A Brief Return to the Mountain

My mountain bike buddy called me yesterday, he also called Tuesday, I think me also called Sunday.  I didn’t get to those phone calls on Sunday and Tuesday, but Thursday’s got to me.  I knew that if I wanted to stay in the loop I was going to have to ride, 3 strikes and I’m out.

I don’t like to mountain bike in the summer, especially early summer.  The Shawnee National Forest becomes jungle like, poison ivy grows everywhere, bugs swarms in giant.. swarms, its hot and its humid, but it was an evening ride and would only last about 3 hours plus it was a pretty cool evening. 

I spent the morning riding with Shauna, and I spent about an hour fixing the ice machine water line, I spent the rest of the day rearranging and working on my basement, I spent about 30 minutes doing a couple of things to my 29er to get it ready, its safe to say I had kept pretty busy yesterday. 

About the time I arrived at Palestine it began to rain, but it was short-lived.  It did have the effect of coating every surface with a slick coat of water, meaning traction wasn’t always there.  I had a nice time with the group riding and telling stories about my bike South Dakota trip, the pace was mild, and the forest looked amazing everything was covered in water and glistened since the sun came back out, I said we should be filming this for a magazine it was so beautiful.  I soon became drenched in sweat and water and found that beside the wet mud, rocks and sticks I was even having a hard time keeping my hands from sliding off my grips.   

On a downhill section about as far away from the car as I would get I waited for everyone else to go and went last down the hill.  Making a slight turn I found my front wheel instantly stopped and I was thrown forward.  Back in my old fat slug days I would have just sailed over the handlebars but now that I’m a bit stronger and less fat I was able to hang on.  It should have been the right thing to do to, if my front wheel still worked, but it would no longer roll.  My chest plowed into the bars and I crumpled to the ground with my bike.

My front wheel had come apart at the seams and jammed into the fork not allowing any rotation which had stopped me very fast.  Luckily all I had to show for the crash was a small bump on my shin.  Eventually my buddies came and found me and we all laughed at my misfortune.  There were some photos taken but I’ll probably never see them because the guy who took them doesn’t use the internet.  

In a stroke of good luck I was able to stand on the wheel and pull it back together.  Amazingly it went back almost perfectly straight, and if it hadn’t gone flat I would have carefully rode it back to the car.  Instead I was able to roll the bike and made the 3 mile walk in about an hour. 

One cool thing, my mountain biking buddy turned 50 yesterday and is going to celebrate by taking his bike and motorcycle on a big western tour.  That’s right, he’s going to mount his mountain bike to his motorcycle and go out west for a month of epic rides.  That’s pretty awesome!

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About Matt Gholson

Cycling, school teaching, husband.
This entry was posted in Mountain BIking, Rides, Stories, Weight Loss and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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