It’s been awhile since the last ride of our Southwest American Mountain Bike trip and the present. If you know us personally there has been big big changes happening back in Minneapolis and a lot of that upheaval has factored into this prolonged time lapse. Currently we are transitioning our housing from the frigid North to the temperate Pacific Northwest region of the US and that leaves little time for more then the occasional Redditing. Thought the bigger reason for my lack of enthusiasm towards blog updates is because of how our winter MTB get-a-way ended in such an abrupt and painful fashion.
There are only so many times you can ride your bike without falling down. In my case Boulder City Nevada was the last time I would be able to mount a bicycle for quite a long while.
A unusually rainy day in the desert started at the bike shop in Boulder City where it was rumored that they run a shuttle up to the top of the Bootleg Canyon Trail System for a whopping $5USD a ride. After some normal bike shop talk and a few modifications to Brian’s Bronson we were convinced to go riding in the rain. The guys at the shop swore that when it was wet outside the trails were perfect. Whatever, we were there to ride and once the desert deluge had lightened up to more of a scattered shower I agreed to take the commute up the mountain. The shuttle was more like an old U-haul truck decked out with sweaty smelly sofas, soon to be splintered lawn furniture, and with a homemade bicycle trailer in tow. Perfect for dragging our lazy downhill dirty mountain biker butts around! Once at the top everyone unloads, grabs their bikes, suits up, helmet on, and picks a line. Being our first time out we picked the easiest line with a fair amount of intermediate riding. The added difficulty of the low hanging clouds and the slick wet rocks had me riding very cautiously most of the way down. Taking the time to jump off the bike, looking ahead at the up coming rocky obstacles, finding the go arounds, and even many times walking through the more slippery sections. Only after about 3/4 of the ride is above and behind my tires was when I actually started to enjoy the experience. The soaking downhill wasn’t exactly thrilling but I was finally starting to contemplate another trip up in the moving van for another go around. I’ll remind you and myself that this wasn’t a hugely complicated trail but riding on a surface that I wasn’t quite used to and doing it while it rained on me, it wasn’t exactly a pleasant stretch of path . So I find it ever more disheartening when finally I decide to let go of my inhibitions and just ride. That was the time when the world wants to smack me around for forgetting one thing. It really hurts when you fall down!
Towards the end of the ride not far from the Trail Head Parking is where I biffed it pretty good. A combination of going to fast, not reading the trail properly, and fighting off my scardy cat tendencies, somehow I managed to fall off a drop several feet deep. Upend over my handlebars and land shoulder first into a giant boulder on the side of the path kissing it as I fell. Thank goodness for my helmet or I might be missing some teeth along with my severely fractured shoulder. Saving you the gory details which sent shivers up the spines of many of the people who I recount this story for, I’ll just say I spent 4 days and 3 nights in the hospital, had emergency surgery, a wicked scar, and even now I’ve got months of Orthopedic and Physical Therapy appointments ahead of me. All of the doctors are pretty convinced that I’ll never really be back to normal after an accident of this magnitude.
What I tend to tell people now who ask me why I have my arm in a medical sling is that “I found a boulder in Boulder city.” Not that creative I know but it is simple to understand.
That accident kind put an end to my MTB for the near term future, unfortunately for Brian who got out unscathed and still itching for some riding. Even though I was pretty beat up after that ordeal it was decided that I could still do some geriatric vacationing with the help of Doctor prescribed medication and lot of pillows. Making it easier to continue on visiting Zion, Moab, and Arches National Parks. All very limiting to my new condition but at least Brian go to ride for a day in Moab before eventually making our way back home to Minneapolis.
So that is my excuse on taking so long write up a blog post and that typing is super hard one handed.