My team had a loooong training ride yesterday. I wasn't actually sure I was up for it, but I thought I'd take a stab at it, as I knew I could limp home. I needed the climbing, and this ride consisted of over 7000 ft. climbing over 95 miles or so.
I didn't end up doing more than 50 or 60...but I can think of easier ways to get out of it than the way I attempted it! For those of you who can't stand the suspense, I sustained a high speed (~40mph) downhill crash and lived to talk about it! And better yet, I'm getting ready to go ride this morning!
The ride started well enough. I was having a nice time, and feeling good. I knew I was going to get dropped on the climbs, as my month off of outside riding really took it out of my climbing. But my endurance is still ok, so I can plug along, just putting out seriously less power than the guys. So I did finally make it to the top of the first 2 big climbs, and was looking forward to bombing down the descent on the back side going towards lake Casitas. Its a fun descent, and I enjoy it. I did it once last weekend, but don't get out there during the week. So I was looking forward to it. However, the road is kind of rutted. Also, previously I had gotten a flat front tire, and it wasn't inflated to quite full pressure. I was on someone's wheel, and having a fun time when my tire got into one of those ruts. It caused enough bobble that I couldn't rebalance, lost the front of the bike and slid out. The guy right behind me said he saw a small bobble and then the crash. In a split second, I found myself sliding and sliding and sliding, for what seemed like a long time but probably wasn't. I did slide a LONG way, however. I was pretty sure I was ok, but quite scared to look at the potential road rash..I got up right away so that people wouldn't freak out any more than seeing something like that happen does to you anyway. By that time, the people behind me had all stopped. Everyone was really good...asking me questions, making sure my head was working properly (it was). And surprisingly enough, I wasn't really hurt at all! I mean, my bike clothes were pretty much a complete loss, but everything else was just fine! There really is something to be said for the sliding crash vs. the impact crash... I actually considered continuing on the ride, but was talked out of that pretty quickly. However, someone had planned to turn around near that point anyway, so he offered to ride back to town with me (about 30 miles). I was feeling fine, so on the bike I hopped and rode home. It was a nice day, and aside from the fact that I was a bit indecent, with a good portion of my shorts missing...it wasn't even that bad.
Anyway...I do have some road rash, but even that is minimized due to the fact it was 39 degrees when I left home this morning! That meant I was wearing many layers of clothing. The leg/hip took it the worst since there was only one layer there, but on top, a vest and 2 jerseys were pretty much shredded, but my wool base layer is fully intact and there is not a mark (not even a bruise..) on my upper body! It is rather amazing (considering right after the wreck someone who saw the wreck said to me "wow, I was sure you were a goner" and someone else said "I was sure that was a 911 crash."
Needless to say, I won't be complaining about cold weather riding for awhile now...
And it was a freak thing, and I'm still not scared of going downhill...I enjoyed all my descents on the way home :-). And nearly 24 hours later, I'm not really stiff or sore, and getting ready to go out for a ride this morning.
So I'm beginning to think I"m a cat with multiple lives. I'm going to try not to test that theory any time soon, though! Wheel side down...wheel side down....wheel side down...