Yesterday the old mountain bike called from the garage and said, "Lets go out in the rain and mud and see what happens."
Well who am I to resist the call? Loaded up and off I go to some trails near the Home. At least the rain stopped but it's pretty gooey in the woods all the same. I've been on these trails before so I know where I'm going but it's been months since I was last here. The climb is always worth it.
The whole thing was mostly uneventful and I was taking some cell-phone pics as I went along. That's my favorite thing sometimes...just cruising the hills and looking around.
Speaking of looking around...I'm not exactly sure what this was but I was hoping whatever was chewing on it wasn't still hungry.
And this spot is one of my favorites. I've taken some great pics here before and once again, it didn't disappoint .
All was well until the descent back to home plate. I took a little-used side trail that at one time was a road of sorts. The usual assortment of down trees and mud was the order of the day until I got almost to the bottom...
Slick me decides to be all Red Bull and bunny-hop over a little gully across the trail. Good idea, poor execution. Missed the timing and planted the front wheel directly into the opposite bank of the ditch. This resulted in the most instantaneous stop I've ever experienced.
In less than an 'oh shit' period of time, the back wheel leaped over my head and I absorbed a fairly significant landing by planting my face in the mud. My helmet kept the impact from shoving my glasses into my eyeballs but the rest of me catapulting overhead gave my spine a crack that probably echoed off the hillsides.
This is not ideal because in that same short period of time between sudden stop and having grass and mud shoved up my nose, I remembered that there's no cell service in this area. And of course, nobody in the world knows where I am or when I might be due back. Note to self...
I wondered if I'd actually broken my fool neck and if I had, would the coyotes or bears find me first? Funny how much you can think about when the ground comes rushing up to meet you.
In that moment after impact, I mentally ran through the checklist to see if any parts were not answering orders to move. All the extremities seemed to be responding but why the hell does the world look all crooked? Oh, that's because your glasses are on your chin and you're actually upside down with grass hanging off your helmet mister.
Now it's time to wiggle out from under the bike and take stock. I very slowly managed to get oriented to the horizon and checked again for anything broken or leaking. Minor stuff mostly except that the vertebra in my neck feel like they're still embedded in the stream bank. I wonder how many are crushed and how long I'll be in traction...
But soon enough, the adrenaline rush fades and I manage to find my feet on the end of my legs right where I left them. Small moves...swab most of the mud off glasses, readjust crooked helmet, untangle sod and goop from handlebars and very gingerly saddle up. It's only a short coast the rest of the way down the hill to the truck. Good thing because I'm not sure I could ride very far.
Back at the trailhead, I had to carefully change back into my sneakers, peel off the soaked gloves and muddy helmet, load the bike and ease my sore self into the truck. It's always something.
You'd think I'd learn at my age that I'm not 25 anymore and this kind of stuff is probably pretty stupid...but how good is a story about tripping over your slippers? I've just gotta work on the bunny-hop...