Ride the Puddles

Ride Journal: Ouch

Posted by bikezilla on January 2, 2011

This “ouch” thing seems to be a common theme in Ride Journal. Sweeeeeeeeeeeet!

After my snow ride I was pretty excited about another. But my legs were so beat up from that one that I needed a rest day, then there was work, then temps shot into the 50’s with a hard, ugly rain.

Leading us to today.

I had thought that the trail out at Argonne (Waterfall Glen) would be mostly clear due to run off and evaporation. As with most of my thinking, this notion went badly astray.

The drop from the 50’s to the 10’s over night must have come on pretty fast once it started. Because, there were areas of the trail completely covered in thick, uneven layers of ice. The rise of temperature back into the 20s did nothing to ease my passage through these ice fields.

For the first couple miles the ice was so patchy that it was no problem riding over it, though with my center-slick tires it was undoubtedly a stupid idea.

As stupidity tends to do, mine caught up with me.

My success with the patchy sections of ice emboldened me. So, when I came upon my first stretch of nearly unbroken ice, I didn’t even think about jumping on the rough, grassy, rutted shoulder.

I made the first 100 ft no prob. Then my tire slipped and I caught it easily. It slipped again. I caught it again. It slipped . . . WHAM!

That, my dear readers, is the sound of my head, helmetless because said helmet would not fit over my thermowhatever winter cap, bouncing off the ice like a tennis ball off a practice wall.

Thankfully, I didn’t land on my pretty face, because I think the bloody knot on the crown of my head is a lot more sexy azz than a mouthful of missing teeth would have been.

I’m not sure how it managed, but somehow that fookin’ trail slipped a hammer-wielding dwarf inside my skull before I managed to pick my wobbly azz up off the ground. That lil bastage spent most of the next 7 or so miles thumping an out of tune rhythm on the hinter parts of my brain.

I think he must have known when I was almost back to the car, because that was about when the thumping stopped and I can only assume he ran off through the woods like the chicken-hearted coward he is.

From about the 4 mile mark onward the trail was obviously conspiring against me. There was more trail covered in waves of sheet ice than not. Each stretch was longer and covered a wider section of the trail than the last, like a series of tests, or traps.

At first I escaped onto the uneven and partially snowy or icy shoulder. The shoulder became narrower, with steeper dropoffs, reducing from feet wide to just inches.

Finally, the shoulder disappeared and there was nothing but sheet ice side to side, stretched out for 100 yards, 200 yards and more in front of me, culverts and cliff-like dropoffs dominating the edges.

Even walking my bike I could hardly keep it from slipping and I have no idea how I managed to keep my own footing over the worst sections of ice.

I thought I heard the wind woofing past my ears. But, listening more closing, it was actually the mocking laughter of the trail, guffawing in time to the damnable dwarvin hammer blows inside my skull.

Around mile 8, just about the time the dwarf inside my skull made good his escape, the trail “eased”, showing me longer and wider stretches of bare trail, or where the trail was covered, again offering me the relative safety of the rough and gullied shoulder.

At about mile five I noticed the growing pain in my deeply chilled fingers and toes. The hot water I’d filled my hydration pack with helped to fight that off until now. But, the water, though protected by the outer layer of my clothing, no longer retained enough heat for its warming effects to be detectable.

With each mile the pain in my fingers and toes worsened, offering a sharp counterpoint to the dull, throbbing dwarven hammer blows in my head.

And then I was there, the final mile, the home stretch, and all pain seemed to float away. There was no suffering, only the victory that was now within reach, almost within site.

Warmth and joy flooded through me, vanguishing the Demon Trail, the steel fork of my bicycling driving through it’s greasy, black heart.

I entered the parking lot, battered and bloodied, but unbent and undefeated, a conquerer and a king.

Plus I have this really cool bump on my head I can tell people about.


2 Responses to “Ride Journal: Ouch”

  1. Nick said

    For a very intelligent man, it is extremely foolish to ride in the winter even with the best of cycling equipment. No helmet either? Nice way to get yourself killed. That wouldn’t be good because you would surely be missed. Stay on the trainer my friend from now on and while you are at it, how about more blogs where you answer those goofy questions. Quite enjoyable from one ex wife hater to another.

    • bikezilla said

      Hey, Nick


      Consider me chastised and my wicked ways altered . . . at least until next time.

      I haven’t had enough questions that I thought were worth answering to include them in an article or to make an article out of them, yet.

      As soon as I do I’ll get them up.

      Have a great year, fellow ex-wife hater!

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