Thursday, September 06, 2012

This Old Mouth - one week later

It's been a week since I decided to give up mountain biking for full contact root-kissing in the middle of the Dark Mtn. mountain bike race. The scrapes and cuts on my face have healed, my lip looks nice and normal, and my two erstwhile teeth seem to have settled down and accepted their fate that they will never successfully escape my mouth. I'm staring down the barrel of two root canals to help insure their permanence. Stay tuned for all the gory highlights! All in all, given how I looked last week, I think this week is a remarkable 180 degree difference.


I suffered a minor setback at the hands of my friend and business partner, Jeff, on Saturday. I was working on an old bike for a customer who has earned the nickname "Raleigh Guy". It isn't all that original, but it serves as a warning call when someone sees him appear on the sidewalk in front of the shop. Much like meerkats and prairie dogs, bike shop employees utilize a primitive system of warning calls to aid bike mechanics in their daily survival. This doesn't get deployed willy-nilly, but is reserved for those circumstances when a "heads up" to the mechanics is warranted.

I was working on the old center pull brakes on the bike, something which we just don't have the necessary sets of brake arm clamps and older style 3rd hand tools to work on since they haven't been common since the '70's. I'm familiar with the tools that were made to work on them having worked in shops that were old enough to still have them, so I had fashioned some workarounds that were adequate. But due to the decrepitude of the bike, things just weren't going smoothly and an extra pair of hands was warranted. I asked Jeff to pull one of the brake cables tight while I held the calipers firmly against the rim. Jeff pulled mightily as I held on and with a lightning quick jolt - his clenched hand slipped and shot with astonishing accuracy into my upper lip and teeth.

Jeff let out an expletive or two as I doubled over, first with the shock of having been hit in the exact spot where my lip was stitched and my two teeth had been reimplanted, followed by the pain of being hit in that sensitive and healing area. Jeff fully expected to see me spit those teeth out (again), such was the force of the blow, but my beauty will not be held back! All is well despite Jeff's best effort to the contrary and I remain firmly on the road to recovery.
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