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Author Topic: No more solo Sunday rides  (Read 1221 times)

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Offline catman

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No more solo Sunday rides
« on: September 22, 2008, 03:35:52 PM »
Took off for Alafia late one Sunday evening thinking I'd get a good hour work out and maybe have a little fun in the process. Things started off great because I didn't have to pay the gate fee and it looked like the ground was pretty well dried up from all the rain. I should have known something was wrong because after I got geared up and headed for the trail head I noticed a few car groups looking at me and commenting to each other. Of course being who I am I imagined they were just saying things like "Man, check out that guys bike" " that guy looks hardcore"  "Wonder if he's pro" etc.                                                                                                   Once I pasted the point of no return I realized they were looking at me because I forgot to put my darn helmet on! No big deal though, I'll just take it easy today and stay on the more moderate trails. Well that didn't last long. I was soon thinking of ways I could scrub some time off of the North Creek trail that seems to go on forever. I realized that I was always going super slow around the shelf/cliff edges so that would be my first challenge. I gained more than twice the speed I usually have and raced around the corner just about as fast as I could while trying not to drop off the side. Had just about made it to the safe zone when I glanced up to see a rather large dog trotting right towards me. I grabbed a handful of both brakes and stopped the bike just about six inches short of his snout (expletives under my breath). As I'm sort of teeter tottering off of the edge I hear "I'm so sorry" followed by "We're really sorry sir". This nice couple are standing there holding the leash and looking like they just about killed someone. I made some comment about the trails being for both of us but was actually pissed cause they were going the wrong way. Then I recalled the time I was doing 30 mph+ on a downhill in Fort Yargo GA. in the wrong direction (nobody told me they reverse the trail direction depending on which day of the week it is). Some guy twice my age held his own even thought my buddy at the bottom the the hill told him we were coming. He actually stayed on the trail which forced us at the last second to shoot off the trail into what I thought would be certain death by erosion streams. Lived to tell our wives the story at the camp fire that night.
   I guess that threw me off or something cause I didn't really recover that day. I made the first log crossing on the new extension but when I tried to make the 160 degree turn just after it I lost balance and got a face full of palmetto. Finished with North Creek and headed to Rock Garden. I did play it smart and skipped the super bad section that has the right turn of death (an alligator has been known to wait for victims at the bottom of this switchback turn, ask me how I know). I really don't know what's wrong with me because after this I took the rock garden extension and at the fork in the trail I ,of course, took the "Harder Trail" instead of clearly marked  "Easier not wearing a freaking helmet trail". Once again there is a gnarly log crossing and I was determined to make it this time, without a helmet, and despite the fact that I haven't EVER even gotten my rear wheel to the other side of it! First attempt = totally went over the handlebars and ended up laying in the ditch for a while. Second attempt = somewhat went over the handlebars and then got caught up in the bike and ended up in same ditch in an almost sexual position with the bike. This time I was REALLY pissed so I jumped up with bloody leg and all and marched right back to the take off area. I sat there for a while looking for a way to get past this. I won't go into the dialogue I had with myself cause it is even embarrassing for my standards. Third attempt = made it with ease!
   The rest of the trail ride went fairly well until......as I neared the parking lot at about 10 minutes till closing time my thoughts turned to whether or not a park ranger would be doing rounds and see that I didn't wear my helmet. I'm sure it would just be a warning but didn't want to take any chances. I raced down the sidewalk towards the parking lot and proceeded to hit the water from the drinking fountain that was all over the the ground. I slid on a short section of sidewalk and thankfully landed mostly in the grass. By the reaction of this 70+ year old hiker I'd say it was a pretty spectacular crash. He really looked like he was ready to call in a medivac.
   No more solo Sunday rides.
 
   
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Offline KRUNNCHERO

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Re: No more solo Sunday rides
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2008, 03:59:01 PM »
Hm....with the volume and overly exciting crashes I have....I would NEVER have left the parking lot without the helmet. Case in point why I no longer have a regular helmet, but a full face. So from one rider to another rider...it isn't the solo part (that is easy), it is the helmet part. Please wear one, we don't want a bloody, gooshy mess all over the trail. That in turn would cause a lot more legal problems, helmet enforcement, waivers, blah blah. Safety.....
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Offline Triple T

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Re: No more solo Sunday rides
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2008, 04:20:08 PM »
Glad to see that you can at least inject some humor into your post.  Might have been a bad thing to NOT turn around and go back to get your helmet.  It would probably suck for one of us to come up on a pile of grey matter laying on the trail.  But if BillT was riding that day, he could just let the zombies on his new helmet eat the brains.
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Offline catman

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Re: No more solo Sunday rides
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2008, 04:28:26 PM »
Big 10-4 on that. What was meant by solo is that if I had a buddy with me he would have said "hey idiot, put your helmet on". By the time I realized that it wasn't on my head it seemed like walking back the wrong way on the trail wasn't much of an option. The strange part is this would have been the second test ride for my new Giro Hex so not sure where my head was at that night. As for the rest of the story I'm just going to claim that being in and around extreme sports my whole life has made me a little lax on safety. I will certainly pay the price if I keep that kinda that crap up. Hope you enjoyed the story.
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Offline Redriderpro

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Re: No more solo Sunday rides
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2008, 05:10:43 PM »
Yup! I decided that same thing (well almost) about two years ago.

Of all places, late in the day near dark, motoring ( ok pedling fast, making moto sounds) thru Gator Bait.. came to a turn ( not used now, we go streight) that had two roots right in the middle of it and one just as you streighten out after the turn.

Prior to that day, I'd just lift the front tire thru the turn and carry it over the next root after the turn.
On that day, I sat the front tire down right on the second root, which thru me over the bars, and into a tree shoulder and head first.

As I lay there, trying to get my head right so I could stand up, I head one of those big old
Bull Gators in the swamp near there ( it was at the wet time of the year)... it occured to me that if I was unable to get up, the Gators would have eaten me by the time someone found me the next day or so.

So, if I ride alone ( Like I did most of Sunday at Alafia ) I tend to go slow in areas where I might bail off.

A helmet was used at all times in the above adventures.
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Offline chainslap

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Re: No more solo Sunday rides
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2008, 06:56:15 PM »
I believe you can borrow a helment from the ranger station if you realize you left yours @ home or have a new rider along who does not own one yet.

 

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