Rain, Rain go away, or how to hurt your pride.

25 Jan

Living in South Texas we only get about 33 inches of rain a year. The last few years have been a drought and we have had even less. Our average for December thru March is less than 2 inches a month. So if you call me a fair weather rider I would reply “and so?” With as little rain as we get and as many days of sun, I can afford to be a fair weather rider.
The exception is times like the last two weeks. Each opportunity I can make to go ride it has ended up raining. Cold drizzle mostly, just enough to make it sloppy. I don’t like to ride in the rain, mud and cold. It makes my bad knees hurt, when I get chilled to the bone.
Last Saturday was the exception. The day started out overcast and cool. It had rained overnight and was drizzly in the morning. By the afternoon the sun had shown and the temperature was running in the upper fifties. With the rain overnight we had concerns about trail conditions. Would the trails be muddy? Would they be slick? Would the trail be too fragile and be damaged?
We had talked before we went that we planned to ride our MtBikes on the paved pathway on the Leon Creek Greenbelt (LCG). We were thinking the pathway would be wet and covered with leaves. The pathway conditions were as we expected. The road bikes would have been risky to dangerous. No sooner had we gotten to the pathway (see “Welcome to Leon Creek Greenbelt” post) than Jonathan said “Let’s just check how wet the trails are!” We quickly found that even with the overnight rain the trails had held up well. That is just how quick we are willing to drop the pavement for the dirt. Oh we love our road bikes and I put a lot more miles on my road bike than my MtBike each year. When it is cool and damp spending some time on the MtBike out of the wind in the shelter of the trees comes as a good idea.
I road down the pathway to meet Jonathan at the Prue road bridge to start the ride. I started leading us down the under the cliff trail to O.P. Schable park. We followed the track up in to the park and on to the Small pavilion then round to the parking lot. We meet up with Kevin and Sean. Sean is new to our group and has just gotten a Giant 29er. Kevin, who is looking to get a new MtBike, lead us thru the wooded paths back down in to the LCG. After crossing the creek turned south on the east side trails heading toward Bandera road. I was bringing up the rear in last man position. We had only gone a mile or so, coming upon some hikers coming the other direction. They were a family of five or six. We were able to pass with only having to slow.
We were feeling good zipping along making good progress. You know the kind of ride. We weren’t setting any records but we were having fun. Then BANG I found myself lying on my side on the ground. Sometimes when you crash you see it coming. You go thru the air in slow motion. You see the ground coming and you think ‘I got to get unclipped and oh this is going to hurt’. You have time to see and to be aware of details. You know you have no control but none the less you know what is coming. This crash was not at all like that. It was so quick that one second I was riding and the next I was on the ground. Nothing in between to tell me what happened.
The ugly detail is I hooked a tree with the tip of my right handle bar. Only the last half inch or so was marked with a scuff and some bark. You know that tree didn’t even show a mark on it. I landed on my left hip on some roots and a rock. Yep that left a mark. I was bruised for a few days, but it was my pride mostly.
We stood around for a few minutes letting me clear my head and catch my breath. The other guys all said that I should lead. I think they wanted to see me crash again. I set out on an easy pace.

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One Response to “Rain, Rain go away, or how to hurt your pride.”

  1. Daniel Weise January 28, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

    Sorry to hear you crashed, but glad there was no major damage!

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