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?