After a solid mountain bike season that finished with a very strong win in the NYS MTB Series Finale, it is now time to switch gears to cyclocross season. Or is it? Back in July, I incurred an injury to the middle finger on my left hand. I went to my doctor, I got x-rays and no broken bones or dislocations. But clearly there was a problem. I couldn’t straighten it at the first joint. I knew there was a tear, but I didn’t really have pain or discomfort. I could use it…mostly. So I continued to ride and race. Well, after a while the finger started to look a bit more deformed. The healthy tendon was pulling back on the finger while the torn tendon was doing nothing but being torn.
So I finally made an appointment to see and orthopedic surgeon, a hand specialist. One look is all it took. No tests, no MRI, just a quick look to tell be that I have a ruptured tendon and a condition called “mallet finger”. At this point, because I waited, there is no surgery for it. Treatment and repair involves keeping the joint 100% immobile in a splint for at least 6 weeks. And the good news is that I can do anything that I want to do as long as I keep the splint on and the finger does not bend at the first joint. That is anything except racing. The Doc says I can ride as much as I want to, but I can’t race.
Of course I have been on all my bikes to test out the shifting and braking with my left hand. Sure I can do it, and sure it feels awkward, but I can do it. But, can I do it safely at race pace? That is what I have to find out. The last NYCROSS Thursday Night Lights race will be the test. There is a lot of braking on that course, and if I can handle that, I think I can handle a full course cyclocross race. So, cyclocross season starts this weekend, and hopefully I will be there at Kirkland Cyclocross for the start of the NYCROSS.com Cyclocross Series. And don’t tell my doctor. 🙂