sore... good sore... a little hurt... but not too hurt

right now I am sore..

a good sore...
a little hurt...
not too hurt yet still hurt

for a bit there I thought I could be injured like medical attention hurt
gladly I am not
let me see if I can piece some of it together

I am not so hurt or sore that I can not type as I drink a beer and watch the Olympics

backtrack to yesterday...

the weather yesterday was unseasonably cool
when I left out for work lisa headed out with the boys to visit the grandparents in pittsburgh
which meant that I was free to do as I pleased when I got out of work
when I got out of work a few minutes early I did the sensible thing
I got in my car and got out to The Family Bike Shop in Crofton, Maryland to pickup my new bike
a Niner Rip 9

it was cool to hang out at the shop
too much money was changing hands for me to get the full clubhouse feel

as much as I wanted to kick it... Jonathan and Sarah had business to run
and I had to learn as much as Jonathan knew about this fancy bike before I left as the new owner of the
righteous machine
I could tell that it was a cool place
a much larger shop than I anticipated
stocked think with a wide variety of quality bikes
the selection of kids bikes had me browsing for my boys

in the shop area I saw some cool toys that must come out during the slow days of the slow months
the endo board was off over in the corner and the gymnastic rings were hanging from the ceiling
of course there were bikes everywhere
the shop was busy so I tried not to take up too much of shop owners jonathan and sarah's time
so after some small talk we talked bikes
with a handshake, a smile, and the swipe of the credit card I was out the door with what may well be the most beautiful bicycle I have ever owned

clearly the most expensive
definitely the most high tech

maybe the most awesome machine I have ever owned

said my goodbyes and left out with enough time to head over to Rosaryville for a one lap spin before the sun set
would have love to have Jonathan's wheel to chase
but he was just back from a long lunch with another new Niner owner
another satisfied Niner customer
easy for Jonathan to sell the bike that he also rides
that is what we call
belief in product

not familiar with Crofton I got some directions from Jonathan on how to get to Rosaryville
easy enough
straight down THREE then North on FOUR
as I pass the PG County Equestrian Center the daydream begins
I start to envision my leaving the stable with a new horse... a race horse

a breed of horse far different any horse I have ever known
my horses before this steed were closer to plow horses than this animal

I get to Rosaryville with an all cotton shirt and no gloves
I had padded shorts under my knickers
the helmet and shoes were packed for the ride around the parking lot

the dirt ride was a bit of a strong maybe
more than an after thought, but not a well thought out part of the seat of my pants agenda
in hindsight I should have brought riding tools/pump, along with appropriate riding gear, and appropriate preriding fuel

I went into it wrong
this is not the first time I have gone into it wrong
like a kid too excited by his new toy to read directions that he risks breaking things rather than figuring it right

shamefully I am an excited kid who is over enthused by a new toy

I got onto this horse with no real familiarity of this foreign breed

the parking lot was vacant
which meant I had the trails to myself

I entered the woods with the intention to take things slow
I thought it best that I grow familiar with this new unfamiliar ride

it is here that I drop the metaphor of the horse
if was not funny then... it is not that funny now
it was not a horse that bucked me
it was me riding recklessly
I had no business taking things at that speed on an unfamiliar bicycle

it is true
I got caught up in the moment
the bicycle lured me to try and get comfortable and acquainted fast
never did I get so bold as to try and live the fantasy that I am one of the subjects filmed in any of the films by The Collective
I have not even seen SEASONS
I was just doing things as I usually do them

this bike does not do things as I am use to doing them
only after it happened did I realize how dumb I had been
luckily it was on an open straight away
luckily it was wide open enough that I did not strike a tree

trying to get a groove I was out of the saddle hammering pretty good

without thinking I kept spinning as I passed a sparse section of roots that did not seem to be something to be concerned about

it all happened fast
only through guessing I tell you that my left pedal hit a root at the seven o'clock position
this lifted me and the bike off the ground
I was flying
the bicycle was flying
well... not exactly flying

moving through the air trying to push myself away from my bike before I touched down
not flying... moving as if I had just been thrown
still unable to free myself from the bike
then slamming in a tangled mess with the bike
slamming and sliding tangled in the bike
still trying to break free

off the ground and onto my feet
a quick scan of my body
face and helmet

got all my teeth
arms and shoulders
forearm hurts
shoulder feels weird... not dislocated
feeling a little sketched
yet confident that I am fine

confident that I am fine I move to my bike
when I left The Family Bike Shop in Clifton I pulled away with the same caution and care that I had left the hospital with each of my sons; Dean and Grant
here I am rushing to see if my bike is in tact

the handlbars are askew
neither tire is flat
the wheels spin and stop with a pull of the levers
the chain is still on the chain ring
without a tool on me I accept that I am going to have to ride with the handlebars twenty or thirty degrees out of place

