The weather where I live has been on the hot side of the thermometer this summer, so starting a race at nearly forty degrees at 5:30 AM was a bit shocking to my body. I started the race wearing only a short sleeve jersey and a pair of shorts because I thought it would warm-up a lot quicker than it did. I could not seem to get my body to move very fast with the cold weather, which made the fast start even tougher for me than it usually is. After maneuvering my way around an early crash that bottlenecked the entire field of racers on a steep climb, I found myself riding with two other strong SS riders: Jace and AJ.
|Me leading on the "funner" trails with AJ and Jace close behind.|
|Man, these trails are PFUN!|
Once I figured out that I had been jousted off my bike by this log, I was a bit nervous to view the damage to my chest. I wondered for a moment if I might find a critical puncture wound under my jersey. Sure enough, I did find a large wound to my chest when I lifted my jersey. Luckily, the log did not pierce me deeply enough to do any major damage. I couldn’t help but think though about how an inch or so difference may have caused some very severe damage to my body. As I was trying to figure out how to stop the bleeding on my chest, I also noticed that part of the log had splintered off and was still stuck in the bicep of my arm. This splinter had actually pierced and gone completely through my skin. I decided to pull it out of my arm and when I did, it started bleeding even more. I now had two wounds that needed treatment and I was not close to any assistance or checkpoints.
As I stood there thinking about what I should do next, a recreational mtb rider came upon me and asked if I was okay. I told her that I had crashed and needed help. She then stopped and pulled out this totally stocked first aid kit with Neosporin, a huge bandage for my chest, and medical tape for the wound on my arm. I’m not sure who this lady was, but I am very thankful she came upon me when she did. It was almost like she was my guardian angel following me for the day or something.
After the repair to my body, I was able to start racing again. I can’t say my head was totally into the game because I was still in a little in shock about how close I came to suffering a major injury. But, I continued riding and went into and out of the next checkpoint at mile 70. A short while after that checkpoint, I was caught by Jace. He was flying down the descents and I had no desire to travel at his speed because my ribs were hurting and I was still thinking about my nasty crash. Eventually my mind and body felt like racing again, but the race was basically over by the time I felt like going fast again. I made the return trip to the finish as much fun as I could and was very happy that I had survived the day when I crossed the finish line in third place.
If you're looking for an awesome 100 mile mtb race race to do, definitely consider doing the HC 100. It is a top notch event with a great course. Thanks to Mike Ripley and all of his helpers for putting on a fantastic event.
Happy Trails.... Gerry
Thanks to Oregonvelo.com and Ryan O'Dell for the photos.