Starting the Year with a Bang

Posted on September 22nd, 2009

Tuesday morning, LBD and I did our usual Monday morning ride. We ride down Derech Avot, past Eretz Ayalim, and the real fun stuff starts near Gavna. It is a long technical descent down around the hills past Bat Ayin Bet. Then comes a hellish wonderfully challenging ride back to the top. For a few kilometers you are climbing steeply through a narrow valley that seems to go on forever. By the end, your heart beats through your jersey and your lungs are on fire. No matter how many times I have ridden it, I always question my sanity while doing the climb.

A better time to question sanity is actually on the downhill. At the beginning is a very steep paved 100 meter concrete descent. That gets your speed up. After that it’s a white knuckles — hold onto your bike and pray like it’s Yom Kippur — ride down a trail full of twists, turns, rocks and ditches.

My goal is always to keep up with LBD who is the club’s hands down specialist when it comes to technical descents flinging bike and rider off a cliff.

We were going on a very fast clip when I realized I was drifting off a bit to the left of the trail. I had lost concentration for a split second — a big “no-no” when riding fast down rocks. I tried to slow down a bit and leaned to my right to edge back to the center of the trail when…

For some reason I was lying on the ground looking up at the beautiful blue sky. My nice new Livestrong helmet had a big crack in it. Much as I am upset at losing the helmet, I am relieved my head doesn’t also have any cracks. By the way, anyone who rides trails without a helmet (and I see such riders all the time) does not really have brains worth protecting. But WEAR A HELMET ANYWAY BECAUSE OTHERWISE YOU WILL DIE (end of public service announcement.)

If you ride mountain bikes seriously, you also tend to crash seriously. It’s part of the package. It’s just not a very fun part. No one ever says “Hey guys, why don’t we meet tomorrow morning and fall off our bikes a few times.”

It’s especially not fun when you are out on a trail and will need to get home somehow. LBD — who had realized that something was amiss – had ridden back up the trail to find me taking a siesta on my back in the dirt.

I was quite pleased that I was able (after a rest) to get back on and ride to the road (not that I had any choice.) It actually put off the dreaded post-crash three part analysis:

  • What have I done to my body?
  • What have I done to my bike?
  • Will I be able to ride tomorrow?

We got home and after realizing that I couldn’t really walk, I called my personal volunteer physician and neighbor (only after Googling “did I break my hip?”) Now he came by and claimed that I had some sort of concussion and should take some time off from riding and other pursuits.

So I may skip tonight’s run and tomorrow’s ride. But you know, you are only young forty-two once and it is a shame to miss out on anything. So I fully intend to get back on the bike and ride Bat Ayin again.

I just need to get a new helmet first.

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  1. Bill Landau says:

    Glad to hear that you survived. Try not to kill yourself; if you do, I’ll never talk to you again….

  2. Rick says:

    Is this really another fall?
    How are you (really)?
    Wishing you a refuah shlamah.

    PS…How’s the new bike?

  3. yarden says:

    Bike is fine. I don’t think this fall will have lasting damage. Nothing broken or sprained or torn. Just road rash and abrasions. Will be riding in a few days.

  4. Brent Goldstein says:

    After years of mountain bike crashes, I STILL haven’t figured out what is worse following a crash: the physical pain caused by splaying my body against unforgiving (and sometimes sharp) inanimate objects OR the mental pain caused by the recognition that I am an idiot and will always be an idiot! I’m sure you can identify.

  5. elana miller says:

    Dear Yarden,
    I’m glad to hear you’re still ok and still an idiot. That’s what’s so loveable about you.

    Elana Miller

  6. Paul Goldstein says:

    B’H’ you’re ok. I’m not a biker, but I now know four people who had serious (putting you in that category) bike crashes; three of you survived, so it’s serious stuff.
    Have a meaningful fast.

  7. Mother Frankl says:

    Don’t you know Mothers are supposed to relax on Rosh Hashana-thanks for sharing your latest adventure. Can’t you take up knitting, but knowing you, you would stick the knitting needle in your ear!!!

  8. Bob Frankl says:


    There is little streak of nuttiness that runs in the Frankl family. This is just one one of the manifestations.

    Take care of yourself…They have nice three wheelers for old folks. See a lot of them in Florida. Try one out, maube you will like it.

    Hope every one else is well! L’Shana Tova.

    Dode Bob

  9. Chaim says:

    I know a great physiotherapist!

  10. Moshe Feldman says:


    Glad to hear that you’re basically OK. Will return to Israel on Tuesday, and hope to get back riding with you.

    Gmar chatima tova.

  11. Joel Sussman says:

    I don’t agree with mother Frankl. You would probably stick the knitting needle up your tuchas.

    Joel Sussman