23 December 2011

An artifact of my ride

I was feeling pretty good yesterday morning when I awoke.  We were in Phoenix.  It was 50 degrees outside with overcast skies.  So, of course, I went on a bike ride.

Like all good rides in Phoenix, this one began with a 25 minute drive in the car to the trailhead... which i really just a huge parking lot filled with nice cars, wedged between a golf course and a subdivision.


Based on how my ride turned out, I think it's safe to conclude that my previously mentioned banged-uppedness might be just a bit more profound than I originally thought.  I've got a pretty good sense now that what I'd hoped was a bit of bruising and tenderness from a pole-grip to the ribs may, in fact, be something a bit more notable and less quick-to-heal.  Like a crack or a fracture... again.

I got about 4 miles and 1000 vertical feet and an uncomfortable number of dabs into my ride up South Mountain's National Trail (always one heck of a tough trail) yesterday when my rib began to hurt quite badly.  I had planned on only a slightly a longer ride, up to the towers and back, but instead, given my growing discomfort, elected to turn back at the 4.5 mile mark, just at the top of the saddle that begins the short descent into the Buena Vista parking lot.  So I ended up riding only about 9 miles.  But they were 9 tough miles, 9 painful miles, 9 miles where it would have been nice to bunny-hop or ride over or down this or that tricky-trap, but which became 9 miles of caution and wincing instead.

While I was out, I ran across a couple of dudes with a Go-Pro camera on a tripod at The Waterfall on National Trail, which, if the denizens of MTBR's Arizona forum are to be believed, is a place of deep and abiding lore on South Mountain.  'Tis a right of passage, so I've read many times, to ride down The Waterfall successfully.

Of course, I walked it yesterday.  Blamed the rib.

And because I've ridden it many times before, and for the first time more than 20 years ago, I think that's fair.

Of the two dudes I encountered at The Waterfall, I think the guy who made the film below tends to run a little hot. This is just my opinion. But I think he runs unnecessarily hot around the mouth, in that he speaks in a rather profane manner, and likewise hot as-in he seems to use way less of his brakes in certain situations (such as those featured in the video below) than I would, given the terrain.  I include his profane and somewhat sketchy video here because I walked right through his shot yesterday as I carried my bike up The Waterfall, and despite the fact that he edited out my nonetheless very stylish portage.

We'll call it an artifact of my ride nevertheless...

South Mountain 2011-12-22.


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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Ed Abbey