Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I'm up, I'm up, .... I'm down

Last weekend I decided to get in my first real Mountain Bike ride of the season. I didn't really think much of it until I got ready and headed outside. It was super humid, it's only May and had no business being that humid. I can handle heat and I seem to actually ride better in the cold. But, humidity crushes me under. I sweat a ridiculous amount when I ride, It's actually quite disgusting. It's like a waterfall from my helmet. But anyway.

I get out to Loch Raven and start to gear up. I drop in at the church on Seminary Road as usual which starts with a quick little up. Nothing too bad, but I can already feel the humid air closing in on me. I know the farther I go in the worse it's going to be. I head in and take the single track that follows the waters edge. A little more technical with log piles and jumps, it's a fun ride. But as I go it's getting worse as I expected. I then head up towards mid ridge. This is the first real climb of the ride and normally it hits hard as I have to find my climbing legs but this time BAM! I must have left my climbing legs at home. It was horrible.

When I got to Mid I rode around in a little circle trying to catch my breathe. For some reason I have a hell of a time getting my breathe back when I come to a dead stop. It's like my lungs freak out and I feel like I can't get enough air to fill them. I ride in a little circle and I breath fine. ?? who knows .. after I recover I stop for a few and let a group of walkers pass me coming from the other direction. It's about this time I realize i've drained half my Camelback already! When it' hot and I'm sweating like a freak I need water and it appears I was sucking it down with reckless abandon. I'm not that far in yet and my water reserves were already getting low. Which for me is not a good thing, I have a tendency to lose it when I am water deprived ( another good story ). But I push on and hit the switchback back down to the water and cruise by Sam's grave. I start heading back up towards Mid again but after some more climbing I realize... I'm done. If I go any father I'm going to hit a lot of climbing that I'm not going to be able to make. So I did the only sensible thing, I got off the bike and sat on a log.

And there I sat trying to catch my breathe and trying not to have any ants run down my pants. They were all over the place, and they were HUGE.. after only a minute or so I had to get up. They were converging on me and I didn't like the looks they were giving me! So I'm sitting on my bike thinking about what I was going to do. I'm almost out of water, I'm out of shape and with the humidity I can barely breathe. Sadly I realized the only option and turned the bike around and decided it was going to be a flat riding day. I headed back towards the water and just road the flatish technical trails. I still got about a 2 hour ride in by the time I was done and was completely beat but still was ticked about not hitting the big climb up to Provident Road. But better to get the first ride under the belt then to blow myself up on the mountain and never be heard from again!

When I was out of water I started heading back. I took the single track out to the fireroad to make one last climb and then down the starting incline. It's a gnarly down, It's rutted and there are rocks of all sizes all the way down. By the end I usually feel I've earned it and bomb it as hard and as fast a I can. You easily clock high 20s going down it. And I'm not going to lie, it's a bit sketchy. You are flying down that hill and it would be so easy to catch a rut or hit a rock but it's a rush. So I'm flying down the hill, at the bottom it makes a hard left and shoots you up and out of the trail. I cook down the trail, feeling happy that I had made it out tired but in one piece and I guess that's what I did wrong. I was 20 feet from the road and feeling good until I got that uh oh feeling. First I was up and all was smooth sailing and then my back tire is washing out. It was one of those I'm up ..... I'm down slams. I had no idea I was going down until I was grinding my handlebars into the dirt. It was a hard fall, I was flying and didn't have the time to grab the brakes. I just went down. Slid about 10 feet and ended with a nice shoulder block to the ground. TAKE THAT DIRT MOUND!

I was so mad I just hopped up and started cussing. WTF ! I have never wrecked there. I looked all around but I didn't see anything that should have caused me to have laid it down. The bottom is all loose gravel type stuff and it had been raining a bunch the last week. The trails were all dry but the only thing I can figure is that the gravel was wet and a bit looser then normal. Legs bleeding, arm bleeding and my hip is uber sore. I'm not going to drop my pants right there and check it out but I know there's going to be ugliness there too. I look around and at least I didn't have any witnesses haha.. So I start to head back to the car. Was bad enough I had been thoroughly wiped by the hills but now the indignity of laying it down on something easy I've ridden over a hundred times. I guess it just wasn't my day.

And now my buddy BJ and I are lined up to go this Saturday. Oh boy ... Friday night I'm going to do an anti-humidity dance .. otherwise I'll be tying a rope onto the back of B's bike so he can pull me along!

PS. I broke my front derailure.. yay me!

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