Broken Spokes and Broken Necks

It has been a long time since I last updated, but trust me that June was a bizarre month. After an intense April and mild May, June came along to sunny Florida and brought the start of rainy season and the beginning of summer. As a daily bike commuter in the lightening capital of the world, rainy season can be quite a source of frustration. The start of summer gives me, as a parent, new worries for my 17-year-old son. So where to begin!

What seemed a simply start to summer found me pedaling faster on a new set of Continental Gator Skins. Reducing my tire size from 35mm to 25mm elimated some of the friction and added a nice burst of speed to my daily commute. Almost instantly I saw a 2MPH improvement in my average speed. The downside seems to be the ongoing battle I am having with the rear wheel on my Trek. The stock Camino wheels have popped 5 spokes now and time is fast approaching to replace the wheel set. I am looking at American Classic and Bontrager Race wheelsets as a replacement. Your advice is appreciated!

When taking the bike to my LBS for a spoke repair, I got a call from one of my sons friends that he got hurt at the beach. I got what has to be every parents favorite line; "Mr Meadows, your son is ok but....." I am pretty sure I didn't here anything after "but." Anyway, I was told that he hit his head on the ocean floor while diving through waves at the beach. Since he was awake, walking and talking I just said bring him home. About 30 minutes later a second call comes that he wants to go to the hospital. We direct them to the nearest ER and then off we go to meet them and make sure all insurance information is handled. Well, that is when the fun really started.

After a CT scan the doctor came in to tell us our son had broken his C1 vertebrae in his neck. WHAT!!!!! This is the first in the spinal column, where the skull rests on the neck. Broken on the left side - complete break. But God is gracious and spared our son! Every doctor then started asking how he got out of the water and stunned to hear him say he walked out of the water and went to the beach.
Long story short, my son is doing well, he is healing, still walking and all. There is a long healing time, but things are positive and God has been great to our family through this. Needless to say I didn't get on the bike for over a week, but that is ok. I love riding, but I love my son so much more.

Looking back at my complaints about the broken spokes I feel somewhat foolish. Yes, I broke a few spokes and I may need new rims. However, my son broke his neck and walked away! Who could ask for more.
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