8.28.2007

We Have Launch!

We got out for a good ride through lower Nisene Marks yesterday, withthe two dogs and later hooked up with a buddy and his dog too.

We also exploredsome tails that I'd never run before that were quite spectacular. Technical singletrack along the side of a hillwith sweeping dropoffs down to the creek below. Loads of fun and only partially sucky because I rammed a branch into my rear derailleur early on. It made my shifting a little wonky but workable.

After someloops and a good deal of sweating, we headed back out to the trailhead. Because we haven't gotten any rain in a few weeks, it was dusty and I was already parched. Distraction, tiredness and a root conspired to turn my ride into a short flight with an abrupt landing.

I was riding last in the group and had too much dust in my eyes so I couldn't see the root too well. And that was all she wrote, I went sailing over my bars which had suddenly turned sideways on me. My left shoulder and hip bore the brunt of the fall but I rolled through it and ended up back on my feet about five feet down the trail from where I started.

After a quick damage assessment, I straightened my bars out, tested my brakes and took off after my pals. Both bar end caps broke off so now I had two sharp holes pointing out front. My shoulder was abraded up a bit, my hip was purpling but I came through it pretty okay and happy as I've not wiped out in a good long while and figured I got off easy.

I'm fairly sore today but that was to be expected. A couple of Advil seems to do the trick. And I'll need to get some time fixing my bike back up again. But I'm looking forward to our next ride already!

[Update: I got forwarded a news blurb about a serious accident that took place in the same area we were riding, just a few hours later. Check it out.

Mountain biking couple fell 80 feet in Nisene Marks
A husband and wife were riding down the fire road on mountain bikes in the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park Monday toward nightfall when the woman lost control of her bicycle, left the road and went down a sheer vertical cliff about 80 feet to a creek, according to Capt. Greg Hansen of the Aptos/La Selva Fire Protection District.

The victims were flown to an out-of-county trauma center, but Hansen was not sure of their status. He was uncertain whether they were a local couple or from out of town.

The man thought he could slide down to reach the woman, but he ended up falling down the cliff as well, said Hansen.

The couple sustained major injuries, including a broken hip and dislocated or broken shoulder for the man, and broken ribs and a broken nose for the woman. Both had possible back fractures, said Hansen.

A state park employee was riding his bike by the scene, heard calls for help and rode to a phone to call for emergency services at 8 p.m., according to Hansen.

Fire crews, an off-duty park ranger and a civilian worked for four hours to retrieve the victims, using a rope system and baskets.
Very scary stuff. It sounds like they were unfamiliar with the area, it was getting dark and they didn't have lights. Still, I hope they are alright and live to ride another day. I'm not sure I know where this happened but there are plenty of places with 80 foot and more dropoffs. Its part of the beauty and fun of riding there. But it is also pretty dangerous in some places.]

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