OK, so tree isn't exactly a letter, but today's post is still sponsored by trees. I don't think trees get enough due, they provide shade, leaves to play in during the fall, lifesaving oxygen, and obstacles. Yes, obstacles. Of course the first rule of an obstacle is that you're supposed to avoid it. Hence, the name- Obstacle. Say it with me now...
Last night was another rendition of the taco ride. Yet, it wasn't exactly the taco ride as a group of us met and headed out early to make sure we had enough time to fully enjoy the awesome weather and our great trail system. Lou, Andy, Matt, and I headed out from the shop at 5. I was rolling on a new bike to test ride. Timing couldn't have been better as it gave me a chance to drop my battered front wheel off to have a new spoke put in, trued, and have the bearings cleaned and packed. The bearings were feeling a bit "crunchy" last time I checked.
As soon as we hit the trail, the race was on. Andy and Lou were attempting to drive each other into the dirt as Matt and I headed up the rear. We cruised at a pretty good clip through the woods and made it through unscathed. We stopped for a quick beer break provided by Matt in the form of MGD cans he was hauling on the pave trail above the exit to Denman's. The opening of the beer can must have been some type of signal as we were soon surrounded by a large group of additional riders. A few more minutes of shooting the breeze and it was time for a loop of Hillside and Rollercoaster. My climbing legs weren't quite with me, but I still made the best of it and enjoyed the workout.
Dusk was starting to settle in as we headed back for a reverse loop in Denman's. Lou, Matt, and Tom were in the lead as I worked on hanging on with them. We met a few more taco riders coming through Denmans forward so they turned back to follow us as well. Tom was gassed at this point so he let me by in attempt to close the gap that the other two opened up. I was railing the turns and hauling down the trail pretty good on the test steed. Definitely impressed thus far. Then came the moment.
Damn, now I was two for two. It wasn't a narrow gap or even a tricky part of the trail. I just hung my shoulder out too far and the tree leaned in just a bit. Trees don't move. They move you. I nailed my left shoulder on a small tree and blew off the bike to the right jamming my other arm and shoulder into the ground. I rolled around to assess my damages. Luckily no damage to the bike (whew) though the sudden stop did kill my little commuter headlight, my left shoulder definitely felt the impact along with the left hand, and the right shoulder was pretty jammed up feeling. Nothing to keep me from jumping back on so I waited for Tom (and his lights) to show back up and tooled the rest of the way back following him (and his light).
Back to the shop I rode before heading to Giff's to drown my pain with beer and tacos. I enjoyed some beers with the guys before heading off to Squirrel's to grab some parts for my costume. I hope to see the rest of you sometime this weekend either at Spooky Woods or the Dirty Du.