For the Friday ride, I vowed that I ride clean and easy with no falls. I did just that, and it felt terrible. Perfectly terrible. For the first time, whenever I saw Kenny or Cori* try a move that I could possibly pull off, I stood back and watched.
* Not a typo. His name is Cori, not Cory. Cori is short for Coriantumr, who is a character in The Book of Mormon.
It hurt to ride that way. Outwardly, I probably looked calm to the other guys. Inwardly, I felt like I was putting my hands on my hips and exclaiming in a squeaky voice, "Oh my goodness! I do NOT want to try a move like THAT, or might might FALL and get HURT!" Or maybe my inner voice was more like Marvin the Martian's: "This ride makes me so very very terrified."
On Saturday, I battled for a few hours just to keep up with my friends on a smooth, flowing downhill section from the top of Gemini Bridges down to the start of Gold Bar Rim.
Once we got on Gold Bar, I decided to stop riding like a sissy and go back to riding like an idiot. I made a couple of nice moves that had given me problems in the past few years, including this one, where you ride up a scramble, turn left and plow over some rocks, make a hard left turn, and ride along a narrow pucker ledge with a 6-foot drop to the left.
For one downhill drop, a combination of boldness and fear fatigue got the best of me. I planted my front tire at the bottom and crashed hard. It wasn't really an endo because with an endo, you go over your handlebars. I went through my handlebars.
For about 15 seconds, I wasn't sure how injured I was. Based on the level of pain, I seriously considered the possibility that I had broken my femur. That's a helicopter ride. I was finally able to move my leg. Whew. No injury. I finished the ride with some difficulty, and I even did most of the Sunday ride before the pain and fatigue got the best of me and I broke off early.
Fast forward 10 days later. I had been riding my bike gently to work, but my thigh was purple, swollen, and numb. I limped to a karate and couldn't wait for the class to be over. That's it, I decided. No more exercise until my injury heals.
Fast forward 4 days later, with no exercise in four days. I was sad. Depressed. Blue. Gloomy. Disconsolate. All I wanted to do was sleep. That kind of feeling usually hits me only once every couple of years, usually on a Monday in mid January.
The swelling is down, my thigh isn't as numb, and the doc says it's fine to ride my bike again.
I just realized that this has been entirely about me. Me, me, me. How are you doing?