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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Learning to Fly, White Oak WVMBA #6

My Juicy's were a little out of adjustment when I started the race and from there they just got worse. By the race's end they were really sketchy. Not that they didn't work, they stopped me real good, they just had this huge dead spot until you got them the whole way back to the bars, and then they grabbed like nobody's business.

Near the end of the race at that downhill section they were getting bad. I thought, 'self you don't have much in the way of brakes maybe you should take this one a little easy, just a hair more cautious perhaps?'. Bahhh do ever listen to that little voice. I couldn't help myself: fist this was a race, and second this down hill was fun! fun! fun!

I kind of remember it as a hump, like a table top but with a short approach and really steep long landing. I layed on my front brake before the launch but there was none, I don't know what happened for sure, after my front break didn't respond I may have tried to grab a really good handful while my bike was in the air, I was going too fast for this section and desperation set in, I was just thinking about nose diving into the bottom of this drop and really wanted to slow myself down. When I touched down I probably compressed most of my forks travel and then it was total ejection. My bike landed 20 feet off the right of the trail but nearly even to the spot I ejected, I mean how does that happen? I landed way up the trail, past the bottom where the trail started to rise again.

That is one strange feeling, the way the ground looks when it's coming up at your face, it sticks with you and it's not soon forgotten. I recall that feeling very distinctly, I was 15 and we were riding ten speeds up an old abandoned railroad bed. The bag I was carrying found it's way into the spokes and lodged between the fork and wheel. I believe it was actually the fishing real in the bag that stopped me so dead. It got really ugly after that. Helmets are good, they keep your head off the trail and give you something other than your face to skid on. Bad things happen when you use your face to brake across gnarley rail bed stone and cinders. What followed was about 2 1/2 hours of very intricate exacting surgery. Dr. Falcon if you ever find your face in a seriously bad way. He's awesome.

So I got up, checked all my parts, nothing major, took a few seconds to collect myself, retrieved my bike and went on my way. Where was that guy I passed near the top? Still no sign of him.

At the finish line a race official inquired how the leaves and mud ended up in my helmet. Plowing up the trails with my head does that count towards trail maintenance?

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