On Tuesday evening it was overcast and cold, but I was determined to get out on my bike. I had been going back and forth all day if it was a good idea or not, and just before dinner I had decided it was a good idea.
After the drive I arrived at the parking lot and looked out questioningly at the sky. Was it going to do nothing, or pour buckets on me? It could go either way. I hopped out of the car and started getting my gear on. I felt a drop. Uh Oh. It was only one and no more came but it was a little ominous.
After I got my bike off and my gear was all on I headed down the hill towards a warm up trail that I really like. I didn’t even get to the bottom before I realized I needed to put the jacket on that I had brought. The wind was cold with just my jersey on!
I headed towards the trail and jumped on it. So far so good. The ground was damp but not soaking, and the roots and rocks were not too slick. I quickly raced to the end of the trail and came back the way I came. It was nice that the weather was keeping the trails quiet, although I did see a few other riders in the area.
After the warm up I continued on to another familiar path. This is where things started getting a little dicey. It started to drizzle and mist, not full on rain, but there was moisture getting down to the ground. My tires started to slip around a bit, which isn’t surprising as they are not the best tread.
I came to a large dip in the trail, that on most days I can drop in to and climb the other side no problem. Today was not most days. If you look at the picture above there is a large rut right in the middle of the trail. It had gotten muddy and deep with the rain. I charged hard in to the dip and had my wheel slip in the rut.
The bike immediately went out of control. I flew over the bars and slammed hard in to the hill going up. My body had turned to the left and crushed my left elbow in to my rib cage.
I was immediately winded and a little shaken up. Luckily I had used my body and rolled so that I didn’t hit my head. I got up to assess the damage and was in pain almost immediately. Crashing in my 30’s is way worse than when I was a kid. I took the bike back to the lip of the hill and took a breather.
The bike had no damage that I could see, and I seemed relatively o.k. My chest hurt, but it didn’t hurt to breathe normally, so I didn’t think anything was broken. I decided to try to clear it, mostly because I was mad I didn’t do it the first time. The second try almost went just as bad, but I stopped myself from crashing in to the tress. That was enough of that!
I headed back to the trail and started going towards the rest of the park. I was in pain though. There was definitely something wrong. I didn’t want to end my ride yet so I pushed ahead.
After a few more trails going a lot slower than I normally would I had to turn around. I just couldn’t concentrate. It was getting hard to move my chest, which does a lot of the turning when you are riding. I was really disappointed.
Although I hurt myself I still had a good ride. It was calm and quiet in the park, which was a good change of pace. I did manage to get some good trails in, and can’t wait to go back.
It is now two days later and I still hurt. When it happened my left wrist felt fine, but the next day it was in quite a bit of pain. I am getting better though. The overall pain is decreasing and it is getting easier to move. Hopefully in a week I should be back to normal and pushing hard again.
It was fun to go riding in the rain. It was good to get the bike dirty, like a real mountain bike should be! I won’t be riding in the rain again though. The more I ride this bike the less confident I am about it. I don’t doubt my skills, but I do doubt if this bike can progress with me. I can’t wait to get a new bike, with much better tires.
Overall it was an o.k. ride today. There are things to improve on, and injuries to heal, but I can’t wait to get out there again.