Highlights of the ride, for me anyhow, included leading the group up the MC trail. It's a steady, mildly inclined stairstep with a series of kickers on it. Ironically, it's easier for me to go up it fairly hard than for me to cruise, so that's what I did. Turns out it was a decent pace. The downside to that is that when we headed up the next section of trail, 20 minutes of steep ups and downs, my legs were tired and about 2/3ds of the way through that I lost the string of the group and popped. I didn't shoot way out the back and in fact cruised in on the wheel of the next-to-tail end guy. I even got a couple compliments on driving the pace there, which is cool; the only way to get stronger is to bury yourself and that's what I did, so Mission Accomplished. But I was toasted so I told the group to go and I'd ease on in, which I mostly did until I got to the last mile back to the trailhead. That part is downhill, swoopy, and has a bunch of log drops on it. I absolutely hammer that and stick with guys who are way faster there... that part of the trail system just works for me.
Today it didn't though. I swerved left to take this little optional log hop. No big deal, it was only 6" in height. The only problem was I hit it going full tilt, as in eyes-watering, sliding in the turns full tilt. Upon further review, I determined that my front wheel made it over, but I was nowhere near quick enough with the rear hop. I stopped dead in my tracks when the rear wheel hit the log, and shot out over the handlebars, pausing only to let the bike Jeff Gillooly me right above both kneecaps, a square on nasty handlebar blow to my lower quads. I hopped up immediately then started gasping; had to lean my chest onto the bike seat to support myself. The pain was searing. Now I know *exactly* how Nancy Kerrigan felt.
Artist's Impression: The Rouleur, Post-Crash
I was due. It's been about a year since my last Ginormous Mountain Bike Crash, so there you go. After getting my breath back - about 15 seconds - I checked the wheels and the Velocity P-35 rims, those stout bastards, were still true. Me, not so much, I was still doubled over in pain. I got back on the bike though, and pedaled it in, slowly.
Once I got my kit off I checked out the knees. They both have pretty good hematomas, but the one on the right is basically softball sized. Nothing appears to be broken, the joints seem to be working... just it hurts like the bejeezus to bend my legs or touch them anywhere above the knees.
My New Hematoma Best Friend
My New Hematoma Best Friend
The kneecap is under the smaller lump there, the one directly in front of the electrical socket.
I'm going to call the big useless lump D'Brickashaw.
Yeah. That hematoma oughtta have it's own zip code. Guess the Trail of Tears (TOT) theme lived up to its name today.
Oh well. Some days you eat the bear, other days, the bear kicks your ass, rips your head off, craps down your throat, and doesn't even say thanks.
Still beats a day of not riding though.