I get back on the bike
roughly halfway around the nine mile loop I think about how far I am from the car
I think about how I almost got hurt... really hurt... dangerously hurt
hurt in a place where I would not be found until sometime the next morning
the adult in me scolded the child in me
then the stubborn athlete in me reminded me that I could still do this one lap in less than 50 minutes

back on the bike I start to get into a groove
trying to pretend that nothing has happened
as I approach a man made ramp I get out of the saddle and try to accelerate with a few spins of the crank
then my pedal kisses another root
nothing tragic
just a wake up call

I hit the ramp with the handlebars askew with stabilty and caution
no wave to the crowd
no table top for the kids
as I could not do either prior to this bike purchase
no reason for me to think these things are going to happen now

the second half of the ride gave me the time to think about what had happened
still unsure if I was hurt or not I cursed myself

several miles of riding with the crooked handlebars and I was comfortable with the set up
several miles of riding with a sore right side of my body and I was still unsure if I had injured myself

back at the car when I pulled off my sweat soaked all cotton t-shirt I felt good that raising my arm above my head was not an impossible for my right should
mobility was good
a glance at the reflection in the car window showed nothing except that I have been cheating on my diet
in the car I called Jonathan at The Family Bike Shop
gave him a short version of the crash
needed to tell someone that is was nothing in a convincing way so that I could believe it myself

a little shaken I drove home
by the time I was home I realized that I had just slammed hard
bruised but not broken
I knew this was so because I was already debating where I would be riding the next day

the morning came and I grabbed the pillow after waking at the standard family 7:30am
woke again at 9:20 wishing I could sleep more
my body seemed to have enough
so I made some coffee and walked the dog
with no real itinery I puttered around the house

by noon my bags were pack and my new Niner Rip9 was on the roof of the Element with nothing more done to it than the straightening of the handlebars

Gambril State Park aka the shed was a consideration
but the day prior at Rosaryville had me realizing that I need to get more familar with the bike
so Schaeffer Farms seemed like a good place for me to try and learn how to raise the front end of this very different breed of bicycle

in the parking lot at Schaeffer I run into Joe Fritsch
seeing Joe and his Rip9 was a good thing for me to see
there had been some question about what bicycle to buy
I had guessed around on manufacturer
when I settled in on Niner I was torn between the XC Race Jet9 or the slightly more heavy duty long travel Rip9
seeing Joe on his Rip9 made me feel good
we talked Niners... Joe gave me some good advice on the differences between the hardtail riding style and the squishy doublebanger riding style
we talked trails and pump course
then we drifted to swaps to shorter stems and glow in the dark paint
I never made mention of my mishap on the bike
but Joe told me the miles he logged before touching dirt on his new unfamiliar rig made me reflect on my ride the day prior as I approached the trails

I entered the woods a tad hesitant
maybe going humorously slow
I can be a person of extremes
all or none...
it is part of my nature

just as I am familiar with the trails and demands of Rosaryville I am familar with the trails of Schaeffer Farms
it is the unfamiliarity of the bike that worried me
so I tried to respect the situation more greatly than I had the day prior

the body felt good on the bike
the soreness was there
my battered and bruised right side did not effect my riding
I tried to keep things in check
it is not possible for me to get dialed into this unfamiliar machine in just a few afternoons
so I focused on the basics
tried to get a feel for the flow
this machine is about flow
the single speed is about hammering
I need to stop trying to hammer a bike that is meant to flow
I spent a little more than two hours at Schaeffer
a bit of that time was spent in the outer ring of the trails
the open fields were repeated

it was not so much a concious decision
yet it makes sense
it is a good idea for me to learn about the handling of this machine on open space rather than space with an assortment of variables

the bike felt good
there was some noise... but I think it was a rattling pedal
the only part on the bike that is not new

a little over two hours I returned to the parking lot
I was looping in the woods and felt the parking lot calling
the though of another half an hour or hour in the woods on this afternoon did not seem as sound as returning to the bike the next day

tomorrow morning I plan on swapping out the handlebars then heading out to Patapsco
not sure if I will have a riding partner
which is fine
because I think in many ways I may need to focus on just doing my thing

that is a whole lotta words
not sure if it makes sense
pretty sure sleep makes more sense then proof reading this
time to finish this beer and go to bed
a wonderful night of Olympics
Michael Phelps... amazing
the Men's 100 Meter... an amazing race

1 comment:

sean said...

congrats on the new bike. Can't wait to see Ramos capture you both.