Friday, April 3, 2009

Ride Fast, Crash Hard

The weather has been a bit on the crazy side this last week. In the last 8 days we have had thunderstorms come through 3 nights, have received a lot of rain, had sleet last Saturday, have had temps ranging from 78 all the way down to 27. Just yesterday we started off at 59 with no wind but just before noon the temperature had hit 64. Then the wind kicked up and brought in a little thunder shower. A slow easy rain with rumbling thunder in the background made for a nice afternoon prepping the flower beds for spring. Then the wind picked up more while changing around out of the north and continued to rain. By 8:30 last night it was 43 with a wind chill of 36.

Good news. I finally feel good enough to ride again. It has been a while since my last excursion in the woods and it hurt me riding some of the terrain we rode. Randall and I got a late start which worked out good since it was still chilly this morning. We unloaded to an absolutely gorgeous day and soon were in the woods. We rode a pretty fast pace for most of the trails we were on, but it was extremely slick in some places due to the rain. We rode old logging roads, single track, dirt roads and at one point just took out through the woods with no trail trying to pick up another trail. We would never have done that without trusting Randall's GPS unit. In the old days when we had to explore everything the old fashioned way, ride the trail out ... it comes out somewhere. We have been lost more than once that way trying to find a trail.

Along about 2:00 pm, we hit one of our favorite trails to ride. It starts out as a fast old logging road and turns into some prime, loamy single track trail. The problem today is that the leaves are still covering the ground and after all of the rain we have had, they were slick wet leaves on top of mud. Randall and I both had a couple of near misses, but kept the pace up. Just as I top a hill in 4th gear and start down the other side, my front end washed out so damn fast I was about 6 inches off of the ground before I realized I was crashing. It has been at least 8-10 years since I have crashed that hard. I took all of the impact on my head and left shoulder. I just lay there on the ground for a while making sure everything was where it needed to be and still hooked together. I firmly believe that had I not been wearing a good quality helmet and chest protector, I might have suffered another concussion and I am sure I would have broke my left collar bone (again).

We rode across a low water bridge on the way back that was flooded and at one end of it there was about 30 foot of water out into the road so we stopped and I told Randall " you go first and I will take a picture as you ride through it". It looked pretty deep from where we were, but it was only up to the foot pegs. It did make for an interesting picture. I still can't believe he fell for the old "You go first, I've got the camera" line.

I am back at home now all cleaned up and pretty sore. But it is so nice to be hurting from something you wanted to do instead of hurting because of RA! I am bruised from my shoulder down to the back side of my bicep and my left hip has felt better, but it was definitely worth it. We rode 110 miles today and just in case you're keeping score Randall also crashed and broke his clutch lever earlier in the day.


Dan said...

Crashes are harder the older you get aren't they? Love the riding through the bridge wash out picture. Good post.

Kala said...

Holy crap dad. It's a good thing you're not old or anything since you're riding like your 21!!

tharr said...

Well no, actually we are going slow now compared to when we were racing.

Kala said...

Ha ha! You're still crazy!! I wouldn't do that stuff now.

tharr said...

Dan you're right. Crashing sucks! But it would be even worse to not get out and enjoy it while I can, then 10 years or so later when I can't do this anymore wish that I would have been out riding while I was able to.

BattyBeader said...

You are so smart to let Randall go first through the water, although Randall might just disagree...and next time you will be first. ha

I agree with Kala...riding like you are, but OUCH when you realize that you are not, lol.

Glad to see that you both fared well and still had fun.
Stay safe, crazy Tharr!