Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Riding Babylonia Again

Today I went out for a ride and tried Babylonia; first time down since my crash. I first rode around El Morro some and took a few pics. 

I always count the ships waiting where I have a theory that more ships waiting means production bottle necks. Since I've been counting, the most I've counted was in the low 30s, and the least was in the high single digits.The number seems to hover between 13 to 20 on average. Today I counted 13 ships waiting to load or unload oil.

A pair of black vultures hanging out. They do this a lot; black vultures pair up and stay close to each other. 

A self-timer shot of descending the Babylonia Trail today was more difficult due to recent heavy rains. The rains have further eroded the slope and carried away rocks in some areas, and deposited more in others.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Bad Crash

Lately I haven't been writing much. It seems everyday the routine is much the same. My son Benjamin keeps growing and learning new stuff and that's pretty cool. 

Today was May Day - Labor Day and I went out for a bike ride. Did my usual out and back warm-up ride, then was going to head up El Cerro when I recognized a bunch of my bicycling friends hanging out at a Eazy-Up at the base of the hill. Jim Burke was playing the guitar, they had work stands set up to adjust your bike, it was a cool hangout. Darren has been buying bikes off e-bay and getting them shipped down. Today he had a Specialized Stumpjumper Expert full suspension. He offered for me to check it out. I hadn't ridden a geared bike in a while so I decided to go up The Rails and Fausto trails, then across the top of El Morro, then go down on The Babylonia trail.

All went well to a point. The bike handled well and climbed super. It was nice having gears to basically cruise up The Rails. Going up Fausto was about the same as on my single speed rigid Merlin. It went up pretty easy. The bike was light enough to haul up the hike-a-bike section. 

Where  my ride/plan fell apart quickly was on the Babylonia descent. This technical trail is steep, loose, and technical. At the drop-in, I nearly lost it, the fork diving too much and nearly lost control of the bike into a bush. The front end kept doing the same thing; squishing and wallowing. I could not control the bike. At one point halfway down, I laid the bike over (common mistake) but got back on quickly and kept heading down. The next section was the trickiest, the trail is steep with an erosion gully dipping across the trail with some large embedded rocks in the trail at a dogleg turn. I didn't make it. Instead, the front end got crossed up and I kept going down the trail where I did kind of a slow motion Pete Rose-like slide into the ground...unfortunately those large, firmly attached rocks were there to stop my face. I hit with a lot of momentum on with the left side of my face. My sunglasses went flying off and felt my teeth impact the rock through my lip.

The first thing I did was check if my teeth were still there, or loose, or broken. All good. Then my glasses...thought I lost the left lens but instead just gouged them deeply on the upper part of the rim and lens. I sat there for a few seconds, picked myself up and then picked up the bike. It seemed okay. 


I got back on, somewhat in shock, and flailed down the trail successfully not crashing. I get to the tent and when everyone saw me, their faces got real grave. Apparently my glasses cut my forehead above my left eyebrow and I had quite a bit of blood on my face. After a minute trying explain what happened, I had to sit down. I was feeling very light headed. Don't know if it was shock or a mild concussion, but I sat there for a while listening to Jim's singing and guitar playing. 

Jim Burke

I think I'll stick to riding my full-rigid Merlin. Love that bike!