3 days of being there preparing for the event and just wanted to get home so he gave me the key to his room for the last night.  Here's a picture from the room the morning after overlooking the finish line.


Speaking of weight and comfort, Gilles Lalonde, Corima rep handed me a pair of these to try last week.  They are carbon clinchers and I can't wait to try them.  More info and feedback to follow.


Peace and roll strong.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Boston Marathon Ride

This morning I woke up still feeling sore from last Saturdays crash.  A quick inventory of my injuries made me decide to lay it low again today rather than race.  I must be getting wiser in my older age.  I realize there isn't enough upside to racing if I'm less than 100%, or whatever 100% means at 49?  So there it is, wisdom; I reckon.  The extra time will definitely do me good.  And as one door closes another opens.

Last night my man  Keith Kelly and I talked.  He said there's big group ride doing the Boston Marathon course on Monday morning before the foot race.  He said hundreds of cyclist do it, so we're riding this together.  We'll spin easy out to Hopkinton, then hammer back into Boston along the course.  Kel works in marketing at New Balance and has been working like a madman leading up to the marathon so we haven't ridden together in a month or more.  This ought to be pretty cool and I want to feel good.

After the ride we're hanging out in the New Balance section at the finish line on Boylston St.  This is the best place to watch.  I have some friends running too.  It'll be jammed packed but it'll be nice to watch them finish from good vantage.  Best success going in....
After the marathon there's party at the Lenox for New Balance athletes and folks like that.  I went to a similar one with Kel a couple months ago and had a blast.  I met a bunch of really cool people and it will be awesome to catch up with them over some Duvel at Solice.  If it's anything like last time I'll need a certain feel good recovery going in. Today's extra recovery time is a good thing, blessing in disguise perhaps. 

Back to Duvel for a sec.  My favorite beer has been Bass for years but A Friend recommended Duvel (pronounced Do-vel, inflection on Do) to me while out togther at Monks Cafe in downtown Philadelphia.  It's become my bev of choice these days and I highly recommend it. Check out Monks too, by the way, for an authentic Belgian pub experience if you're ever in those parts.

Monday should be eventful for sure.  In the meantime I may actually race the Myles Standish Circut Race on Sunday.  It's in Plymouth, MA, near Plymouth Rock.  It's easy to get to and really short; so we'll see how it goes.   Peace and roll strong.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mojo Sauce

I watched the movie Warrior for the first time on itunes last night.  Didn't start it until around 11:00pm and it was long (2:16) so I'm kinda in a haze this morning and running an hour or so behind but no regrets.  It was a good flick, nicely layering noble cause, addiction, personal demon and relationship healing in the backdrop world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).

The story takes form in Philadelphia (home of 'Smokin' Joe Frazier) then migrates to Vegas and does it in the same way 'The Fighter' portrayed the true life story of World Boxer Lightweight Champion Mickie Ward in his hometown, Lowell, Massachusetts.


What is it about fighters and the cities they come from?  There is a powerful connection unlike any other sport and it must be cool to have this identity bond.  I was born in Northern Virginia but like many I moved every few or more years to different places and while this has some pretty cool upside I wonder what it must be like to have one place to call home and a place that calls you theirs.

Anyway, I give this movie 2 thumbs up.  Check it out if you haven't seen it.  Nick Nultey won Best Supporting for his moving portrait of a deeply regretful and benevolent parent, recovering addict and world class trainer.  It also has the whole eye of the tiger thing which is always motivating mojo sauce for us pscho-athletics.

Peace and roll strong.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Racing, Fight or Flight, Part 2

Yesterday I mentioned the complex nuisances defining the drive (Fight or Flight) response in order to predict the race behavior of individual riders.  Before I get into this let me just take a sec to mention that I'm just formulating concepts for myself in this area.  In other words, this ain't science.  It's just me thinking out-loud on paper because I like to.  If you glean an insight or two that's cool but its not really my goal.  That having been said....

On the surface it's easy to assume that racing styles, like attacking solo or drafting in a pack are styles that define a riders drive response. While this has a measure of truth, I'm suggesting there is a lot more going on. 

For example lets build a simple comparative between iconic greats Alberto Contidor and Lance Armstrong.  Both guys almost always win from a solo move in the steep mountains.  Basically they deploy the same tactic and ride an attacking style.  We can, with clarity observe that both riders run away with the victory and because of this we could assume that the 'flight' response is driving both of them but this would be short sighted, in my opinion.  You may disagree but I'm gonna to say these two guys are driven in very different ways; and to an earlier point, these different drivers are equal in strength.  

I'll go out on a short limb and say that Armstrong is driven by a Fight response while Contador is driven by a Flight response.  I don't want to get into the psych of all that because it's just my quick take on things but for what my assumptions are worth and to boil this down, lets assume I'm right.  

So for now, assuming I'm correct, my point is that if you were a close rival to either of these guys, knowing that Alberto operates in Flight response while Armstrong operates in Fight response, you will have reliable predictive index into how they will deploy moves on you and how they will react in a general sense.  Yes, both are going to try to ride you off their wheel (obviously) but they will do it differently because the Flighter is fear driven and the Fighter is anger driver...Both are strong!  One could argue that fear is stronger but I don't know for sure.  Regardless, they will behave differently, for sure, and a close competitor to either guy will be in a much better position to defend and react if they understand this.

Fight or Flight is organic and at it's core is universal to nature and all living creatures. Matriculate this into the weekend warrior race scene and all the very same things discussed above around Lance and Alberto hold true.   

