Friday, June 30, 2006

blunt trauma

Finally back on the bike after a much-too-long 2 day hiatus. Perhaps two days isn't huge but we inside of a week from the Pacific NW's summer solstice and it's time to *be* outside. Rolling past the accident scene I immediately worked out how the crash went down. It's wierd how I reacted when it occurred with a sense of urgency to get back on the bike. It's as if jumping on the bike quickly lessens the perceived significance of the crash. It must be, if I *can* get on the bike then it can't be too bad... right? The odd takaway from that is that *I* am your guy for any sort of outback adventure as I'll push through whatever crazy injuries and process them later.... but I digress.

It went down like this... cresting into the steep and soft sandy section, the front wheel gets stuck in the sand and I land squarely on the ragged prickly stump. I originally thought the stump was the obstacle and I was thusly confused why I didn't fly *over* it. So there it is then.

So here I sit and my arm is still inflated with blood from serious blunt trauma. The leg suffered seemingly similar damage but it's normal save a few scratches. What that tells me is there's some serious carnage going on under the skin. I'm so surpised by the severity of this mayhem. I suppose I hit pretty hard directly on that stump which, as I think about it, is really ugly {laugh}

It's the venue that's confusing. This is my *commute* so what am I doing incurring a mountain bike injury. The real backstory to all of this is not what happened here but what *didn't* happen during every other crash. I've blazed off trail. I've had my front tire disappear at speed along wide open velocity sections and I lost skin but nothing that actually hurt post bandage. There are a million stories like that. I can look at the various scars and recall their history. The one crash that I always think about when I think about the luck which pervades goes like this:

The classic Downieville CA downhill route. Riding the 3rd divide which is not the technical route but the "holy crahp I'm going super fast" route on wide-as-your-hand singletrack. So there I was at said velocity when a stick meets and arrests my front wheel's rotation. Generally front wheels don't skid, they more or less can't. Locking the front wheel = over the bars without hesitation. In this instance where my body position was loose and aft the front wheel skidded something like 10 feet before I was catapulted through the air. By the time I made contact with earth, I had made a 270 degree rotation, missing my front, head, and finally landing right on my back. Instead of the 1mm of protection I have on my front, my back sports a padded backpack full of fluffy clothes and a flexible bag of water that unintentionally protects the spine. So that was my landing mechanism. I was inches from a huge tree to my left and there I was in this softish spot taking inventory and testing each body component like a pilot's pre flight check. Even with this miracle of a landing I had a crazy yet painless internal bruise that started on my back and proceeded to leech forward through my abdomen before the greenish blue color faded. There was no better way to dissapate such energy and force better than exactly how it went down. LUCK

So while I'm certainly not beaming with joy as I nurse my throbbing arm, I am grateful that I've been so lucky for so long.

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