Again…the hard way. Yesterday was hot again but cooling off with thunder storms leading in a cold front from the south heading north and radar showed all the action east of Richmond. It looked as though I could get in a ride downtown on the single speed and experience views of ominous skies as a back drop to the river as it flows past the city skyline. A short loop from the Carillon up the North Trail, a section of Butter Milk and a return back on North Trail would be quick, satisfying and motivating as I have not felt like doing anything other than work the last few hot days. On the return trip the rain caught up to me and I waited for a minute on the pedestrian bridge that crosses the river to see if it was just a passing band of showers. It became clear that this was going to last longer so I headed toward the car on North Trail and once wet and not going to get any wetter I rode with controlled gusto to keep up my core temperature and began to enjoy the experience. As I popped up at the Texas Beach trail head I thought it would be best to ride the short road section to the car but once again I ignored my better judgment and dropped into the last section of trail and down the Maymont Ramp. As soon as I started down the ramp it became clear I’d made a mistake as the rain soaked lumber became like an Olympic Luge and brakes became an unnecessary component and even in the way. As I grabbed for the handrail the handle bars caught said handrail and did a 180 over the top tube leaving a dent as the brake leaver passed over to the wrong side snapping it in the process.
Recovering from that I continued down the ramp and on toward the car and as I got to the last single track section not having a rear brake I was forced to use the front brake to shed speed as I approached. The lesson continued as the wet brake slipped then grabbed as I grabbed a bigger hand full of leaver sending me OTB (over the bars) and into a heap of bike, mud, rocks and blood, with an impacted to the shin. Angrier at my stupidity and trying to walk off the pain so I could get back on the bike and just get to the car to end this once awesome ride I once again remembered I have a great instinct when faced with life’s little decisions and 90% of the time if I ignore it something like this happens. I make it back to the car get home and shower up mostly to get over a little hyper thermal shock that had me shivering uncontrollably then a trip to the hospital for an evening of waiting my turn.
I love riding my Surly 1x1 and was pissed off big time that I’d permanently scarred it with this dent but now actually feel that it will remind me to trust my judgment and help me avoid learning things the hard way...again.
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