Monthly Archives: April 2017

Encounter with a Rock – The Rock Won

Western Rim Trail

After a great week road cycling in training for Ride the Rockies logging close to 200 miles, Eric and I took advantage of a beautiful, sunny  Monday to cross train with the mountain bikes on the Western Rim Trail near Rabbit Valley.

Feeling strong, confident and probably a little cocky (embarrassing but I am being honest) we started cycling the 4-wheel drive road towards the trailhead. Let than a mile out, I had two options for climbing a short section of the road – a sandy, rutted tire track, or a rock ledge. I’ve been climbing little ledges more and more frequently and this innocent-looking 6-inch ledge appeared to be the perfect place to challenge myself.

The reality is, this ledge stopped my dead in my tracks. But all that forward motion had to go somewhere. In slow motion I flew elegantly over my handlebars, arms out at my sides like a 747 just after take-off. I soared for what seemed like hours until I hard-landed with my right knee taking the brunt of the impact like a jetliner  hitting the runway on one back wheel.

At the time, the most pain I felt was the embarrassment of being on the ground. My knee  a felt little banged but my pride suffered the most damage. I carefully extricated myself, from the bike resting on my hamstring, dusted myself off and hopped back on.

Slick rock on the rim of the trail.

Several miles further down the road I realized my knee was really started to swell, so I used my favorite purple bandana to stabilize my knee and create compression to slow the swelling, and finished the 14 mile ride.

By the end of the day I could barely walk.

I waited several days and I finally got X-rays to confirm what I felt, that it was just a really bad bruise (“contusion” to quote the doctor.)

I’m feeling very thankful that the fall wasn’t worse. My awareness of the numbers of people who have had mountain biking accidents – just this week I’ve seen a broken arm and a broken femur – has  humbled me and made me more cautious.

In the meantime, I’ll be back on the road bike saddle today for some limited training.

 

Training for our Next Adventure – Ride the Rockies

The wind announced the lilacs long before we saw them.

Spring has sprung with bright blue skies, the scent of lilacs in the air, and just-right  temperatures of low to mid 70s. And if that’s not enough motivation to ride, then the winning of the lottery into the 32nd annual Ride the Rockies,  a 7 day, 433 mile with 32,337 feet in elevation is just the motivation we needed to get back on the saddle.

Adding some hills to our training.

Ride the Rockies  will be different for us for several reasons.

1.We won’t be schlepping our own gear on our bikes. And, because there is a 70 pound per person limit per bag, we don’t really have to think much about what we bring. We already know how to live with less than that.

2. This tour will Eric’s first time to cycle in the Rocky Mountains. I’m excited to share the majesty and beauty of my “home” state as well as the thrill of some long downhills, not to mention the challenge of the long uphills (without panniers – mind you.)

3. This distances and elevation will be our most challenging –  7 days of back-to-back, 70-100 mile days with long climbs each day. I have to admit that I’m  a little nervous. We were very comfortable with 50 miles or less per day on our touring bikes with tons of stops for food, pictures, naps, sight-seeing, etc. And, we didn’t have deadlines or defined destinations – if we didn’t want to push on, we didn’t have to. Ride the Rockies will push us to a different sort of limit.

Training officially began last weekend during gale force spring winds.

Saturday’s 65 mile round-trip ride from Fruita to Palisade included head winds, cross winds on the downhills, and one small gift of a tail wind on a steep uphill.

Sunday’s 40 mile ride from Palisade to Whitewater included winds in all directions but also the gift of a Front Range (Denver, Boulder, Colo. Springs, etc.) women’s cycling team who generously invited us to “hop on the train” and gave us the benefit of a draft until we couldn’t keep up any longer.

Happy to be on the bikes again.

By the way, this “supported tour” is a warm-up for our planned self-supported cycle tour of  Yellowstone and Grand Teton in July. Stay tuned…