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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