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.
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.