Back in the saddle: Recovering from an injury

- So many recall the major bike accident that Anchor Tom Zizka had a few months ago.  Since then, he has been chronicling a video diary of the process he called "back in the saddle". The thing about racing track bikes with one fixed gear and no brakes is it's really quite safe until something goes wrong.

On this August night, the race guaranteed top speeds. It can look like NASCAR, oval track, drafting. I'm ahead of the guy with the camera looking to make a move. When he does, he's suddenly in the spot that I just checked was cleared to change lanes.The collision is catastrophic! Over the handlebars, face first, knocked out cold. My wife was there. It was her worst fear about bike racing realized.

"When I found you, says Mrs. Zizka you were face down, unconscious, full of blood, not moving, and unresponsive to my screams." Tom, ended up with 61 stitches around his eye, a lot of bruising, a lot of swelling, a missing tooth which has been replaced.  “Not riding never occurred to me. So after four weeks of
recuperation, I tried pedaling on a stationary trainer. This is hard sweaty work. But it feels good.” “Six weeks, I took my first ride alone on a quiet hike and bike trail. The movement was exhilarating. And two months later, I was on it again.” "At first, just guys I know and trust."


They were perfect companions. But choosing to race again is another matter. It's not a calm ride with your buds. It's fast, hectic and a little bit scary. "I've had plenty of the “what if” moments", says Tom.
With a new season beginning, the team preparing to compete, it is time to face the anxiety of racing again with perhaps a reminder that the most rewarding achievements require the hardest. Here is his story.
 

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