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! 


Gunnar Berg said...

Obviously a bad ride. But described well. I think at this point I'll stick to to my old man streets and paths. Heal well.

Mimbres Man said...

Funny, one of the songs that Jim sang when I sat there was Lou Reed's "Take a Walk on the Wild Side". I know the song is about something completely different, but the title is a good one describing the ride.

Gunnar Berg said...

At some point it becomes a young man's game, and it's hard to let go of our youth.

SS:Mntbiker\Olskoolrodder said...

Whoa,Mims...very glad it wasn't worse! You're still "Gila Proven" though,not time to hang it up yet ;)

Be glad all the teeth were fine too,I recently broke one out (between the right front tooth and right K9 tooth...yeah,up front =/-it wasn't riding,but was bicycle related too :p),and it's almost aggrevating even to me to hear me trying to talk right,LOL!

Mimbres Man said...

Gunnar: I let my confidence get the best of me. I've been riding super good lately and figured I could handle anything.
I am usually way more conservative and careful. It seems when I ride a bike I'm unfamiliar with, I crash and get hurt. I should stick to riding my bikes.
I guess bikes are like horses in that regard, they have distinct personalities.
SS: Sorry about your tooth. Ouch!