Bad riding, good riding

Saturday I took an nice rare February clearish dryish trail ride. Our winter has not been fierce enough for full on fat bike conditions, but the mess of snow-ice-mud-standing water has made it not ready for the unfat. But yesterday it was overcast, fifty and blowing juniper pollen everywhere, but the trails were kind of clear and sort of dry. I finally had some time between a pile of proposals to go for a real ride. I grabbed a fast twentyniner and off I went. I felt pretty good, flipped up some trails and down some others. Got greedy and hit a nice longer descent that ended up being a bit too muddy and icy to continue. I turned around and set to a brisk out of the saddle climb, enjoying the feeling of a responsive bike under me and leaning into the climb a bit.

Next thing you know I caught a pedal on a trail side rock and went over the bars. On the way over I slammed my knee so hard on the stem that I thought I might vomit. I made the sort of heroic gurgling sound that ballads were once writ, and then walked it off for a minute and got back on the bike and kept riding, determined to keep the good sensations flowing despite the rapidly swelling knee.

I had a plan for the ride, I was a bit peaked and sore, but I decided to keep on with it and hit the technical bits that lead to home. I felt OK for a bit, cleaning a few difficult sections, blowing more than a few, but rolling on just the same. Until one little rock step up, where the front wheel got up there, but I did not quite get the english to get the rear wheel up, so I slid off the saddle crushing the back of the stem into my pelvis. Missing the good bits, but still knocking the wind out of me and eliciting more gurgling the ancients wrote tunes about. I rolled off the bike leaving it in the middle of the trail and sat on the side of the trail for something like 10 minutes, watching ravens fly by and clouds blow over town toward the Sangres while I considered my lot. It was not a great day for sitting aside the trail, but I have had worse and sat until I felt more of a need to be home than to continue with the sitting.

I got on the bike after a bit and rolled on the quick way home, bowing out of pretty much every tiny technical bit there was just to be sure there were no more grievous bruising and impacts. Got home, tossed the bike in the bike hole and took a shower and watched my knee swell up for the rest of the afternoon. Later that night, inadvertent bending and flexing jolted me out of sleep, as did sleeping on the deep bruise on my pelvis.

Sunday dawned cold and snowy and blowing, never quite getting above 25F. Desperate to get out of the house, I went for a quick burrito coffee mailbox run on the big dummy, but was underdressed and my knee was not quite feeling it. Did some chores and such and finally decided, right before dark, to see about finishing the ride I started yesterday. I bundled up, grabbed some lights, hopped on the nimble bike and headed out into an increasingly strong blowing snowstorm. I meant to do a quick 3 mile loop from the house, just to get the knee moving, but despite the cold and the snow covered rocks and the inability to see any of the ice in the shadows due to the fresh coverage, I had a great ride. Cleaning some stuff I rarely clean, completely failing on others. Coming off the bike sideways and watching it skitter on ice down to the bottom of a wash a few times, but no stem induced carnage.

I felt good enough to keep going and dropped down into the canyons on fresh snow over old crusty ice and snow as the light left the sky. My way shown by a couple of inadequate LED's and sense of smell. I cleaned the whole damn canyon loop, well, maybe a dab here or there, but no carnage, no bruising, no gurgling. I felt good. I had not eaten enough to go too much further, my water bottle was completely frozen, temp was dropping and it was getting hard to see due to blowing snow. I climbed hard out of the canyon and sprinted up the road to home. Tossed the bike into the bike hole and ate the heck out of some dinner.

I will sleep well tonight. There was a good ride, there was a bad ride. My knee still hurts, but it will hurt less tomorrow. Onward we roll.