Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Exercising My Own Right to be Stupid

So I bought a new bicycle for myself a month or so ago.  This is not unusual.  I have owned and ridden too many bikes over the years to remember.  Owning a bike shop makes it easy.

This new bicycle is one of the latest hip mountain bike incarnations to be thought up in the design labs of the bike industry.  It is a Plus size mountain bike.  A 27.5 plus mountain bike.  It has fatter tires than traditional mountain bike sneaks.  There are many other differences, starting with the frame, but none as obvious as the tires.  What makes this bike so special is the phenomenal traction it has on the trail.  So far, I have failed it before it failed me.  It is indeed an awesome bike.  Fuji nailed it with this one.

But the bike is not why I am writing this post.  It is possibly related , but not the main thrust.

20 - 25 years ago when I was definitely nummer and dummer, I consistently pushed my off-road skill set past the sanity line.  One of our favorite lines was, "If you ain't bleedin, you ain't ridin hard enough".  As I was only gifted at birth with a normal range of athletic ability, when I began to ride mountain bikes, I began to crash on a regular basis.  While most were minor resulting in skunned knees, hips or shoulders, I did end up in the ER a few times.  A couple of concussions, a period of living with my first 8 vertebrae compacted, broken collar bone and stitches a couple of times.

After I broke my 5th helmet in less than 10 years, I decided that riding within my skill set was probably a good idea.  I had worn out any sympathy from my wife years ago and suddenly the dingers I was taking were taking twice as long to heal as they did when I was in my 30s.

I cranked it back a notch and began to come home relatively unscathed most rides.  Still had fun, and no dirty looks or sighs of disgust from my darling significant other.

That was roughly 1998 or so.  For closing in on 20 years, I have not stacked it hard enough to bring a doctor into my life.  No broken helmets anymore.

Enter my new bike.  The hot hip new steed that is currently one of the rages floating around the bike world.

My second or third ride, I stacked it hard, went over the bars and crushed my helmet on a rock.  Definitely rang my chime.  Lost some seconds or maybe a minute or so trying to remember what happened.  Went on self directed concussion protocol because I absolutely did not want my wife to find out.  Apparently, I was okay. I felt fine the next day after waking up 3 or 4 times in the middle of the night to check out my eyes.

The next week while trying to perform a tight turn I should not have, I crashed again.  This time my right forearm took it hard.  Immediate blood and ugly stuff drenched my gloves.  Dave had some duct tape and he taped it up so I could ride back to the shop.  From the hit I took, I knew it was probably stitches time.  I was right.  It took a total of 10 stitches to close me up - 3 in the deeper parts inside and 7 on the outside.

As I could not really hide this mishap from my wife, I decided to take the coward's way out and call her from the urgent care facility so I wouldn't have to face her evil glare.  Doing it over the phone did not help.  Her disgusted voice was even worse than the stare.

I blame the bike.  I blame the bike industry.  I blame anyone but myself.  If they had not invented such a fun bike to ride, I would not have been tempted to ride beyond my skill set like I used to.  But I will say that even though the bike is an evil ride, it is very much a fun evil ride and I will be riding the crap out of it as long as I am able.

So much for being older and wiser ................................

5 comments:

Tom Harper said...

There's plenty of blame to spread around in addition to the bike and the bike industry. Those bike trails should have been wider and smoother, the hills shouldn't be so steep, and sharp turns should be clearly marked with huge warning signs.

Nasreen Iqbal said...

Wow, that is brutal. You know this happens with some degree of regularity when you push and you push anyway?

Getting hurt isn't funny, but if getting hurt was something to joke about, I'd say you sound like you've taken one too many blows to the head.

I hope you have fun with your new bike, though. This was an entertaining read!

JACKIESUE said...

stay....the ....fuck...off the bike.

mohaverat said...

20 years from now (if you live that long!) all those places on your body that you have hurt will come back to bite you in the ass in your old age. Trust me on this. You might consider slowing down a wee bit! Just saying......

PipeTobacco said...

Mike, I hope you are recovering well! I always find a libation or two is helpful. Water is of course good, but more potent elixirs also help in recovery... Especially for a bruised ego. :)