Monday, December 22, 2008
So there i was, balanced at the top of a 2 foot drop off, following a steep slider down from the tight singletrack through the woods. It was the first time i had ridden the fixed off road in anger and a couple of issues had plagued the ride so far. Firstly, the dreich. Fortunately i had a pair of pearl izumi gtx shoes on - winter boots lined with thinsulate, and wrapped in goretex. Toasty tootsies, despite the wet.
Secondly, having changed the chainring that morning, i had not considered whether this would change the chain line. Which, due to several dropped chains i had found it did. All that for 1-2mm. Ah well. Schoolboy error/live and learn.
So there i was.
The riding at mugdock is not epic. It is a small park area on the outskirts of glasgow. However, it is both close to my home, and the trails there are good. Woodsy, tight, slippery, rocky technical with grunts up and steeps down and enough exposure to keep you interested.
One of those sections runs down a fall line, the over a collapsed wall. Hence the 2 foot drop.
The learning curve i am on for riding fixed off road seems to be steep. Perhaps exponential. I came off the bike more today in 2 short hours than i have in the last 2 months of riding generally. Several of the falls hurt bad enough for me to question my reasoning and longevity. Still. I want to do this. Not least to boost tecnique, but also out of sheer bloody mindedness. It *is* fun, just in a grunt grrrr exhale BAM ouch sort of way.
So there i was.
On the edge. I knew my cranks would rotate and the pedal would hit the ground just as i tried to roll the edge. This would perhaps launch me sky ward. So, experimenting with new technique, i decided to hop the rear wheel up and counter rotate the cranks before taking the drop. This would leave my cranks enough room to rotate around the drop.
As i hopped, the front wheel started sliding forward over the edge. No way i could stop it, so i jumped over the front of the bike. The run out is short and has a number of rocks in the grass. These allowed me to use my shins to arrest my forward progress quite quickly. Somehow, i had caught the saddle behind me as i jumped, and dragged the bike with me. Good:- it missed the rocks. Bad:- it hit me.
Ouch. That hurt.
As blood oozed out of my leg, and after a quick check of my other limbs, i went off to find the other techy bits.