One year ago today I trashed my knee while riding up Blacksmith Fork Canyon after running over a rattlesnake. This is how my knee looked then:

My leg is straight so it is harder to see, but if I bend it you can see the tendons

and this is how it looks now:

I'm just glad they didn't cut it off.

You'd think on a significant day such as this I would do something to commemorate the event. I did. I ate pizza and chocolate and then downed several pieces of chocolate lasagna. I figured I needed sugar and carbs for the next time I ride.

I had intended on going out on the bike today but it was really hot and I had some code to finish and the lawn needed to cut and baled since I had put it off for so long due to my riding the rest of the week. I would have headed up Blacksmith Fork wearing the same clothes and tempting fate. I watch for everything on the roads these days. I also ride a bit further from the edge. I think the snakes have always been there, lurking on the side of the road, but now I see them - a lot of them. I see them dead on the road squished by vehicles much larger than me. I also see live ones. They sit just off the edge of the road sunning themselves to keep warm. I can pinpoint the parts of my ride where I noticed the snakes - my heart rate spikes.

My knee will be numb for the rest of my life (I severed a bunch of nerves), but it did heal and I can and do still ride. I could wish I never hit the snake. I'm sure the snake would wish that. Even though my knee will never be the same my scars remind me that I can deal with shock and pain and a bit of tragedy, that it's always great to have a friend close by when you get into a tough spot (thanks Joel) and that my wonderful wife loves me and is right beside me in the worst (and best) times in life.