For those keeping score at home, it’s Nose 1, Cancer 0.

Six weeks after surgery for my latest cycling injury, I’m happy to report that my proboscis is now skin cancer-free and healing nicely.

Thirty years of mostly unprotected cycling resulted in a diagnosis of basal cell skin cancer — fortunately, one of the mildest forms of cancer, easily eradicated with simple surgery.

In fact, the surgery itself took just a few seconds, as the surgeon took a single slice with his scalpel, then had me spend an hour cooling my heels in the waiting room while they conducted a biopsy to make sure they got it all.

Six weeks later and skin cancer-free. Not so bad, huh?

Then came the hard part, as a pair of surgeons tugged and pulled to stretch my flesh over the gaping gap to minimize the scarring. Imagine trying to stretch your eyelid over a bowling ball, and you’ll get a general idea what it felt like.

But now I’m finally both bandage and cancer free. And, as you can see, with just a small scar as a reminder.

My doctor says he can get rid of that for me. But I kind of like it.

To me, it’s just another scar from a lifetime of riding.

And a reminder that some of our most important safety equipment comes in a tube.


Tomorrow, USDOT Transportation Direct Ray LaHood and California Senator Barbara Boxer are hosting a hearing about priorities for the National Transportation Bill. The meeting will take place Friday, February 19, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. in the Boardroom of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority at One Gateway Plaza, Downtown.

LACBC is hosting a ride to the meeting to emphasize the need for a higher priority — and more funding — for bikes and pedestrians projects. Riders are assembling at 8:15 at Union Station’s Patsaouras Plaza, or you can meet them there.


LACBC talks about the benefits of bike boulevards, including the proposed for 4th St. in L.A.; remember, how you sell them to the surrounding neighborhood is key. LAPD plans to step up enforcement of dangerous motorcyclists and other careless motorists. Gary offers advice on driving to the beach: Don’t. The Backbone Bikeway Network concept spreads to Long Beach. Orange County park rangers plan to dismantle an illegal off-road bike course. A San Diego rider rolls a stop, and faces down a confrontation with an angry driver. What do you call someone with an irrational hatred of bikes? The planned 3,000 pedestrian/bike greenway along the East Coast received $23 million in Federal funding. A cyclist who testified against Floyd Landis is charged with illegally importing Human Growth Hormone. Toyota’s gas pedal problems have been blamed for 34 fatalities between 2000 and 2008 — compared to 378 pedestrians and cyclists in the Detroit area alone. A London cyclist says the way to promote cycling is to ban car advertising. Contrary to reports of increased risk, analysis shows the rate of cycling deaths per mile traveled has in Britain has dropped 50%  since 1995. Calgary considers revising speed limits for cyclists on bikeways. Ten riders are biking from Bangalore to Mumbai to promote “Car Free Day.” Finally, the bad news is, Anchorage police attempt to shift responsibility for avoiding collisions to cyclists; the good news is, current traffic code requires drivers to yield to all human-powered vehicles.


  1. gtinla says:

    Glad to read that all is good after your surgery. I had the same done last year, albeit I ignored it for far too long, so mine ended up in a 6 hour procedure, but all is well now. Your advise to cyclists that some of the best safety equipment comes in a tube is oustanding. I took the liberty to tweet a link to your post.

    • bikinginla says:

      Thanks, GT. Normally I’d keep something like this private, but I’ve written about it in hopes that it can keep someone else from making the same mistakes I did.

      And I’m glad yours came out okay. But 6 hours? Damn!

      • TheTricksterNZ says:

        Good work sir anyway. 🙂

        It’s worthy advice.

        Sadly down here though, doesn’t matter what you do between Sept and May as if its a sunny day and you’re riding for more than about 2 1/2 – 3hrs you’re going to get burnt. It’s just how badly burnt you get is the question.

        Speaking of riding, 30th or 31st out of at least 300 riders today in a fun race. Got dropped though from the front bunch with about 25k (120k total distance) to go (legs were just wooden on the climbs today) and they ended up putting 9mins into me, although I was only 2mins off the previous course record.

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