Saturday, September 26, 2009

Mountain Bike Mania

So lets see... it's been a decade since I've actually rode as a mountain-biker. In the nineties, I spent a lot of time up in Big Bear riding the trails. I rode the pro-course up then Skyline, then bouncy-bouncy around all the singletrack. Downhill Bob was the guy a rode with. Cool guy that I wish I could keep up with!

Anyway, at one time, it was a lot of fun. Then life happens, and I don't really have time to go up anymore. Actually sold my beautiful Bridgestone MB-2 that I bought new.

I get the hankerin' for a bike ride today, but unfortunately it's 100F outside by the time I get around to leaving. Normally I don't like taking my bike for a drive in order to go riding, but today I had to get somewhere that was cooler. Hmmmmm, what's the weather like in Angelus Oaks, 45 min away? 83F. I think I know how to spend the afternoon!

I have only been here a couple times in the past, but remembered where to park and mostly how to get to the trailhead. But then the trail forked. Oh what the hell, lets go down. Good choice! Miles of singletrack ahead. I mean just zoom-zoom rolling downhill, wide switchbacks, smooth and fun.


Then it happened. I got lazy and slacked off. All the downhill lulled me into forgeteting about shifters and pedaling! I came on an abrupt up hill right after the trail has a minor washed out section. BIG rock wall to the right, kind of steep rocky drop off to the left. And me two chainrings to the right of where I should be. Stalled out and flopped over to the left. BAM! Right onto the rocks below. Luckily my brain said "Relax and roll with it" which I was able to do successfully. A couple barrel rolls later, popped out of the pedals (not used to SPDs either, which contributed) and there I was looking at the pretty blue sky.

Anything broken? No, I think I can move everything. How do I get out of these rocks... and what is this pretty green plant with the three leaves I'm laying in. Yep, poison oak. Oh goody, my bottles and phone slid down even further into it.

So five-ten minutes later, I'm collected, and finding the parts to my cool Avocet linear measuring guage, and notice that my bar-end shifter is totally yanked out of the bars.


I'm guessing I was gripping it so hard trying to downshift when I fell that I yanked it out with my superior human strength. Hmmmm, I have tools, but that would mean stopping and fiddilng around with them. I guess I'll just wrap it around my brake cables and go.
crash yanked the shifter right outta' the bar end.  too lazy to fix trailside so wrapped it up and kept on keepin' on

The rest of the ride was wonderful and uneventful (but a lot of annoying gnats that caused it to suck just a bit). Long climb out of the valley along Middle Control Rd. but I enjoy that part as well. Lots of cuts and contusions on the legs and back. A huge charley-horse on my quad where I think the bike landed on me. Minimal dings to the bike, just some scratched paint on the top tube a bit and a new gash on the side of the saddle. I'll fix the shifter tomorrow (needed to re-wrap that side of the bars anyway).

Lessons learned: Don't zone out while riding singletrack! Mountainbiking is a blast!

knobie dof


Antoine said...

I think your SPDs were probably MOST of the problem.
Practice makes perfect.

cyclotourist said...

Definitely a contributing factor! The stall was where it all started, but if I could have put a foot down faster I might have caught myself. Luckily I can't wait to get back up there! Maybe next weekend I'll face my demons...

leaf slayer said...

David, please be more careful, you're going to damage the poison oak. Thank you.

cyclotourist said...

Please don't tell the Sierra Club.