Bikes, Buds, Birthdays & FREEDOM!!

I headed up to 7Springs last weekend to ride some sweet trails, celebrate two awesome friends birthdays (Three Cheers for Joanna and Jeff! I freaking love you guys!), as well as, our country’s independence.  Sweet combo, eh?  I know this.  What we thought was going to be a short list of birthday party buds for the Saturday afternoon group ride ended up being a 25+ group of awesome, laid back, life is good kind of mountain biking fanatics!   Yeah, this day and ride will meet epic proportions on multiple levels.  We start to single file into one of the newest 7S born trails titled the “Horse Poop Loop” (beautifully hand crafted by the one and only Jeff Wuerthele himself) due to its close proximity to the actual horse trails.  With such a large posse of bikes and components it did not take long to encounter our first mechanical of the day.  We all line up and pause while some on-trail maintenance occurs.  This continued throughout the ride.  Normally I always have my own agenda and all the stopping would bother me, but I’ve been so far removed from that whole training / racing scene I truly could not have cared less and was beyond thrilled just to be there and apart of the posse.  My only goal for the day was to be out there as long as possible and I did just that.  What a sweet and most perfect day for it too! .

After an undetermined amount of time and trail riding (I’ve been all anti-heart rate monitor and garmin these days) we reach a familiar intersection. Discussions on which way to go ensue and I decide I’m feeling good, I’ve ridden lots, I’m going to head back to the cabin on a good note.  Holy responsible!  Super proud of myself for that one.  We eventually all finished up our rides and headed to the Wuerthele estate for some good treats, eats and beverages.   We swap riding stories, jokes, ate, drank and were merry.  I just absolutely love chill moments like this, especially when Trainwreck is rocking out espresso shots with Oreo cookies.  YESSS!!  ZING!!  POW!!

  

Sunday rolls in and I had tentative plans for a little downhillin’ / gravity action, but after some thought I decided to keep things simple and cheaper and rock out another xc ride before I head back to the Burgh.  Joanna and Heidi are game, so I bag the DH plans (still jonesin to get out there now though) and we head out for the poop loop once again.  It’s such a great new trail!  On the easier side compared to other trails around the mountain.  I eventually take the lead.  Since I am now familiar with the trail I decide to pick up the pace and have a little fun.  I know a slight downgrade was approaching and it just felt so good to rock it out a little.  My fuse is soo short these days, but I have been craaaaving to raise my heart rate, get some lactic acid burnin’ and wake everything up again!!  Holy shit it feels so good!!  I feel alive!!  I feel fantabulous!!  I feel out of control when I hit a bump in the trail unexpectedly enough that it tosses my ass into the ground like Andre the Giant just picked me up and body slammed me.  I can’t recall the last time I had a crash like this and I was quickly reminded of a few things..

1. How bad crashing sucks and why I try not to do it. 

2.  That time does actually slow down in extreme moments like this.  That is so weird and cool at the same time.  Like scenes from the Matrix.

3.  How much you can actually think about when you are in between the actual start and finish line of the crash.  “Man, I hope my teeth don’t hit off THAT!” 

4.  No matter what your level of skill is the unexpected can/will occur from time to time a.k.a. Shit Happens!

5.  That mountain biking has made me a bad ass and if I didn’t have 7 years under my belt I undoubtedly would have cried.  I didnt.

6.  That I DEFINITELY should NOT have made fun of Heidi when she crashed on the same trail the day before.  Karma.  No doubt about it.  Who’s laughing now?

I sat up and both my thighs felt like I just had the world record indian burn across them.  Every nerve ending was straight jacked!  I sat there, breathing like I was in a lamas class, waiting for the heinous feeling to pass so we can proceed with the ride.  Whooaaa!  Yeah, it seriously hurt.  The pain subsided and I did a body check.  Literally patting my shoulders, arms, sides, outsides of the legs, shins, *patpatpatpatpat* Ok, no blood and nothing is dangling off of me.  Let’s get going.  I hop on, take a pedal stroke and I’m either crossed eyed or my bars are crooked.  Heidi helps me straighten them back out and now we go.  For real.  When we arrive at our first slight down grade, non-technical switch back of a turn it gave me butterflies.  Instantly I realize my mojo is soooo scattered back on the trail.  The pace no longer reaches attempted ludicrous speeds and we work our way back to the cabin at a much more chill pace and call it a day. 

Its been one week today and the bruising is still in full effect.  The largest boo boo on my left thigh is fading, but a solid lump remains deep under the skin.  I’m certain this will be with me the remainder of the summer.  Settled in like an unwelcomed Grizwold family member with no intentions of leaving any time soon.   At least the pain is minimal to non-existent and it just needs time to heal.  I’m grateful it wasnt any worse and even more grateful I didn’t go downhilling.  A sign that I need a little more time to be re-aquainted with the trails and realized how difficult this sport really is again.  My entire body was so sore on Monday and Tuesday I literally felt like I had the flu!!  The FLU people!!  Holy crap I’m weak, but I’m back on the bike and that’s all that matters right now.

Ps.. we got to see some bad ass fireworks too.  That rules.  Photos courtesy of Jon Pratt.  Thanks for sharing, Pratt!  Cheers! 🙂

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