Sunday, October 5, 2008


Regarding my previous post about mountain biking:
I take it all back.

I went out for an hour and a half or so this morning, and came back feeling like I stuck my legs into a Ferris wheel. Once again -- for the fourth time this year -- my shins are bloodied, bruised and distended and it pretty much hurts to walk.

If I were a bird and a mountain biker ...

I found two new trail sections that I'd ridden past before, but never on, in my wonderful but mostly-over-my-head neighborhood singletrack jungle near Lower Shaker Lake. One stretch was a rock-strewn downhill leading to a lot more very rocky downhill runs upstream from the Doan Brook dam.

I told myself to work on my descending a lot today -- drop the saddle to keep the weight back more readily, try to keep the paws off the brakes as much as possible. It was working pretty well, until I plunged down one rocky hill and realized near the bottom that it was going to dump me into a very small and very rocky clearing and I didn't know where the exit trail was. In other words, I was heading to the bottom with no idea where to go.

So I slowed down. Bad move, in hindsight: My front wheel hit something and just stopped, dead. I did not. Nor did the bike. I went over the bars and bashed my shins awful hard on things. Then the bike landed on top of me. Much cursing ensued.

Four weeks ago, or thereabouts, I borrowed that 10-year-old Trek 950 (or whatever it is) and its owner and I and a few other guys rode West Branch. I beat my shins into bloody, swollen pulps. Today I returned it. I'd come full circle. Any sadness over returning the bike is largely gone now, thanks to the pains in my leg.

As for that cursing: I'm still tempted to resume it here. But I won't, except in this secret code: F the MTB.

- JN

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