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Old Guys Don't Bounce

A great spring day after too much rain demanded that we head out for a ride. With the Sea Otter Classic coming up, Don and Anna wanted to head to Ft. Ord to dry run the course. After they promised to be kind to me, I joined them for a ride in nearly perfect weather.  What started as a great ride earned me a nice "staycation" from my bike and taught me that old guys don't bounce!

Distance: 14.9 miles Ascent: 2,217 feet Moving time: 2:13 hours

We started from our usual spot next to the Laguna Seca track and made our way to the trailhead. We headed out Lookout Ridge and up the steep hill before heading north on Trail 49. This is a nice single track descent through an oak forest. We were doing well and having fun zipping along the gentle curves. The trails were in generally good condition with a few rain ruts and sandy spots.

I came around an easy sweeping right turn and must have been just a little wide of center. My front tire bit into some soft sand and I was down in an instant. There was no time to think about if I would fall, how I should fall or see my life flash before my eyes. I was riding along having a great time and in an instant I was on the ground. Hard. It was like I landed on my whole right side at the same time. Thigh, hip, elbow (up against the ribs) and shoulder all hit at the same time, followed a few nanoseconds later by my head. Something popped - I though it was my shoulder and Don thought it was my helmet. In reality, it was probably both. Everything hurt but still seemed to move properly. After shaking things off for a moment and knocking the dirt off of my shirt and out of my helmet, we continued down to the next junction so we wouldn't get run over.

At the junction, I made a bit more detailed survey. My elbow was scraped, but not the usual scrape with blood, abraded skin and ooze. It was bright red (I was later informed that the appropriate color was 'vermilion') and ooze-free. Of course, it had a healthy coating of dirt so we did a quick trail-side cleaning with an antiseptic wipe. My shoulder joint was very sore. I seemed a bit shaky but it was manageable.

It was early in the ride, so we kept going. We crossed Eucalyptus Road and headed up Trail 50. It wasn't really that steep at the bottom, but suddenly the pain kicked in. My sore shoulder hurt as I pulled back on the handlebars. Landing on my elbow had probably bruised my ribs and I could feel it on every deep breathe. I kept going, crying on the inside.

We continued out Sandstone Ridge. We went past the turnoff to "the beach" as that isn't part of the course this year and kept going on Trail 22. Most of this was not too bad until the very end which was fairly steep and very deep sand. I wasn't going to push my luck anymore today and walked down the steep part. We took a bit of a break on Crescent Bluff until the next ascent on Trail 82. This started off OK, but soon it got steep and I was hurting all over. I pushed up the steepest parts. As I pedaled up the last steep part, my chain broke. It was definitely not my day. I pulled out my spare link (thank goodness!) and Don and Anna came back to see what happened. Don did the repair while I had a bar and a couple of Motrin (am I becoming the packet guy?). This seemed to help and we were soon on the way again.

We got out to Jack's Road, where Don and Anna did a quick detour on Lookout Ridge and Trail 49 while I did the direct and easy descent down Jack's Road. We regrouped and headed up Skyline Road, where Don and Anna took another course detour on Trail 43 and Three Sisters while I stayed on Skyline. We finished off the ride with the rest of Skyline Road, Trail 47 and across the bridge and back to the track and then the car.

I was still riding but the body still hurt. It was tough to lift anything with my right arm, so Don put the bike in the rack on top of the Mini for me. After a brief lunch break, we headed back.

The moral of all of this, lest we forget, is:

Old Guys Don't Bounce!
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