My other brother, Paul, came down today to ride with Joe and I. Mat joined us and I made the acquaintance of an old friend, the Scott Spark. We started fast, partly my fault but also Paul’s. Paul headed off quick and I followed but then found myself leading with Paul right on my wheel. If he’d been further away I would have eased up so I blame him. Whatever we were riding too quick for the start of a ride. My other brother has turned into a right roadie. Every twist or turn or small gap causes him to slow – safety first. I can’t moan as in these situations the answer is to overtake. The only problem is that I’m not fast enough.
I was keen to show them how to corner and, if you read this, you’ll know that I’ve been practising. I have also predicted an “inevitable” accident. At Michelgrove I accelerated down the road planning on taking the right hand turn onto the bridlepath to Michelgrove Park full tilt. I knew the usually rutted track would be smooth and the dust would have settled after the light rain. I was set, flat out, visualising the sensation of dropping the bike right down with my weight over the front wheel when, Bang! I hit the ground. Maybe I’d touched the brakes. Who knows? I slid about 30 feet elbow and hip propping me up. I couldn’t get up and was close to vomiting. I rested a bit without feeling any better so I asked for a hand up and figured that riding would be the best thing for me. I started the climb which I would usually ride in the big ring but today I took advantage of the 32 x 36 available on 10 speed bikes. The more that I rode the better I felt.
We dropped into the hidden valley North of The Burgh and Paul punctured. Time for a rest and to watch a Red Kite soaring over us. Big bird! I haven’t seen one of those round here before. When I got back on the bike I could hardly pedal and the climb out was very steep. I decided to go back with Mat. The climbing got me feeling better so we headed of to Bignor to return through the Denture and the Whiteways Singletrack. It was a joy to see the grim on the faces of my brothers after some great trails.
I was beginning to hurt so opted for the easiest way back: the road climb through North Stoke to Springhead Hill, its about 5 km. I rode this gradually going harder and harder, maxing out at the top. I was second. When we headed off again I could hardly pedal. Had I bonked? I don’t know. I’d been in pain for over an hour and a half so couldn’t gauge the way my body was working. All I knew now was that everything hurt, I was freezing cold and all I wanted to do was to close my eyes. I tried, the relief was immediate buy so was the possibility of a crash. It is virtually downhill and easy all the way home here but today it was absolute torture. If we stopped I could hardly get back on the bike.
What can I say? I was due a crash, it was suitably impressive and entertaining and I successfully combined and road and mountain bike disaster into one. I have trashed a few garments but am glad that I’ve got my crash over off road rather than in a road race. Does it work that way or am I still likely to crash on the road bike? I hope not.
I’m watching the Giro now enjoying the feeling of having had a hard day too.
No ride to view, I forgot my Garmin.
Kit: Scott Spark, always a joy to ride, the balance is perfect. I had the suspension plush for the single track and for the first time ever used the lock out (front and rear) for the road climb and then any smooth ascents on the way home.
Chapeau chamois mentol cream. I slapped a load on my crotch but suffered so much that I can’t comment on how comfortable my nether regions were.