Desflurane's Romaniacs Blog

Chronicle of My Participation in the World's Toughest Enduro Rally – Again…

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The big One-Year anniversary!!

Posted by desflurane on May 6, 2012

I has now been exactly one year (well, pretty close anyway) since “The Big Crash.” I’d like to take a moment and review what has transpired in the last twelve months.

One year ago, I was in full-steam training mode to participate in the 2011 edition of the Romaniacs. My entry fee was paid, airline tickets bought, and I was biting my nails (needlessly, as it turns out) waiting for a KTM 300 EXC to become available for me.

Life was swell.

I was working out twice per day and riding around three days per week.

I had long been planning to race the Virginia City Grand Prix as a sort of “measuring stick” to see how my preparations were coming along. This turned out to be a fairly bad choice (see below…)

A bunch of hardware in my leg

I count a plate and nine screws.

A little too fast around a corner on the pavement section, and a street sign and I ended up a little worse for wear… The sign took on an odd new bend a few inches above the ground. I on the other hand was rewarded with some nifty, shiny bits of stainless steel in my left leg!

Well, we decided to go to Romania anyway. I hobbled around snapping pictures of the 2011 Romaniacs, trying not to fall down any of the steep Transylvanian hills while my wife explored castles and churches around the beautiful countryside. It was a fabulous trip. I had the opportunity to meet both Graham Jarvis and Chris Birch, saw Paul Bolton, Gerhard Forster, Xavi Galindo and loads of other famous pro riders, and even received a “Guten Tag” from Andreas Lettenbichler.

I returned home and continued recovering from the accident – at this point I had just gotten off the crutches and started walking again. My bike was broken in half…

My bike, all broken up

It took quite a few months, but I have gotten the bike put back together (it’s actually running really well at the moment). It probably cost $1500 to get everything “right” again.

I was still so stiff and sore that I couldn’t reliably get my leg over the seat to ride, so I had to work on stretching and strengthening myself back up before I could get out on the bike again. When I finally did go out for a real ride, it felt great! I wasn’t sure how it would be getting back on that horse, but apart from being a little weaker, everything felt pretty much the same.

I decided that I would NOT try to make the 2012 rally, since I would need more time to recover, save money and pass my anesthesiology recertification examination. I did, however, begin the long-term training program in preparation for the 2013 Romaniacs, which I 100% plan on doing!

Whilst persuing these preparations, I had a bad bit of luck one fine Saturday morning. I was out for a training ride, tipped over on a steep hillside when I was nearly at a full standstill. I plunged into a bunch of rocks and ended up with an open interphalangeal joint dislocation on my right thumb.

Though unpleasant, this really wasn’t such a big deal. A friend of mine – who is a plastic surgeon – took care of it for me. Meaning that he washed the joint out in the operating room and sewed up the laceration.

It has healed up just fine. Apart from some stiffness in the joint, it doesn’t give me any trouble.

So, as the 2012 rally approaches I’m still getting myself ready for 2013. I’m back to a fairly consistent training schedule and my fitness is improving nicely. I’ve been riding as much as possible and I am quite pleased with how my bike skills are coming along. I think that when I arrive in Romania next time I’ll be a MUCH stronger competitor than I would have been in 2011.

I gave a great deal of thought to racing in this year’s Virginia City Grand Prix. It would have made a nice comeback story to do that race again the following year. But I would rather focus on getting to Romania NEXT year, and while the VCGP is a good race, the possibility of getting hurt AGAIN is a little too much for me right now. So I have given it a miss. From what I hear, this year’s course was the easiest it has ever been, so this probably would have been the year to do it. Oh well…

I’m going to keep blogging along as I have been. I’m hoping to get some great riding in during the next 13 months, and I want to get as much helmet-cam footage as I can muster! Just like I was doing before, I’m planning to gradually ramp up my training schedule to a crescendo around next May, then kind of back off a bit for the few weeks prior to the event – so I’m all rested up, healed up and fired up for another go at Romaniacs!

It should be fun!

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