27 May 2010

About 12 years ago.

I had an expensive mountain bike and lots of time to play on it. I rode to work every day, I usually rode for around 4 hours every night. There were some Saturdays where I even rode trails for over 100km. I loved riding so much. Unfortunately things took a turn for the worse.

It was a dark and stormy night, in fact, it was a Friday the 13th. I had ridden my bike across town to visit with my family when the weather got a little stormy. Of course, if you have ridden mountain bikes before, you'll know that the wind is ALWAYS going in the opposite direction of the way you want to go. Since the storm had picked up quite a bit, I took a route home that I didn't know.

I was riding in the dark in an unfamiliar area by a strip mall to block out the wind when I cam e across a curb. Wow a curb, no big deal, but then I noticed it was actually a retaining wall. Now I knew that my bike could easily jump down that wal, but I didn't have the speed nor preparation to do so. I locked up the brakes and was sitting on my front tire, leaning half way over the wall when I realized I wasn't going to be able to halt my momentum.

I went over the handlebars, over the meter tall retaining wall and landed on the pavement below. Immediately I felt the pain in my elbows and quickly realized as I was getting up that my left elbow was not right. I was in shock, I went into the Denny's restaurant and asked to use their phone. I called my brother and he rescued me and my bike and took me to the hospital. I had shattered my radial head and after a few years of recovery, it still doesn't work properly.

Now to the relative point. I couldn't ride mountain bike anymore. The riding position just did not work for my elbow. I had to give up riding since the pain was greater than the enjoyment. Skip ten or so years and I still miss mountain biking. My dirt bike has a significantly different riding position and I can ride all day without any pain. Last night, I got a portion of my mountain biking back.

If you know me, you know that I don't smile that much. Last night I came home grinning ear to ear. I am so happy to have an opportunity to trail ride again. While it isn't exactly the same a mountain biking, it does give me the adrenaline rush that I used to enjoy daily. I can push myself at my own pace, and continually challenge myself both physically and mentally. I am on top of the world today, even if I can barely stand up or raise my arms.

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