So, some of you may know that this spring, I took up cycling. I actually charged into it pretty seriously, trying to average about 70-100 miles per week. It's been great fun, and I certainly feel better overall.
Of course, I also took up not just road biking, but mountain biking occasionally. You know, rough terrain, dangerous trails, rocks, roots, all that fun stuff.
You can probably tell where this is going.
Anyway, Saturday I went for a ride to F. Gilbert Hills State Forest in Foxboro, MA. It's a beautiful park, and I was meandering through it and stopped to look at a trail map. Another mountain biker came upon me and very nicely asked if I knew where I was going. When I responded that I did not, but wasn't too worried, he said, "Well, if you want, you can ride along with me. I know the park pretty well."
"How nice," I thought. "A fellow rider offering assistance!"
So I accepted his offer, and off we went. It took roughly 90 seconds for me to realize that this guy was WAY more advanced than me. WAY MORE. We took trails that was absolutely not ready for, super technical stuff, trails with six foot drops, crazy inclines, just ridiculous all around. I did my best to keep up - I may take a while, but I don't quit. I also dumped the bike a bunch of times. Mostly minor stuff, but two of them were absolutely epic. The first one happened right in front of him - I was flying down a hill, and my front tire got wedged between two rocks, resulting the the rear of the bike flying up into the air, pitching me headfirst into open space. I literally went ass-over-teakettle, and crashed into a tree, then a pile of rocks. The bike actually landed in front of me.
This is why we wear helmets, boys and girls.
My new friend sat on his bike, watching it happen. I staggered to my feet, helmet askew, bloody shins, and he grinned crazily, said "Wow!" and then headed back to the trail. I picked myself up, got back on the bike and took off after him. About 20 minutes later, and had a similar crash - I went flying, only this time the bike landed ON me. I eventually caught up to my "buddy," and he stopped, stared at my chest for a couple minutes and then said, amazed, "Is that... is that a tire track... on your chest?!?! I've never even heard of something like that!"
Sure enough, it was. Hey, if it was gonna happen to anyone, it was gonna happen to me. I have to admit, it was painful, brutal stuff... but I had a goddamn blast. I usually stay on the easier trails, but this was... fun. In it's own crazy, dangerous way.
Sunday I headed to out to slightly easier (translation: less dangerous) for more riding. A couple of minor crunches, but no amazing feats of crashing. I did, however, come upon some pretty stunning scenery:
Listening to: Alexi Murdoch - Dream About Flying