Sunday, June 26, 2011

Breaking in the new bike!

Last night I got a chance to take my bike out for a joyride.  Since Sarah said the river was so high that she had to ride through two feet of water on the bike path during her ride, I figured all of my favorite rides would be underwater except for the trail on top of the rims so I decided to give that one a try.  I started at 8pm so I didn't have much time but I figured I could finish the trail and be back on the streets before it got dark.

I trucked it up to the trail head, which is all up hill from my house.  That gave me a chance to play with the suspension.  I found that if I left the suspension fully open, the bike just floated but it also asborbed most of the energy from my downstrokes, not good for climbing, so I locked out the suspension until I reached the top of the rims.  I only opened the suspension about halfway because I'm still not used to all of the bouncing with the 4 inches of float.

On top the riding was easy and quick.  In fact, it was so quick that I had trouble staying on the single track in some areas and actually rolled right over a cactus but surprisingly my tires were unscathed.  I floated over the sandstone flats up top that usually kill my wrists.  I was even going to try one of the technical drops over a large rock but I was having a hard time adjusting to the disc brakes, suspension and pedals.  When I saw that the trail below had been washed out and there really wasn't any place to land, I decided to skip it.

Anyway, I had a blast on the trail and made it through before dark.  When I got to the bottom of Zimmerman Trail at Rimrock, I decided to call Mike and Marcia and go to there place to show off my new wheels.  As I was heading over, I noticed a single track trail about 30 feet off the road.  I figured this to be safer than the road so I hopped on over.

I quickly rode over to Mike and Marcia's place and showed off the new bike, chatted for awhile and then decided to head home before it got too dark.  I did borrow a headlight from Sarah's bike so I figured I'd be fine.  As I was leaving, I noticed my bike bag was open so I decided to take the single track back to Zimmerman Trail, where I had opened the bag, to look for anything I may have dropped.  Since the riding was relatively flat, I locked out the suspension so I could travel a little faster on the roads and single track.  I followed the trail all the way back to where I had jumped onto it but decided to continue on the trail the last several hundred yards to Zimmerman Trail.

It was getting dark and hard to see but I was almost back on the road.   All of the sudden there was a large stone in the path.  I quickly dodged it only to find another.  I dodged that one, hit the brakes and nailed the third rock.  The front tire stopped and I went over the handle bars, my feet still clipped into the pedals, causing the bike to follow.  Perfect Endo!  I landed hard on my face, shoulder and ankle.  I think I landed on the fourth rock, which I didn't see until I got off the ground.  I couldn't breathe and struggled to regain composure.  I got jacked up and was confused. I looked around and found railroad ties running the length of a white vinyl fence on one side of the trail and these large stone in the middle of the trail for the whole length of that fence.  Some jerk homeowner with some kind of bee in his bonnet had set up a trap for cyclist on the city easement behind his property.  What kind of lowlife scum bag would do that, and does he even have the right?

I was so confused and banged up that I had to sit down on the railroad tie and calm down.  I couldn't breathe very easily, had shooting pains running up my neck and wasn't sure what kind of damage I'd done to myself.  I called Sarah just to make sure I was still coherent and somewhere through the conversation, I was able to catch my breathe, regain composure, and determine that I could finish the ride.  Eventually I got back on the bike, and besides feeling sore, continued on until I hit downtown.  With the start/stops of the traffic lights, I could feel my muscles locking up on me.  I finally got home, picked the rocks out of my shoulder and realized how badly my ankle was hurt.  It had swollen up and I couldn't put pressure on it.  I think I must have gotten twisted went I went over or I hit it on the rock.

Anyway, not exactly the way I wanted to break in the new bike.  I also wonder if I would have rolled right over the stone if I had the suspension opened up.  Oops!

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