Tuesday, July 04, 2006

It's the Pits for me.

I felt pretty awful today so it's a good thing that Eric and Cory showed up and dragged me off of the couch for a ride. I had woken up early for work, not eaten, drank a beer after work, and all I really wanted to do is sleep. I was really hoping that no one would show and I could just go on sleeping.

Originally the plan was to ride at Seven Oaks, but the clay soil out there is notorious for slippery footing after rain. Plan B was a gravel ride, but that didn't sound too exciting so we compromised on a ride out to Peterson Pits. We pushed pretty hard going out and gave Eric a taste of gravel riding. None of us were really set up for gravel. Eric was on his single speed and Cory and I were on full suspension bikes.

Once we got out to the pits we previewed the Iowa Games race course. Much of the time we rode at speed, but after a while we mellowed out and just rode. My bike was acting as a stick magnet and as soon as I got one out of the derailleur another got caught. I think my shifting is a little off now, hopefully I can get it taken care of when my SRAM X-7 stuff shows. Horses had torn up the trail pretty badly and I'm not sure whether having suspension was a help or a hindrance. With all the little bumps it seemed like the suspension was always active and dragging me back. I think I would have been happier on a rigid bike using my legs and arms for suspension. Probably I need to get a rear shock with adjustable rebound, but I'm too cheap.

As we were headed south along the river I tried to hop over a log and crashed. My first thought was that I had fallen poorly and landed on my hands which is a mistake, a good way to break a wrist. Then, seeing that my wrist was okay, I checked my knee which had hit pretty hard, but it seemed okay. I got up and started riding again only to realize a little further down the trail that my right leg near the Achilles tendon was pretty scraped up. I stopped a bit further on and had a look at it. It was ugly. It looked like someone had taken a potato peeler to the back of my leg and ankle. There was a four inch "peel" of skin hanging off.

I don't usually carry a first aid kit with me while riding. I've never had an injury that I felt needed attention. I figure the injuries I'm really worried about are broken bones and there isn't really much I can do with a first aid kit for that. This is the first time I've wanted something. It wasn't a serious injury, but it looked bad and I wanted a bandage to cover it up. Pretty much all I could do was remove the flap of skin and keep riding.

After that we decided to head back home. It was a pretty short ride overall. A little under 3 hours, but it was good to get out and stretch the legs. It made me feel a lot better overall. The ankle injury isn't too bad. It just looks like someone painted a red stripe on the back of my leg.

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