This past weekend Jared and I rode on our own. He rode the Santa Fe Century (tried to convince me to do it, but I was saving myself for the Elephant Rock) and I was riding solo.
Naturally, I’m fine doing things alone and riding my bike felt no different. I figured I’d be fine. It’d be grand, like. Just a bike ride, no big thang.
I figured I would do the same route Jared and I did last weekend, but I wanted to challenge myself and start from my house because I knew I’d have to go up some bitchin’ hills at the end of the ride. I figured, hey, I’m training for a Century Ride for Bob’s sake, I need to do things I don’t want to do.
I had the Bullet Coffee as well as the delicious starch drink Jared was kind enough to introduce me to.
I started pretty late (10:30ish), but I figured I would still be home late afternoon/early evening. I cranked my music as well as my legs and didn’t break until I made it to the crossroad of E-470 and Cherry Creek Trail. Even then, I only took about a ten minute break. I drank the rest of the starch drink and then pedaled along.
It’s funny, when I go with Jared, he yells at people, “ON YOUR LEFT!!” I’m always courteous about it, “Hi, I’m on your left. Thanks!” I’m always afraid the pedestrian can’t hear me and they’ll step in front of my bike. I’ve noticed a lot of people, taken off-guard, don’t really know their left from their right. I’ll politely raise my voice to let the people ahead know I’m on their left and then they’ll step to their left. For whatever reason, that happened a lot on this ride.
I was having absolutely no issues and remembered the entire trail. Hashtag living, amiright? The hills were fine and the downhills were awesome. I was flying. I was passing people, cruising right along. Ryan wanted to meet up and ride with me. I told him when I thought I would be in Denver, but accidentally went a lot faster than I imagined. I told him I would save him about 45 miles and bike up to Thornton alone and pick him up at REI on my way back – that way he would only have to bike around 25 miles or so. I knew the hills would kick his arse.
So, here I am, cruising along the Platte River, thinking this ain’t no thang. There’s a lady in a neon vest (it’s day time, so I’m not sure why she thought she had to wear it – better safe than sorry I imagine), riding really slow. I think to myself, “damn, I need to get the fuck around her.” I start pumping my legs, trying to keep my mouth closed as to not inhale the swarm of gnats, and pass her. I’m still cruising, going about 20 mph.
There’s a turn. A sharp turn. I’m hugging the edge, just hugging real hard. My bike starts to veer to the ledge and I don’t want to overcorrect and eat it. I try to ride it out, but instead Bullseye has other plans. It jumps the edge and I’m in the grass and rocks – the last place I want my tires to be. My first and only reaction was to jump it back on to the pavement. I assumed I had a mountain bike that could do just that. My Giant Avail is no giant, nor did it avail anything. Instead, it scraped the ledge and BOOM! “No, no, no, no, not the bike!” I think to myself. I fall hard. My knee and handle bar take most of the fall. I scrape along the pavement.
I immediately stand up and check my bike. No flats, no broken bits, just ripped tape and scratched handle. Oh, and a loose chain. I look down at my legs and my knee’s all banged up and a bit bloody. I really just hoped nothing went completely wrong with my bike. My knees are strong, they could have handled more. I start walking my bike over to the picnic table as a man on a bike rides by: “Hey, you okay?” “Yep, just fine. Thanks.”
I couldn’t really say, “Well, I guess, I hugged the curve a little too tight and ate shit.” I have an ego to protect, you know.
I got the chain back on, but I think I put it on the wrong …spoke? (I don’t know bike parts yet, I just ride them). I didn’t have tissues, so I had to sop up the blood with my gloves. Mmmm. Well, I had to get up to Thornton and then back in to Denver to meet Ryan, so I didn’t take much time to assess errrything.
I could tell people (or I was just insecure) were staring my bloody knee as I biked. I made it up to Thornton and then started making my way back, but the gears were all jacked up. I didn’t know what the deal was. Later, Ryan said I may have bent the derailleur. Totally plausible.
I finally met up with Ryan and found out he went arse over handlebars a few miles before we met up. We both took a break (about an hour break) at REI. I think I need a proper break. We had 25 miles left to go. Neither of us was really feeling it, but I’m too prideful, so I knew I had to finish it.
I warned Ryan about the hills. When we were passing the Bear Creek Park (or something to that effect) I regretted not parking there as we still had about 10 miles to go and the dreaded hills. When we started approaching the hill I shouted back to Ryan that this was one of the many hills we had to surpass to get back to mine. He said he was cursing my name the way up.
Another hill, more curses. I couldn’t believe how mediocre the hills felt. I was annihilating them, likaboss. We finally made it back to my house at 8pm. I was at 99.9 miles. Ryan told me to ride around in a circle to get to 100. So I did.