Saturday, January 29, 2011

Slave To Gravity

Against my better judgement, I went out for a quick solo ride 2 weeks ago.  The temperature was not what I wanted, a high of 49 degrees forecast, but I needed to ride.  I headed out and after crossing Poteau Mountain, arrived at one of my top 5 favorite single track trails.  I attacked the trail as if I were racing again.  Caught air off several jumps, sliding through the corners, even overcooked one corner and as I was sliding off of the trail while braking, aimed the outside corner of my handlebars at the tree and gassed it.  Bank shot off of the tree that put me back out on the trail quickly.  This is not for the faint of heart, Mike and I crashed A LOT while learning this technique.  Once through this trail, I headed for the 4 way trail and rode all 4 trails out.  I was staying pretty warm back in the woods, but had to get back out on the road now.  I ate 7 miles of road up in a hurry, it was cold out on the open road with no trees around.  I ducked back into the woods and this is where my story should have ended.  I should have gone on back to my truck, but I was having a good day riding single track.  Soon I was riding hard again as I rode around the north side of the mountain. I was sliding through a corner sideways when I realized I was on frozen tundra. It was hard to tell which was more slick, the ice or the mud.  What seemed like a slow motion crash that took 30 seconds to play out, in reality took about a second and a half.  At first I was sliding one way, then I cranked on the bars and shifted my weight to the other side and gassed it.  This leads to severe overcorrection, so I do my best Mary Lou Retton impersonation of ... well okay, it probably looked closer to a wounded duck that had been shot while trying to fly off the motorcycle.  Just when it looked like I might actually save it, the bike pitched me hard, and as I am being slammed to ground, realize that ... I am still a slave to gravity.  As I am bouncing/sliding on the frozen turf and thinking that wasn't so bad, the bike is about half a second from hammering me into the ground like tent peg.  Okay, it's officially a good single track ride now ... I'm tired, cold, wet, late and hurting.  Did I mention I have a 300 pound motorcycle pinning me down on the ground.  It took a while but I crawled out from under it, made sure nothing was broke (me - not the bike), started my trusty steed and limped back to the truck.  Remember kids, don't try this at home, I'm a trained professional.


Anonymous said...

I always say that if you are going to be in pain anyway it might as well be self inflicted. I guess you could say that you earned this pain. Rubber side down buddy and heal soon.

tharr said...

Phil, you're right, self inflicted pain is different than pain you have no control over. No problem on the healing, just a couple of bruises once I got warmed back up.
I'm finally over my RA flare also. This one was a bad one. Glad it's behind me.

mary said...

Crazy Boy!!! Maybe riding alone isn't the best thing but I know.... hard to pass up any opportunity to ride.
Glad the flare is over.

Wren said...

Crazy boy, and lucky boy, too. I'm glad you weren't hurt, and that the RA didn't re-flare in retaliation afterward.

Take good care. May the days to come be gentle.

tharr said...

Mary and Wren, crazy? I resemble that remark! Haha I used to worry about crashing after I was first diagnosed. Then after the first hard crash I took, I knew everything was just fine and have never worried about a single track crash since. Now if I ever have a crash out on asphalt ... that'll be a different story.

RA Journeys said...

Wow! It's good to see that you continue to do the things you enjoyed before you got RA! My life has changed so much and I can no longer do so many of the things I used to be able to do...

Sorry you had a crash though! I hope you enjoyed the ride. I'm sure it was a lot of fun!

It was great to read your blog and keep having fun!!


tharr said...

Hey Michelle, good to see you. I made up my mind a long time ago that I was not going to let RA stand in the way of my riding. Some days I have to pass up rides because I know it would hurt me. Living with RA is a constant learning experience, you learn what you can and can't do on any given day based on how you feel at that time.
I know what you mean about having to give up things that we used to do. I'm usually a bit more tame than this particular day, but every once in a while I still feel up to a hard core trail ride.
Hope the new Actemra infusions work for you.