Bike Tattoo #2

Yesterday was a tough ride.  Uncharacteristic heat and humidity here in SoCal saw my Garmin register 100+ degrees but my buddy John and I decided to get in a loop at Aliso Park anyway.  After going up the always painful Meadows climb (1 mile @ 13.5% grade), where I saw my heart-rate pegged at 175 bpm, we took 5 minutes at the top to recover and plan how to shorten our ride.  We decided to head down Mentally Sensitive.  Yep – that’s what it’s called.  While it’s always been a very tricky technical descent (0.7 mile @ 21% grade), it’s even more mental after a dry summer – loose powder, rocks flaking off, with more 90 degree turns than skyscraper frame.  I was descending more cautiously than normal when I came to a section where I thought my front tire could………BLAM.   It could and did.

As I fly over the bars (OTB), I use all 0.08 seconds afforded to me mid-crash to take inventory of the softest place to land.  No – let’s steer clear of the left side with the exposed rocks.  Let’s also avoid going to far over to right and down the steep embankment.  OK – straight ahead into the loose powder.  Those who have crashed know the feeling.  Sprawled out, acceleration and movement over, I take stock of any odd pain or sensations.  The bike is on top of me and having been in this position before I begin to register a familiar feeling.  It’s been a couple years, but you only have to experience it once to diagnose the situation.  My calf is burning.

Sure enough, I feel the white incandescent heat of my rear disc rotor searing into my flesh. I reach back and flip the bike off me and slide down the hill, all my sweat (did I mention it was hot and humid?) lubricating the clay powder below me into what seemed like a muddy slip’n’slide.  After a minute, I’m able to stand, collect my bike, and wait to alert my buddy to walk this section.

So now I have my 2nd bike tattoo (or bike brand?) – one on both legs from both my mountain bikes.  Do I own my bikes or do my bikes own me?

My 2nd bike tattoo, day 2. Over the next couple of days, I’m sure the outline of the rotor will come in nicely.

Thermal imagery of the burn. Like I said…. it was white hot!

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