Sunday, February 18, 2007

First road rash of the year

I managed to earn my first road rash of the year today. And actually on the road. The weather has remained cold with occasional snow which means the back roads have been snow and/or ice covered for several weeks. I don't remember them being frozen for so long, the snow just hasn't melted off of them. But that could change next week.

But back to today's ride. I got out mid morning to get in a couple of hours on the SS after doing a 4 hour ride yesterday while grinding out some big gear intervals. I planned on taking it easy and checking out Bald Mountain South to see if the trails were rideable. I thought the snowmobiles should have it packed down but I got in to the trail all of about 50 feet before turning around and continuing down the road.

It started snowing fairly hard while I was out but then the clouds gave way to sunny skies but it was still only in the teens. I was enjoying the ride, being careful whenever I came to a downhill corner to avoid sliding. I would slip at times when going uphill and even when just cruising on the flats if I got into an off camber groove.

I was coasting down a grade leading to a stop sign when the next thing I knew I was sliding on my left side. I hit on my shoulder and hip and my head bounced off the ground. I got up quickly and brushed myself off, not really hurt but more surprised. It reminded me of my days road racing motorcycles, except no leathers or full face helmet. I do have a nice bruise on my shoulder and a little broken skin. I was only doing about 15 mph and hadn't touched my brakes. It looked like I had gotten into an icy stretch caused by cars hitting their brakes as they approached the stop sign.

So last week I fall trying to stand while going up a hill. This week I fall while riding down a hill. I'm afraid of what will happen next week.

In fact, next week the weather is supposed to start warming up which is both good and bad. it brings about a transition time when the roads start to get muddy during the day and freeze overnight. The trails may set up nice and firm though provided you get out on them early in the morning. I ratchet up the intensity a notch so it may be easier on most days to do the intervals on the trainer, and safer too.

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