We started in the rain today, sometimes heavy, sometimes light. Out of the hills and back to Iowa. Flat horizons and combine parties waiting out the rain. Sixty miles out we stopped for gas and shelter for a while. Kevin, Cathy and I pressed on. It soon became a bad day in Black Rock.
Kevin was leading and wanted to know if we wanted to try an alternate route. We said sure and turned off the main road. Soon we were on a gravel road with water crossings. On the third one, my rear tire went out in the mud and down I went. I was pinned against the creek bank with my foot pointing backward under the bike. They got the bike off me and I got on my feet, but my ankle was in a lot of pain. We got back on the bikes and headed back to the main road. We’d gone about 20 miles when Kevin pulled into a roadside cafe to see if I needed a rest. I got off the bike and supported by Cathy made it to a table. He asked if I was alright and I said that the van was needed to load up my bike and take me to the hotel. We got there and they called an ambulance to take me to the hospital. An x-ray confirmed that my fibula was broken just above the ankle. The doctor said that it would require six weeks with no weight bearing and wanted to immobilize it with a cast.
David from GlobeBusters went to the hospital with us. As a retired Irish army medic, he kept a cool head and asked important questions of the doctor. Cathy and Tad from Brazil as translator, went out with prescriptions for a plastic cast, crutches, pain medication and anti-inflamitories. The clinic had none of these supplies and we had to provide them. Nobody in town had removable casts. The doctor sent them back to get plaster of Paris and cotton. He laid me on the table and put it on.
One of the German riders got clipped by a passing truck and went down hard. He and his bike are returning to Buenos Aires. It is hoped that his bike will be repaired so he can rejoin the group when they come north to Bariloche. My bike will ride back with his and be stored in Buenos Aires. I will return to Atlanta to recover and am planning to rejoin riding with the group in Panama in mid March. If I recover faster, but still can’t drive a bike I’ll fly down earlier and ride on the back with Cathy.
The blog will continue with notes and pix from Cathy.
Jan 6 Provincial Park – Viedma 229 miles
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