Peace and roll strong.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Racing, Fight or Flight, Part 1

There's a fable where a karate beginner notices that the black belt of his master is so old and faded it is almost white.  And so the student asks his master why he doesn't replace it with a new black belt.  The master replies that the best teachers have mastered the art of learning. They are in fact the best students and that as a master, he must never forget he is a student.  His faded, nearly white belt is symbolic of his desire to never lose the curiosity of a beginner and to always learn more.

I was thinking about this on Sunday during a local training race.  My body was pretty banged up from a heavy crash the day before so I was out there to be hyper-safe first and race second.  In this, I committed myself to intensely study the dynamics of the race on a rider by rider basis.  The idea here was to predict the individual behaviors of everyone in the race regardless of their position in the pack or their general racing acumen and also pay less attention to the tactics of the race as I normally would.  

At first glance it is almost impossible to see what riders are thinking (planning or reacting to) especially if everyone is simply rolling along all bunched together.  But studying this on the bike, in an actualized environment I noticed there is greater 'predictive index' going on in the 'drive response' of an individual rider than in their physical strength and race experience.  Yes, while every race has riders capable of dictating the race in different ways, just under the surface there is personal 'Fight or Flight' mechanism/driver germane to each rider that puts them into either a Fight or a Flight category.

The fight or flight (run) response is a catch-all phrase describing the body's response to stress.  To me this means it's a person's drive response.  It's what drives them.  Basically there are two choices when facing danger/stress.  You can run or you can fight but in either case the body prepares itself to expend the same energy!   There are fighters and there are those that take flight.  But make no mistake, neither is stronger than the other. They are different but they have equal strength and both rider styles can be lethal.

There are complex nuisances to this, of course, (I'll talk about these in Part 2) but once you define a rider's 'drive response' you can, with accuracy predict their acute and subtle race behaviors, which in turn will equip you with insights on your fellow riders that make for safer and more successful racing.

Fight or Flight response is pretty primitive stuff.  As I thought about it more my next thought was that of an epic stone aged Serengeti Mammoth Hunt, which was sort of cool-interesting.  The imagery of it is not unlike a bike race to me.

Peace and roll strong.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Crash Like a Pro


Anyone having played contact sports knows the feeling of a blind side tackle.  Prior to Saturday the last time I got 'blind sided' was more than 20 years ago playing football.  It's a peculiar feeling and one you never really forget, even if it's happened to you just once.   This weekend during a group ride I got blind sided by one of the riders misjudging his trajectory while reacting to riders in front of him fanning out to avoid someones' speedometer skidding along the road.  He lost all control and collided into my left hip at four o'clock  and was going full gas.  I wasn't mad at him though.  These things can happen. However, the collision was a complete surprise to me.  As it was happening I wasn't able to grip the fact that I was being taken down.  I tried to regain control but there was too much velocity and it was a certainty I was going down.  That having been said, a speedometer skipping across the road is an innocuous incident and this should never have caused a crash.  But this is the way most crashes are.  They happen quickly and in unexpected places. They hardly ever happen in high risk scenarios because these situations are acute and force riders to measure their vigilance.  This is especially true for Professional Racers.  In fact, Cobbled Spring Classics aside, it is fair to say that crashes in the Professional ranks are usually caused by innocuous circumstances. Take Fabian Cancellara, for example.  He crashed out of Flanders this year.  He was in the feed zone going at a snails pace, overlapped a wheel (?) and hit the deck braking his collarbone in four places.

Regardless of this, crashing on any level is never easy and I've had my share of them over the years.  One might think I would be accustomed to the risk of crashing or to crashing itself but this is not the case.  Every crash, every single one of them, has left me with an Ah-Hah paradigm, a reminder of just how dangerous this sport can be & how fragile our bodies are out there.  I didn't crash all last year but this year I have already had two painful diggers.  Neither one of them were my fault but this makes it no easier.  I don't know if there is such a thing as a critical threshold for crashing but I am certain I'm getting closer to it.
 
This crash really had me bummed.  Upon impact I was immediately careening through the air for what seemed like a pretty long time.  I don't know exactly how long but 'time is not linear.' -DASL, and all I can say is that I had enough time before hitting the deck to not only recall the ominously familiar feeling of being blind sided but also enough time to wonder who hit me, exactly, and why they hit me and also to construct how neatly I might be able to manage the impact of the ground my face was about to smash into. 


This was, of course, before the impact...which when it happened, felt like 3 mules kicked me in the face at the same time.  And then, everything went white, like lighting white and I went out for moment.  I'll spare you the all the details but it wasn't pretty.  There was a lot of facial blood that I'm pretty sure scared the crap out of everyone standing around  (Monster Cycling) watching as I rocked slowly on the ground moaning 'OOH-FUUUCK' like a defeated and mortally wounded Walrus.

It wasn't too long before an ambulance came, (thanks Dan Holin) but by then I was on my feet and had assessed my own condition.  Smashed & cut up, I knew I was okay.  Nothing was broken and my bleeding had rapidly slowed down.  The EMT's patched me up anyway & and recommended I go to the hospital for stitches but I could tell the blood was already coagulating and I wanted to ride home before things swelled up too much, so that's what I did.   I actually rode as hard as I could, pretty much, for the remaining 10 miles.

Once off the bike I iced my face and also applied a special dough made with flour and olive oil instead of water.  I alternated this treatment all afternoon and into the evening  as it was recommended to me by Husam at Ata Cycles.  Husam said this was an ancient recipe in Turkey for treating open wounds to accelerate healing and to prevent scarring.  This was an amazing thing too because I could see the healing effects of this treatment working within a just few hours and I highly recommend this for anyone with similar cuts and bruising in the future.

Peace and roll strong