Sunday, September 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Roger

From Tanasi101408

Laurie planned a secret birthday ride for her husband Roger this weekend. Here is a picture of the happy couple.

From Tanasi101408

I had a great time riding with them on Saturday. As always they took off like a gun from the parking lot and left a trail of broken riders in their wake. I did my best to make chase. About half way through the brush creek trail I lost sight of the rider in front of me. I turned around and there was also nobody behind me. With no one to observe my wimpyness I just downshifted and spun my legs in my own slow happy pace.

Eventually the fast people stopped and let the slow people catch up. When we took off again I tried again to stay with the rider ahead of me. I noticed every time we came to a turn I would fall further behind the rider in front of me. I would sprint like crazy to catch back on after each turn but turn after turn I would keep losing more ground. I tried my best to go faster through the turns. Nothing was working though. Either my front tire would wash out or I would just blow through the outside of the turn off the trail.

Eventually I found a couple people I could keep up with. They still pulled ahead of me in the turns, but I found if I sprinted hard coming out of the turn I could catch back up before I lost too much ground. Everything was going good and I was having a great time, and the next thing I know I am rolling across the ground.

Not really sure what happened. I think I took my hands off the grips to shift and when I went to grab the shifter my bars were no longer there. All I got was handful of air. Maybe I hit a rock or maybe I just lost my balance. When I grabbed air I knew I was going to hit the ground. I actually had time though to remember a conversation I had earlier in the week about the right way to fall.

A co-worker broke her leg jumping out a airplane last week. Her husband was telling us how they tried to teach them in their skydiving class to tuck and roll when they hit the ground and not extend their arms or legs to catch their fall. I have heard of many cyclists breaking their collarbone when they crash because they stick their hand out to try and break their fall.

Somehow all this information went through my brain in the millisecond I had between the time I grabbed a handful of air and the time I hit the ground. I immediately tucked and rolled and kept my hands tight against my body. I still banged my knee and forearm a little but nothing broke. Laurie was behind and said I looked pretty funny rolling across the ground.

The rest of the ride my legs were okay but I had some serious forearm pump. I was very wary of losing my grip on the bars again. My hand strength was fading. Buying a suspension fork crossed my mind many times. Luckily I made it back to the car.

We sang Happy Birthday to Roger and Laurie gave me a piece of homemade chocolate cake. I think this was the same recipe she gave a couple years ago that I used to make Amy her birthday cake. Laurie's cake was much better than mine, but she is a professional so I wasn't really surprised.

From Tanasi101408

Amy and I camped out that night at the thunder rock campground. The campground was really nice and our neighbors were much more polite then our last experience.

From Tanasi101408

From Tanasi101408

We rode Brush Creek again on Sunday. Amy rode 8.5 miles in less than 2 hours. Go Amy and I am so proud of you. She has really been improving lately, and I really appreciate all her hard work. She told me she thinks our weekly weeknight hill repeat rides have been a big help.

From Tanasi101408

From Tanasi101408

I practiced my turns all Sunday. I found if my put more weight on front tire my turns got marginally better. I tried to really push down hard towards the ground on my inside hand and put all my weight on outside foot to keep traction on both tires. I still blew a bunch of turns but I did better than Sunday. I will keep working on it.

From Tanasi101408

After our ride I went for a short run to give a Amy a chance to relax and unwind before our long drive home. My legs were really worked. I walked a bunch of the hills, but it felt good to be out there trying.

Thanks to Amy and all my friends for a fun weekend. Can't wait for the next one.

Here is Laurie's post and a sorba post and Robb's post about Saturday's ride.


Amy said...

What a great weekend! Brush Creek is definitely my favorite trail ever! I loved riding it.

Thunderrock Campground was really nice--it was good to finally get to stay there. Last year when we came to Tanasi, it was closed and we stayed at Tumbling Creek. That was a nice place too, but here we were a little closer to everything.

We talked about coming back sometime for a rafting and biking weekend!

I'm glad Roger was suprised with his Birthday Ride. It sounds like a good time was had by all, and even though I didn't ride with them, I definitely enjoyed the cake!

robb sutton said...

Great riding with you over the weekend! I don't know how you do all of those dh's at Tanasi on a rigid fork. My arms would be toast!