Friday, September 23, 2011

Bike vs Dog- Again!

This helmet probably saved her life.
This is getting ridiculous! I just finished with a poor gal who hit a dog that chased her, wrecked, and sustained a seizure, concussion and broken elbow. This is the third case this year just in our ER of severe injury to bicyclist vs dogs. And last year one of our docs had multiple rib fractures and a collapsed lung from hitting a dog. This is more than we have seen from bicyclist being hit by cars!

My question is, can the negligent dog owners be responsible? None of these cases have resulted in any attempts to hold the dog owners responsible despite very large bills and lack of insurance in some cases. Is there a law that can hold the owners liable? If so, why don't we enforce it? If not, when will the biking community stand up to enact some protection or even awareness of this issue? All bikers have some bad experience with dogs. When will there be a movement to control this problem? Does someone have to die first?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


What do you tell a patient who swears she has bugs and worms crawling under her skin for 4 weeks, brings in hydrogen peroxide mouth washings to prove it-showing nothing AND swears she is not crazy but makes all of my ER staff itchy all over?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Wonder Woman Dot

That's NOT me next to Dot!
She's back! Today Dot rode 100 miles! That's big in and of itself, but for those who know her medical history this is awesome! Physically, Dot has recovered from her garden hose surgery a long time ago and I would say actually has become stronger. BUT, the theory was that competitive biking was the contributor to the clot, so mentally, she had been fearful of returning to competitive riding. So when I forwarded her the information on the Wonder Woman ride in Utah County, I was surprised when she decided to do it.

While officially it wasn't a race, she rode hard and strong. She finished well despite not having anyone to draft with (I guess Wonder Women don't draft since she tried a couple of times and freaked the ladies out).

I'm pretty excited she did it. Who knows what's next?

During that 6 hours the boys and I headed down to Lambert park and rode Spring and Rodeo and then headed to Utah Lake to try our luck at fishing.
The most we caught was this pizza
I think we need some tips about how to fish this lake.
Don't anyone make a comment about his hair. He gets too much positive feedback about it, as it is.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Professional Volunteer

Today, I spent a large part of my time between doing my charts from last night's shift (so I can get paid) and doing a lot of free work and planning for the organizations I volunteer for. That got me to thinking that I actually volunteer (free) as much as I actually work (for pay). So, I am going to outline my free work here to give you an idea.
I planned and helped Lay 3200 sf of fundraising pavers- April 2011
Channing Hall
The largest organization I volunteer at is the boys' charter school- Channing Hall. I am on the board and on two working committees- Fundraising and Strategic Planning. Last school year I logged over 220 hours there. I also run the school blog.

Church Expansion Planning Committee
Sit on the Unitarian Church expansion and fundraising planning committee.

Utah High School Mountain Biking
I am sponsoring and on the committee for the new initiative to bring high school mountain bike racing to Utah.

I am medical director and lecturer to Canyons School district high school EMT classes and take on medical students to do ER rotations with me at work.

NonProfit (Global Emergency Medicine Support- GEMS)
Though not active in the past few years due to the kids, 9/11 etc, I have a nonprofit that's provided emergency medical training in several developing nations: Peru, Guyana, Nepal, Samoa, Fiji. Dot and I did this for over 6 years before the kids came along. As the boys get older I hope to restart this group and do more training and travel.

Dot and I also contribute the local going rate on charitable giving of 10% of income on top of the above.

The point is that these are things I (we) believe in- Education, Social Justice and of course mountain biking- and I am willing to put time and money into it. I enjoy it and there is definitely an unending need for volunteerism. And, ultimately, I hope to set an example for my kids.

The frustration: I have been involved in a fair amount of fundraising and volunteer recruitment activities and what I have trouble with is how hard it is to get people to give of their time and money. There always seems to be an excuse: I already gave to the church, That's what I pay taxes for, I am too busy etc. Well I do all of that too.

I am proud of the contributions I am fortunate enough to make and wish more of our citizens would volunteer in this society. Many times the personal reward is greater than the contribution.

Thank you for listening.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


I survived- barely. This was the hardest race I've endured ever. And that's comparing it to my first Leadville 100 race-10 years ago in the blizzard and 3 inches of mud. As soon as I started I was a bit worried because both my quads were feeling tight and even a little strained. I was hoping it was my imagination. I think I had made the mistake of doing an extra Karate session Thurs which ended up involving a lot of jumps and kicking. So I took it pretty easy up to Deer Valley to make sure I was good and warmed up. But then I thought it was time to test the legs out. The quads just wouldn't respond and by the time I got towards the top, along a narrow traverse my Quads cramped up. I froze in mid pedal and was balancing there for what seemed like minutes. I couldn't do anything. Then the wind blew- in the wrong direction- and I toppled off the side of the cliff. Luckily there were some good sized bushes to catch my fall. All I could do was lay there upside down with the bike on top of me-still clipped in. Finally, I got disentangled just out of sheer embarrassment  and limped off along the trail, popped a handful of electrolytes and tried to spin it out.

Finished and heading home.
From there on (mile 27 ish- out of 80!) I kept wondering how I was going to finish. Actually, it was how I was going to quit with some dignity. The only way was if the bike broke. But the Arantix wouldn't give. What saved me were the descents. The one thing I feel that I have improved on this year have been my descending speed, and despite how rough some of the downhill was, I felt good and was able to consume a lot of miles that way. Then I would gingerly spin up the climbs. I finally got to PCMR feed zone (mile 57) and with the encouragement of Kendra, Dwight and Craig I felt maybe I could make it. I sure couldn't quit with all of their enthusiasm and help there. I was very heartened when I reached the top of Spiro having ridden the whole thing! For 20 miles I was picturing myself walking up the whole thing! The final 20 miles along mid mountain were OK and I was able to inch along to the finish.

It was my hardest ride mainly because I was in pain physically and psychologically for most of it. It was NOT fun. Will I do it again? Yup- Stupid me.

Side note: I had to hurry home to meet up with Dot to see the show-Saturday Night Voyeur by the Salt Lake Acting Company.  It's not dirty as it sounds but if you see some of the idiotsyncrocies in Utah politics you'd appreciate it. I couldn't stand up after sitting there for 2 hours, though.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Recreational Biking

I almost forgot what it was like. Riding recreationally- that is. Being on the team and having upcoming races, gets me in a training state of mind. Every ride has the main focus of pushing hard, getting stronger, improving. Sure, every once in a while I'll look up and marvel at the incredible scenery or great trail conditions, but for the most part it's about riding for the next race. Wednesday I went up to do Bennie Creek with a couple guys from work. One hadn't been up there at all and the other rarely. I was in my recovery mode for the P2P so did not have much intention of riding hard. So we shuttled to the top and headed on down.
Tom. Thanks for planning the ride.

We took it easy, stopped a hundred times, talked and exchanged some pointers. We got down that 4 miles in about 45 minutes later. Interestingly, the trail seemed completely different than when I rode it last with a team member. It was fun. But when we got to the bottom, I finally broke down and had to sprint back up to the car. 25 minutes up and I was back in my training mode. I think I actually started to have withdrawels.
Dr. Jake. Glad you survived.
I'd do it again under the right circumstances since it is fun introducing new riders to the sport.