I woke up this morning stiff with my right hip hurting. I was supposed to go riding today, but the way I feel, I don't know if I should push myself to go or not. Ten minutes after I got up, I get a text from Race telling me that he is not going to be able to make it today. I am almost relieved to read his text, even though I was looking forward to riding today. I step outside on my way to the shop and am greeted with a 65 degree morning. Oh yeah, I'm going riding today. I hop in the hot tub for 25 minutes to ease my pains, jump out and start getting my bike ready to load. I'll just go by myself. I get all of my gear, gas can, ramp and tie downs in the truck. Just as I am loading my bike, I get a text message. It is from Race and he is back on for riding.
We meet at the woods at 10 and unload quickly. We climb Poteau Mountain and drop off of the back side of the mountain to Bates. We are riding a fast pace and quickly wind up at one of my favorite trails. I tell Race to go first, I don't want to hold him up on the trails (I am 51 while Race is only 19). He heads up the trail and I light the throttle up on my 525 in an attempt to keep up with him. It works for about the first, oh, I don't know ... 100 feet. I was catching back up with him as we hit a short, rutted uphill ... then all of a sudden it was like he was shot out of a cannon! Ah, the combination of youth, exuberance and no ER visits yet. Mike, Randall and myself used to twist the throttle like that when we were young, now I am just glad I can still throw a leg over a bike every now and then.
I eventually catch back up to Race ... well, ok, he wasn't sure which way to go at the intersection and had to wait on me. I point to the right and we head back into some prime, loamy single track trail. Once again he lights the throttle up and I am right on his rear fender. As I head into a lazy left hand turn, my front end washes with me and I chop the throttle and regain control of my bike ... just in time to see Race going down hard. I ride up to him and he is holding his right knee still laying underneath his bike. After 10 minutes, he shakes it off and we ride back out and head to Haw Creek to grab a cheeseburger. Neither one of us had eaten anything today and it was 1 pm. I had some Tylenol in my backpack, which came in handy. After eating we cut our ride short and headed back to our trucks.
We still put in 85 miles, but Races knee was swollen and sore by now. We were quite a pair loading our bikes this afternoon, Race from his crash while I was hobbling around due to my RA. An old quote popped into my head this afternoon as we were both limping around, "Growing old is mandatory ...growing up is optional". Something tells me Race will be just like Mike, Randall and myself at age 50.