We've had a tough start to the summer season of mountain cycling in Boone.
I really love the guys I ride with. These dudes drop the hammer on the crank and ride hard and with authority. I aspire to be like them, but sometimes can't shoot the gap between my ability and their prowess.
I've been traveling the past several weeks and missed the local rides. Had a report two weeks ago that Chuck took a bad fall while riding a descent on the new Blood, Sweat and Gears loop. He's out for at least another month with collarbone, rib and pelvis injuries. Chuck is a stand-up, noble guy who has a great relationship with his wife. An excellent role model. I went to visit him this past Saturday to offer a bit of conversation to pass the time. That's what Chuck has for now...time.
Then another email hit the ride list-serve yesterday. Steve, one of our best riders and leaders, went down in a pace line crash on the Bistro ride this past Monday. He's out for the long count with a cracked pelvis and stitches in his head.
It's time to reflect on how I ride and with what effort. When I was in Florida, aggressive motorists were the only true enemy on the road. Now, the terrain is the formidable challenger. We climb hard and then come down fast. Reflexes can slow over the years and a slight twitch at the wrong moment can convert to lights out. And at 50+, injuries don't heal well, if at all.
No one of us can command other riders or tell them how to operate the bike. The brake levers are there, you apply pressure as needed. It's also known that if you ride scared or with lack of confidence, bad events are coming. Mountain cycling requires determination and power. I want to be smart about my future on two wheels. It's part of the package if I intend to live to ride another day.