Sunday, September 09, 2007

RIP Botteccia

Friday, September 07, 2007

Thanks to Good Samaritan Kyle K.

I talked to the officer who attended on Wednesday to get all the details (he gave me a card in the hospital with it all on, but it got lost somewhere along the way in the hospital). I asked him if he could tell me who the witness was, and he said he couldn't directly, but he would call the witness to get their permission to give their information to me. About 3 minutes later the officer called me back and gave me Kyle's number and I called him and thanked him. He said he was glad to help and hoped that someone would do the same for him if he was ever in such a situation, and he was wondering how I'd got on. I filled him in on the details, and thanked him once again.

It's people like Kyle that are the real Nova Scotians - ready to jump up and help out in a crisis (see also this recent example).

Reasons to be cheerful, part one

A skull in one piece apart from some minor bruising:

Protected by a helmet that gave up its integrity and is now held together only by its flimsy plastic outer shell:

Remember, a helmet isn't necessarily to protect you from the mistakes you make on your bike, it's to protect you from all the other idiots out there as well...

CycleHFX mailing list

Together with Dougii a new mailing list has been set up as an advocacy group for Halifax Cyclists. To subscribe, go to The intent is to try to band together cyclists in HRM to give us a concerted voice to try to get the laws changed in favour of cyclists. If you are a cyclist in HRM (or are interested in what's going on), please feel free to join.

Thanks again to Dougii for getting the ball rolling on this.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Did I say only muscular injuries?

I meant, of course, that I also have compression fractures in my spine.

I went to my chiropractor yesterday to get him to fix my muscles and he looked me over while his assistant called the hospital to get Xrays. He diagnosed me with probable compression fracture and refused to do anything until he saw the Xrays, although he did at least get my neck sorted out. The hospital told his assistant I needed to go back to the Emergency dept for more Xrays, so I went back around 5pm. At 8pm, I finally got called in (first day of school = long waits - apparently by the time I was called in, anyone walked in the door was facing a 9 hour wait). around 9pm I was examined and sent for a CAT scan, then at 10:30 I was checked out by the resident neurologist. He couldn't tell for sure if there were fractures but decided to keep me in overnight for observation just in case, and I finally got shipped up to a ward around 11:30pm. When I got up there I asked the nurse if I could call my wife, and another nurse popped her head round and said, "oh, I just talked to her and told her not to worry, you've got a broken back but we're taking care of you!"; I boggled somewhat at that since I quite definitely didn't have a broken back, and my poor wife spent the night in a state of worry as a result. Unfortunately I couldn't call her as Aliant only set up patient telephone lines during office hours.

The next morning the resident neurologist for the day checked me out and still couldn't find anything definitely wrong (although I did finally manage to convince them to give me Ibuprofen instead of other random drugs that had no effect on my pain). After spending the day lying there getting more and more bored, I was finally seen by the head neurologist around 2pm. He told me I had a crack in my T4, and there wasn't much they could do apart from put me in a full upper body brace. He told me to take it easy and not lift anything heavier than 5lbs, and not to bend forward too far or it'll crack the fracture open - "but you'll probably do it anyway, there's not much we can do about that". He said I could go home and just needed to be signed out and wandered off. Around 3:30 I got bored of waiting and went to the nurse's station and asked if I was supposed to notify them I had been released or if it was in process - it was news to them I was leaving. The nurse looking after me promised to chase up the resident neurologist to see if I was released and to get the papers signed if so. At 5:30pm I was finally released, almost 24 hours after going in - and essentially not much further on than I was when I walked in the door...

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Hit by a car for Wednesday, 05 September

In what is becoming a tedious regularity, I was hit by a car again this morning. This time it was on Main Avenue just before the lights. I was heading downhill and a car coming the other way pulled into the driveway right in front of me - or more exactly, right into me. Since he didn't even signal I didn't have any chance to react other than hauling on the brakes, and he hit me side on.

Fortunately for me there was a witness walking behind who was trained as a first responder and got everything checked out and called 911 for me. Cliff (the firefighter friend of mine who turned up the last time I was hit) was there with the rest of his team extremely quickly, and he still had all my details from the last time so he was able to co-ordinate calling my wife. I overheard the driver talking, his excuse was that the sun was in his eyes - an impressive achievement since the sun was behind him.

I was put on a back board with a neck brace and taken down to hospital where I had a full set of X-rays - nothing was broken, all the injuries were muscular. After hanging around in emergency for an hour or two refusing hydromorphone (since it does nothing for me except make me sick) I managed to persuade the doctor to let me go, although he insisted on giving me some Tylenol 3 - which I suspect will just end up going back to the drug store to be disposed of.

