Monday, August 14, 2006

Little Mill Creek

My head still hurts. Thursday, I was a spectator to Sandi taking the PowerAde Pinnacle Series in Crested Butte, as she rode her way to her third win in the series during the Super Circuit. While standing around, waiting to feed her each lap, I was enguaged in many conversations with various local riders, one of whom was the infamous 'Crazy' Dave Ochs, founder of the Crested Butte Classic. We got on the topic of crashes, and he was telling me of the two brutal falls he has taken this season, and it dawned on me, that I had yet to have a good crash this season. I have went down, but they were gentle, harmless affairs. In past seasons, especially early on when I first began riding, I dreaded the hard slam, thinking they were inevitable, and hoped that I would not be too seriously hurt.

Fast forward to Sunday. Hell bent on doing a loop out of Gunnison, I wnet out to ride Lille Mill Creek, a downhill that is known for being one of the toughest. The ride out was well worth the journey, with some great double track and forest service roads that were as rugged as they come. Gunnison lies at 7500' and you top out along the West Elk Wilderness at 11,239', at which point you come to a junction pointing you down the singletrack that is only 3 miles long. Umm, 3 miles for over 3500' of descending...

The descent started off loose, and tight, lots of tight bends and switchbacks, and quickly became very steep and riddled w/ huge rocks. But I was feeling it, pushing hard, and moving right along. The trail quickly detoriated into a full blown European World Cup downhill course, and I was dancing along on my Ti single speed hard tail, whiteknuckling my way down. Then it happened, that weightless feeling you get right before being ejected from your ride.

I went careening into the rockgarden, actually taking the fall fairly well, and then came my bike. I knew it was coming so I kept my feet up to proteck me as it bounced off me and into the woods. Not wanting to stiffen up from my fall, nor loose my nerve, I was quick to get up and going. With the mreminder of a sore hip, leg and shoulder, I tried to get right back in it. But self-preservation kicked in, and I dabbed a couple of times until a regained my rythm. As the rocks thinned out a little, my speed picked up, and I was fully back on top of my game. Rolling out onto the old railroad grade below, I truely began to feel my pains. I rolled home, opting for the road out vs a rolling double track and BLM road, which was a wise move after looking at the huge bruise on my hip, and shoulder.

Today I wokeup w/ a killer headache from my excitement the day before, another reminder of my big fall this season.

No comments: