Beer Blog: Wasted Opportunities

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Right now, my elbow itches like a mother because I have four relatively brand new stitches holding two flaps of my skin together. Apparently, itching is a sign that the wound is healing—so says my nurse practitioner wife.

Whatever. I think it’s itching because I failed to pour whiskey on the injury when it happened.

I was biking deep in Pisgah, like, miles and miles from our car when I went over the handlebars. It was one of those slow motion accidents, the kind of situation where you have time to think to yourself, “this is really gonna hurt. Look how weird that moss is on that rock. Did I pay my credit card payment this month?” as you’re in the air, doing a flip over my front tire.

I landed squarely on my elbow, which split open on impact. There was blood. The dudes I was biking with said they could see bone when I held my arm up to them. I glanced at it and got woozy. I don’t do well with blood. Or pain.

Just a few minutes earlier, we had each taken a small nip off of my flask of whiskey. Yes, I bike with a flask of whiskey. It’s fall. That’s what you do in the fall. Ride deep into the woods, admire the leaves and take tiny sips of bourbon. This particular time, we stopped at a sketchy bear hunter’s trailer that was parked on an inholding and hit the sauce before a big downhill. Just a little. Just enough to get the taste.

Contrary to what you might think, the bourbon had nothing to do with my crash. I crashed because I didn’t have any momentum going through a rock garden. Because I was being too careful, not because I was being foolish. I only mention the bourbon and the flask because I missed a beautiful opportunity after the crash. Stanley has these great ads that show a mountain biker pouring whiskey from a flask over a fresh wound.

There I was, a mother of a fresh wound on my elbow, and a flask of whiskey in my backpack. But did I seize the day and stage what would have been the greatest profile pic ever? Did I “harness my Stanleyness” as the ad says?

No. I mumbled something about going to the hospital and started walking my bike through the sketchy rock garden. Next time, I’ll have my wits about me. And my flask.

–Beer Blog is a weekly column on Sometimes we don’t talk about beer. Comments and story leads are encouraged.

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