Now I'm back home I am going to have yet another set of insurance paperwork to fill out. Perhaps I need to hire someone to handle it all for me...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Ride home for Tuesday, 04 September

A not particularly exciting ride home.

Distance logged: 8.868km
Time: 31:54
Average speed: 16.7km/hr
Max speed: 44 km/hr
Temperature: 19C, sunny
Cumulative distance: 3271.068km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.25
Monthly distance: 140.614km
Monthly cost per km: $0

Ride into work for Tuesday, 04 September

Rode down to Bedford for a physio appointment, then on to work.

Distance logged: 24.004km
Time: 53:45
Average speed: 26.8km/hr
Max speed: 52.6 km/hr
Temperature: 15C-18C, cloudy
Cumulative distance: 3262.200km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.25
Monthly distance: 131.746km
Monthly cost per km: $0

Monday, September 03, 2007

Ride for Monday, 03 September

Went out to Sackville to do some mapping. I started out on the Bedford-Sackville Greenway Connector, where I found this encouraging sign just off the trail:

Fortunately the rest of the trail was much more welcoming:

I suppose it's to be expected since the trail runs alongside a DND rifle range. It's a well-made trail, with lots of work put into it; this bridge had been done quite nicely with some variation done in the staining:

After that, I rode out along the Old Sackville Road and ended up at a trailer park that I suspect was the one used for the first series of Trailer Park Boys - that's the second one I've found! After riding through Sackville and picking up some more points, I headed back, and coming through Bedford I found some single track I thought I'd try out. It ran alongside Paper Mill Lake, with some really nice views:

The single track itself was, to say the least, narrow and rocky:

I managed to get quite a ways in but decided not to risk a large pond that had formed from the recent heavy rains:

So instead I turned back and rode back along the slightly marginal trail:

From there I worked my way back through Bedford and decided to stop off to see how the hovercraft is doing, after getting a few emails asking me if I'd looked at it lately. The builder was going through some exasperating times that husbands the world over who have to ask their wife to grab tools for them will recognise ("that knife on the table there! No! That one you just walked past there!") but he was happy to talk to me about the progress he's making. It's still on schedule to be hovering before the snow flies, but he's reckoning another five years until it's all finished off (although, really, with a project like this there's always another little thing that needs doing...)

It's definitely risen a bit since I was last there, although the photo really doesn't do justice to how nice it looks in reality:

I'll drop by again later in the year to see how things progress.

Distance logged: 54.826km
Time: 185:21
Average speed: 17.7km/hr
Max speed: 59.5 km/hr
Temperature: 20C-22C, sunny
Cumulative distance: 3238.196km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.26
Monthly distance: 107.742km
Monthly cost per km: $0

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Ride for Saturday, 01 September

Rode down to the Farmer's Market and back.

Distance logged: 24.946km
Time: 81:58
Average speed: 18.3km/hr
Max speed: 51.2 km/hr
Temperature: 16C, cloudy
Cumulative distance: 3183.370km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.26
Monthly distance: 52.916km
Monthly cost per km: $0

Ride home and Critical Mass for Friday, 31 August

Rode downtown to IdealBikes and got Chris to take a look at my brakes as the front lever was sticking, he ended up running some new cable for me.

Headed over to Victoria Park at 6, there ended up being just over the limit of 12 people (or otherwise it would have been a visit to the pub for Critical Pub instead). The rain wasn't too bad, just a light drizzle, and we ended up riding down to Point Pleasant Park where we hung out for a bit in a futile attempt to wait out the rain under the trees - which meant the rain just concentrated through the leaves anyway. After heading back up the hill out of Point Pleasant Park we headed back downtown and ended up at the Citadel. I was starting to get really tired at this point after all the riding yesterday rushing about, so I headed home. About 10 minutes later as I was heading down Quinpool the heavens opened, I just carried on... It was quite fun to bomb down Quinpool doing 40 or so through torrential rain and I heard a few dopplered cries of "what the fnargh!" from pedestrians trying to shelter from the rain.

Finally got home after battling the Mainland trail, it was extremely thick and sludgy from all the rain and having a headwind didn't help. Had a beer and icecream as recovery food when I got home which my wife found odd, for some reason....

I only managed to take two pictures as it was so wet, but I'd say one of these turned out reasonably well:

Distance logged: 27.970km
Time: 111:29
Average speed: 15.1km/hr
Max speed: 45.8 km/hr
Temperature: 19C, intermittent rain and heavy rain
Cumulative distance: 3158.424km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.26
Monthly distance: 27.970km
Monthly cost per km: $0