Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ridin' in my old stomping grounds.

Episode III, Revenge of the Park.

Last Sunday morning (well, I guess 2 Sundays ago, since I am a PROcrastinator. No, actually, like a fine wine, I wanted you to savor the last two posts, note their subtle nuances, their nose...yeah, that's it!) I headed for Colorado to see a Monday Night Football game, which I'll describe in my next post. I went down a day early to hang out with Bobki and get some riding in at Palmer Park in Colorado Springs.

Palmer Park is a saving grace of an otherwise psychotic city and is just one of the very, very few things I actually miss about living there. It is 20+ acre wild "park" smack dab in the middle of the city. It has over 20 miles of trails, with everything ranging from beginner singletrack to the toughest, technical singletrack. It is an oasis in a sea of shit.

Anyhow, I make it to the 'Springs to ride with Bobki around noon. We make our way over to PP and start riding some loops that I have ridden at least 100 times. At least.

We make our way around on a fairly fun ride, making a lot of technical stuff. Riding here felt familiar and comfortable, like an old pair of jeans. Felt great! As we're wrapping up our ride, we drop down Cheyenne trail, which is the trail we started our ride on. I am flying and feelin' great! Floating over stuff, jumping off of rock drops, railing corners, I was on my A game.

We make it to the bottom of the trail and I even make the hard 200+ degree off-camber switchback at the bottom. We stop and chat for about 10 seconds, then were off. I am following Bobki down a set of stairs/waterbars at a fairly good clip. Which is when everything went as sour as grandma's potato salad left out on a July day.

sssshhhh CLICK: Um, Houston? This is Apollo 13, we have a problem here. Trajectory is all wrong. Requesting ground assistance with our flight path.'s too late. Apollo out. sssshhhh CLICK.

At the bottom, my front wheel dropped into a hole of some sort and much like a medieval catapult, I went flying. My bike made a complete flip and continued on down the trail, much like a horse with its rider shot off. Bobki heard the commotion and was able to stop soon enough to see my bike, riderless, continuing on by itself.

I landed on my right side, smacking my head HARD. I sit up and inspect myself and helmet. Everything still moved and nothing hurt too bad. Upon inspection, I have a hand sized bruise and scrapes on each knee and I broke my helmet. SONOFABITCH. I loved that helmet. That is the 4th helmet I've broken (while on my head) and the second one Palmer Park has claimed. Coincidentally, I was with Bobki when I broke both of them. Hmmmm, I better take a closer look at that.

All in all, everything is fine. My knees are all healed up, I have a back up helmet and my bike came through unscathed. I guess it is good to get a crash or two out of the way once and a while. Shows you're riding hard and paying a flesh penalty to the Earth. I just don't want to break helmets anymore. I am tired of wiping that involuntary drool off of my keyboard every once and a while.

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