Here we are. Spain 2.0 08. For everyone who decided they had better places to be or ways to spend their money. Sorry you opted out. Pushing through the oceanic barrier, to the euro exchange.
We took Tim to the best of our last days from last year. The cross bike inspired some off the front confidence. I payed for my hubris by kissing the earth. Shoved rocks in my face, knees and hands. We got a good lesson in socialized medicine. After picking myself up, Rick came over and asked if I was okay. My response was "only if I don't need stitches in my chin." After a half second look from Rick, I knew what what I was in from the look on his face. A little bit of stars floating in the air, but I felt fine so we jumped on the bikes to get down the last 6km of gravel descending to the town of Lanjaron. 20 feet later Tim flats and I decided to role down alone, and begin the search for a medic.
So while I'm riding down watching the bike get splattered slowly from the dripping chin, I think about La Ruta when Jeremiah Bishop had to finish a similar descent with a broken jaw and nose. Made my trip seem minor. At the bottom, I stood on the corner next to the closed restaurant wondering if I was scaring the families. Eventually I grabbed some napkins off the table, and while holding it over my jam spout I started asking people if they knew where a doctor was. The genuine concern from folks was heart warming, and by the time Tim and Rick showed I had a general direction to go.
I testify that socialized medicine did me great. After being led to the clinic by a local elder who spoke no english, we walked in and was out in 20min, no charge! In time to ride the hour and half home just before dark.
BUT!!! there was a price to pay. How about, it started with a quick shave. It suddenly becomes very clear why cyclist shave. The doc came at me with a one bladed plastic razor and proceeded to remove my 3week stubble around the juice one hair at a time. I figured he was going to inject me with a local anesthetic soon. But after a clean out with iodine, and the shave, I realized there would be no lidocain injections.
Doctor's various quotes inluded:
Say these to yourself in any order, repeatedly with a spanish accent.
Still the riding has been great. And Semana Santa is once again in full effect.