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Trail trouble

Went out after church today on what I hoped would be a master competitor adventure. Took my Gary Fisher Cobia 29er to Sugar Mountain, where a good trail system was available.

Had the 29er prepped and ready.  New tube in the once-flat front tire (running 40 psi front and back), a freshly lubed chain, and 160 psi in the 80mm Rock Shox Toro front suspension.

So what started well went south pretty fast.  The trails at  Sugar Mountain are in and around the ski hill; "Easy Street" was a major climb that revved my heart rate within just a few hundred yards.  Most of the trails are utilized by young hotshoes who take the chair lift to the top, then banzai down.

I packed up and went over to a greenway riding area near Banner Elk, where I had ridden before.  Found some trail that had a skull and crossbones on the arrow.  I gave it a shot, fell when I couldn't get out of the clips, and hurt my right hand (arthritis in the thumb joint can't take the torque).

Saw a couple of "mature" guys my age come riding by and head into the woods.  I followed them in and came to a stream crossing, sharp lip out of the stream to another uphill over tree roots.  The riders were long gone and I was left to ponder the fact I no longer had the riding skill to clean that section.

Bottom line, I put my tail between my legs and went home.  Once home, I further emasculated myself by taking off the SPD pedals and putting my toe clip pedals back on.  Hard to ride like a champion when you have touring pedals on your 29er.

Adapting to getting old(er) isn't always easy or fun.  The boundaries created by tough terrain and mountain bikes is hard to accept.  No big advice from me on this day. Just digesting my limitations, as we all must do as the years tick by.


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You have to look closely (click and enlarge photo if needed), but when you do, check out the 5th metacarpal (bone furthest from thumb).

The diagonal break is symbolic of what happens when your mountain bike handlebars snap around 360 degrees, and those bars catch your hand against the bike frame during the rotation.

Well there you have it. I got up after my ride over the bars and knew something was wrong, but didn't want to admit it. Rode about three miles back to the car, then went a week with some ice and heat. Thought it was good, until I smacked the same bone on the bars during a road ride the following weekend.

Time to stop the charades and get to urgent care.

For the past three weeks, I have been in a formed splint that kept the pinkie and ring fingers immobilized in a hooked formation. Don't want those tendons to move across the bone. As the doc stated, it's a "forgiving" break, but nonetheless you don't want to give the bone any excuse to shift; that…