Saturday, September 02, 2006

Trust Your Instincts

Today I snuck out for what is likely the last ride I will have before my lovely wife has our second child. She is ready to pop. I arrived at the woodlot around 12:30pm and made my way to the top on the Devinci. On the way up I passed a few people making decent time to the top 'pushing' my bike most of the way. I was going to ride Platinum, but I decided on the way up that it would be best to ride that trail with others, just in case...... JUST IN CASE.

Once at the top of the power lines I geared up and rode Krazy Karpenter. It was the first time in a month that I had ridden the Ollie but the bike felt good. The first few drops and skinnies on the trail are always a good barometer for how a ride is going to progress and things felt good. A little further down the trail I was about to hit a small drop on the trail when BAM!!!, my front tire hit a rock, stopped me and I go flying over the bars. Huddled on the ground in the fetal position with my bike on top of me and my head down hill I think to myself, "What the heck just happened there?!". I have ridden this trail countless times and never an issue, but today I went flying. I should have trusted my instincts and mellowed out the ride from there.

Further down the trail I finally did a drop to tranny off a log ride that I have just never bothered doing in the past and all went well. I then linked up to the trail that goes to the Blood Donor trail head and walked up to the start. I then rode down the few switch back berms and above the first big gap/hip I decided I was going to hit it. So I entered the last turn with good speed, pedaled out of the corner (for some unknown reason in my head I was thinking...well I have my phone with me if something goes wrong and there is bound to be more riders today) and approached the lip of the jump. My instincts were telling me, "SKIP IT TODAY......RIDE ON". I should have trusted my instincts. I do not know why or how I ended up like I did in the air, but I nosed in on the landing REALLY hard. So hard that I washed out on the hip landing and went over the bars and superman landed the tranny. I had the speed, I had the distance, but my angle of attack on the landing was way off. You know your impact is hard when you lose your shoes on landing and I tie my shoes on tight with double knots!!!!! I checked my body and all was well on initial examination. I go to stand up to get my shoe and I cannot bend my left knee without excruciating pain. My knees had both seen very hard impacts on landing but my left knee was horribly swollen. At this point I was now figuring out how to get home under my own steam. Once I had my shoe back on I decided to check out the bike. When I landed on the nose of the bike I heard a ping.......Deemax wheel losing a spoke out the hub. Apart from the now slightly warped wheel my bike was good to go.

I boarded my limping steed with my left leg dangling off the side and coasted down the rest of Blood Donor and down Giant Killer then down the road to the car. At this point my left knee was throbbing and I was completely unable to bend my leg......not good. At the car I hopped around getting my bike on my car and then drove home, painfully shifting my 5 speed manual.

Fortunately left knee was not broken and there was no ligament or cartilage damage. My knee saw a massive impact on my lower quad and the joint and surrounding muscles and tissue are swollen and extremely sore. I consider myself very lucky as this crash could have been MUCH worse. I will likely be out for a few weeks. Next time I will trust my instincts.