Monday, July 11, 2011
Painful, Yet Fun, Summer Weekend!
Saturday Kevin and I drove over to the Kingdom Trails in East Burke, Vermont to mountain bike on their awesome trails. We have developed the habit of riding the same convoluted long loop each time we go. It works well for us. It is probably about 20 miles of hilly single track, challenging for me in a few spots, but mostly just fun! Saturday, the trails were in great condition. Many improvements have been made. Problem spots that we had noticed last time we were there had all been fixed with slight re-routes, new bridges, and ground work. They get a ton of riders there and this does cause some wear and tear on the trails. It takes work to keep them in good shape for fun riding! As Kevin noted, "it's nice to see our trail fees be put to good use."
After about 3 and a half hours of steady riding we were both starting to feel it in our legs a little, but we were getting to the end of our loop so this was OK. We end our loop with a wonderful downhill roller coaster ride down Kitchel, then have the long climb up Herb's back to where we park the truck. Kitchel is a machine made trail built for fast fun downhill riding. It has big swooping jumps at the top and tight banked curves at the bottom. Each jump and each curve causes the bike to accelerate even more, if I ride it right. I love this trail and usually surprise myself with how much speed I build and how much air I get on some of the jumps. Once over the initial approach, the trail becomes smooth dirt, with no obstacles to worry about. I started down first with Kevin giving me some room before following.
I flew over the first few jumps, feeling brave and confident and riding fast! This is the kind of stuff that makes me yell out little "whoop" noises here and there, whether I want to or not. I think it was on the third or fourth big jump that I messed up. I really felt like I was in complete control, but I wasn't ready for the unexpected. I landed the jump and as soon as both wheels were on the ground, I noticed a single, loose, cannon ball sized rock laying smack in the middle of the trail. Someone must have veered off course a little and kicked it onto the trail with their bike tire. I think I got my front wheel around it, but my back wheel went right up onto it. The rock rolled out, sending my bike off into the bushes to the right of the trail. I continued straight on down, landing on my left side in the middle of the trail. I knew Kevin was right behind me and there were another six riders right behind him. I couldn't move my left arm at all, but believe me, I crawled off that trail in a fraction of a second.
Kevin stopped, of course, and everyone else who rode by slowed down and asked if I was OK. The last rider through happened to be with the Trail Patrol. He stopped and waited to see if I was going to be OK. It took a few minutes (I thought my arm was broken at first,) but finally I announced, "I can ride out." Trail Patrol man was happy to hear this, I think. I may have fractured a rib or two and I have bruising and swelling and soreness in the shoulder and elbow, but considering how fast i was going and how hard I hit, it really isn't bad!
Sunday we went over to Bradbury and I ran (slowly and painfully) while Kevin mountain biked with me. It was nice to give Kevin a chance to ride the few difficult trails that I wouldn't want to ride if I was riding with him. I was pretty impressed watching him ride down the Boundary Trail. Two hikers stopped to express their disbelief that someone would actually ride a bike down that rough stuff. It looked like Kevin enjoyed himself! When we were almost done, I paused to get a good breath (my chest wasn't allowing me to breath very well.) I put my hand on my hips and drew a big painful breath in. Suddenly something shifted on the left side of my chest, I coughed up a huge amount of sputum, and my chest pain and breathing problems were cured!
We have been looking for a touring Kayak for me. I have a small stubby river kayak that tours over flat water like I'm paddling an inner tube. This is not compatible with Kevin's sleek fast touring kayak. So we went over to LLBeans and I painfully, but excitedly, climbed in and out of kayaks on the showroom floor. I picked out a beauty! I couldn't wait to get it in the water!!!
My left arm wasn't working too well, but we paddled around Stanley Pond at a leisurely pace with lots of rest breaks. I love my "Sweet B", named because of the neat little "B" someone scratched into the side of it before deciding to return it to LLBean (I presume). I can't wait until my arm is healed and I can do some serious paddlin' !!!
Oh, and I'll take this opportunity to show you how good our garden is growing...
I love the summer!