Sunday, May 2, 2010

Massanutten Yeeha! (McGaheysville, VA) can I explain it?

Friday's practice was going perfectly. My tires were hooking up on every corner, I was feeling confident and fast. Each run was increasingly better than the last and I was really settling in well on the new bike.

On my fifth practice run I came screaming through the first rock garden and set my sights on sprinting out of the first "bump garden" - a field of small, but awkward and sporadically-placed rocks. As I'd done in previous runs, I started to mash the pedals in order to "ride the rear wheel" through this bumpy patch. Unfortunately my front wheel smacked a rock just as I rose the the front of the bike to apply power, which threw my weight forward and sent me flying over the bars.

Some people say "face first" to describe any over-the-bar fall, but this time I mean it. I landed "face first" in the rock garden and have the stitches to prove it. Oh yes, somehow I busted my face despite wearing a full-face helmet and goggles.

I was carried off of the trail and transported to the hospital where they cleaned up my face and stitched me up. Everyone there was amazingly helpful and one of the eye-witnesses to the crash rode to the base to find Rachel and tell her where to find me at Rockingham Memorial Hospital in Harrisonburg.

It was a rough way to start the season and I hope that it's my only BIG wreck of the year, much like the Snowshoe wreck of last summer.

In true idiot-fashion I claimed to feel "much, much better" the next morning. I still wanted that run, even if it was going to be slow. The rest of my body was sore from the fall. My right knee was swollen, my right hand had two jammed fingers, and the rest of my body had scrapes all over it. Still, I insisted that I'd take it easy and just try to make it down safely.

I carried a bag of ice on the lift in an attempt to loosen up my jammed fingers enough to grab the handlebar and brake lever and committed myself to a slow and cautious run. I made it to the bottom [eventually] and my time put me in the middle of the pack, 16th out of 30 riders in CAT2.

I found this photo on Sempertubby's Photobucket.

It seems that I was hardly the only person to go down, even if I was known as "that guy" for most of the weekend. I was topped on Saturday by the US phenom, Neko Mulally, who broke his wrist on that morning's practice run.