Monday, July 26

The Van with One Red Shoe 1/3 Tour: Pt 2.a

Wake up at some butt ugly time in the morning to make the four hour drive to Matt's place in Grand Junction.  Stop for a terribly sad convenient store microwave sausage and egg croissant.  Get there and have a forty five minute scramble to be ready for the shuttle up to the much-hyped Plunge to Palisade.... well, the Phase 1 seventeen mile lower segment anyways. Despite considering just about every possible solution to getting the geared bike back in one piece, it seemed that they all had at least one logistical snag making it near impossible.

I'd be plunging on the bike I've ridden the most since I got it in 2018. 

The first bit of trail is my jam.  We're up in the trees, the dirt is my favorite flavor of brown, the turns are twisting, the flowers are popping.  I feel 100% right riding my reliable single speed in the woods.  Life is good.

Matt knows about as much as anyone could about this trail.   He warns us about the sand.  He mentions the exposure... like lots of it... pretty much the last five or more miles of the day.

I'm extremely afraid of heights.

"Don't worry.  I know when I need to walk, and I'm a very good walker."

I stop and snap a quick picture of Bill Nye descending one of the first rock feature gnar gnar bits.

Hop back on my bike and make chase.  I'm in the zone...

And then as I hit a slight right hander at the bottom of a steep section, my front tire hits deep sand and plows right into a full stop.  I'm pitched over the bars headlong into a giant wall of rock.  It's all happening so quickly, but I'm seeing it in slow motion like in a Sherlock Holmes movie.

My chest is going to make first contact, but fortunately my right arm never got out of the way, so my forearm cushions that blow. 

Next, my shoulder augers into the solid rock and that's when I'm seeing stars and reconsidering every life decision I'd ever made.

Then my head finally makes contact with the rock and my motion immediately stops.

Somewhere in all that, I'd heard a loud crack. 

I can't breathe.  The wind is knocked out of me.  It's okay, I've been here before.  Walk it off...

Holy shit.  This sucks.  Moving hurts.  I can see that this vacation is probably over for me.  I'm already thinking about the future.  The birthday party ride next weekend.  The Shiver at the River the following week.  Breck Epic in less than a month.  Did I break something, and if I did, what?

First I need to catch up to Matt and Bill Nye.

I find them sitting in a some scrubby shade.  I let them know I went down "pretty hard" but I'd be "okay."  I meant "okay, I'll live and be able to get myself back to the van," not "okay, I'll be fine in a hot minute."

But I didn't say that.  I asked if anyone had some ibuprofen, despite the fact that just about two months ago I promised to put some in my fanny pack for just such an occasion.

Matt hands me a pill bottle and out drops two Tylenol, one ibuprofen, and one mystery pill. 

I take them all.

I inspect my helmet, and I'm happy.  There's a good size dent in it, so that loud crack I heard was probably just my helmet doing its job and not one of the many bones I was worried about.

Dust off my britches, hop on my bike, and then we all start heading down the final six or seven miles of trail.


TIM said...

A true cliff hanger, so to speak.

Anonymous said...

Glad your OK dick person