The latter was the choice this past Wednesday evening. I met up with Erick and Jeremy and we began climbing. My legs were asleep and protesting every revolution for about 2/3 of the way up. Ugh, I was frustrated as I kept asking my quads for more and they kept giving me the middle finger.
Once on top we turned around and dodged hikers and fellow bikers coming up the trail. I felt good and had ridden this downhill many, many times. Finally, the trail opened up a bit and Erick and Jeremy took off. I pushed through some technical sections pretty hard as I railed down the hill. I was having fun chasing these boys and riding quicker, smoother lines. The extremely sharp, downhill switchbacks demanded a foot down to get around (ahhh, it will come), but I felt pretty good that they were only slightly in front of me. My chain came off and I stopped to put it back on right before the hardest obstacle on the trail. I had ridden it once before and cleared it, so I decided to give it a go this time. I didn't make it without throwing a foot down. Grrr!
I quickly came around a corner and over some small rocks in the middle of the trail. Clunk! I felt my bottom bracket hit one of the rocks and my bike immediately stopped. Ummm, unfortunately, I did not follow suit. Instead I became airborne, knowing some road rash was in my near future. I began to look for the best place to land and as I came down, hit full force on the right side of my lip on a small rock that seemingly came out of nowhere.
UGGGGHHHH! The rock split my upper lip and blood was going everywhere. I broke two teeth and dislodged a dental bridge I have had since I was 18. Just as quickly as I landed, I jumped up, grabbed my bike and untangled the chain that came off and wrapped around the branch of a nearby bush into which it fell. I swung my leg over the saddle and started riding down again. I honestly didn't feel much pain and the looks on Erick and Jeremy's face when they saw the blood gushing out of my face, sent me to the rear-view mirror of a nearby car when we came to a road crossing. Ha! The line of the day (and I am not sure who said it) was: "Uhhh, no don't look in the mirror."
When I or someone around me is significantly hurt or in an emergency situation, I go into ultracalm mode. There was nothing anyone could do, so I just rode the rest of the trail down to my car. I was a little shaken when I really got a good look at my bloody face, but tried to just breath deep and keep it together. I got some ice on it as soon as I could and when I got to the ER, I was actually laughing at myself and really just thankful it wasn't something really serious.
I looked pretty beat up when I left and knew I would be spending some love time with the dentist the next morning, but was still joking around with the doctor and nurses in the ER. Everything is relevant and I couldn't stop thinking how thankful I was that I wasn't in a coma with head trauma or something.
My teeth are all straight and pretty again.The skin-glue and the scrapes are not attractive at all, and neither is my fat lip, but I guess they provide good entertainment for the people in line at the grocery store. I love watching people's reactions!
Of all the places to launch through the air, I chose to do it at a very easy part. There are far more crash-likely places on Chimney Gulch, so I am not really sure why I caught the bottom bracket on the rock. I originally thought it was my chain coming off that did it, but as I replayed the scene in my mind afterwards I completely remember feeling the rock catch and thinking, "Uh oh, this is not going to feel good!" as I flew forward.
My friend Jen asked me if my mom ever told me not to chase boys. I had to laugh. Why yes, in fact, she did. Good advice to live by. But.....when it comes to mountain biking, that's all I really know. I can't find any girls who ride on a regular basis and chasing the boys makes me faster, tougher and hopefully.........smarter!
This morning, I rode from Morrison up Apex and down Chimney Gulch to put any fear to rest. I slowed a little to look for the rock that did me in, but my confidence is ok again and I am excited and nervous for Angel Fire tomorrow and Sunday.
The following pictures are carnage-ridden and a little intense. I am going to throw a random podium pic from a race in Fruita a month ago, just so my bloody face doesn't come up as the first picture on Facebook. Ummmmm, enjoy (I guess):
|Fun trail, broke a derailleur, look like I swallowed a bug here..blah, blah|
Ok, so on to the aforementioned carnage:
|In the paraphrased words of my buddy, Drew:|
"Your blood sacrifice to the trail Gods should suffice for quiet some time"
|I definitely was laughing at my latest blunder!|