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Riding the 29er

Had a big cycling weekend.  Benefit ride for Blowing Rock Foundation on Saturday...waiting for photo from group organizer before I post that report.

Today was the usual mountain bike ride after church, 17 miles on the Overmountain Trail and Shiner's Gap run. I was rather proud of myself mechanically; I'm not the best at working on equipment, but last night researched on the Internet and learned how to remove and clean the brake pads on my Avid BB5 units.  Also adjusted and reset the front caliper for proper clearance on the disc.  I also dialed back the rebound on my Rock Shox Tora 318's.

All that said, the bike felt the best it has to date.  Trails were muddy due to heavy rain so there was wheelspin and more resistance.  I felt on top of the ride, in control, more confident that usual off road, and the engine was strong.

I noted that my riding style leads to ample impact with the rocks and roots.  Since I don't ride fast, my wheels have a tendency to fall into each dip and crevice.  A faster rider skims the top of the surface.  But I'm at my limits, so I'll take the hits.

I'll take a quick aside here and thank my good friend Jimmy Clegg. He's been in my life since we met through training and motocross in the mid 1980's.  Jimmy is a class act all the way around, a good man I look to for advice.  Jimmy reminded me this week how much I have accomplished in the past year.  I moved to Boone, got settled in my new position as an assistance professor, found my way into the cycling community and at a later date, upgraded my living conditions by moving onto campus.

Sometimes I expect too much of myself.  The master competitor life is demanding. But today, on that trail, I was feeling the results of the rides, the runs, and a restricted diet.  All the cylinders were firing and I have stepped up to the demands of the terrain around me.


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Rode my mountain bike Sunday after church. Don't know what I hit but I went…


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…