Until today, I haven’t been on the bike since Saturday morning (when I went straight and the bike slid off to the right). A four day break will become more common as my rides stretch out to hundred milers. The training plan I linked to recently recommended a week off every month, but then called it more like 5 days off with a lighter ride after 4 days off the bike will become somewhere between a break, and the status quo later. But, Saturday my body was expecting a workout and the fall happened at the start of the ride, so the feeling of losing the training is bigger.
The Roswell section of the Big Creek Greenway has boardwalks, and the boardwalks are “slippery when wet”. I had just gone through some mud on concrete and was feeling good enough about recovering control quickly that I forgot to be extra on guard as I entered the boardwalks and rode through the same spot where I’ve fallen 2 other times. The other two times, riders in front of me caused my falls, but this time I was all alone. I was thinking shortly afterward that all three of my falls in the last 20 or so years had been right there in that spot, but I forgot falling in Louisville, so, it was 3 of 4 falls that have been in that spot.
It was as painless as possible. I wasn’t riding fast because the boardwalks are slippery. One knee hit first, but the landing was almost on all fours, so impact was fairly evenly distributed. I caught myself with my arms on all three of my other falls and pulled my rotator cuff a bit with each one. I was really thankful for the way it happened with minimal pain and injury.
I walked the bike out. I walked a little more in the parking lot. It was a good thing that we took the time. We were planning to ride the trail at this particular time because my grandson had practice for his mountain biking team. Before we knew it, one of his coaches brought him back. He also slid down on the boardwalks, even with his low pressure knobby grippy MTB tires. I walked a short distance a few times on Saturday to help keep me from getting stiff, and a longer distance on Sunday in the rain. At least recuperating from the injury and not being able to ride because of the rain overlapped for both of us. If I had unlimited resources I’d re-build the boardwalks, raising them above flood water level and changing the material. They recently replaced part of the boardwalks. I was sad to see that they didn’t take the opportunity to raise them any at all, or to rework some of the sharp bends that cause problems.
My ride this morning was on the Silver Comet. There are some slippery boardwalks on the Comet too, but none on the section I used. The trails were really wet with puddles and a lot of tree debris, wet leaves, pine cones and dead wood sticks of varying diameter. I walked out without my helmet and it was the first post injury ride, so I was wary. I personally enjoy being helmet free, but I recognize that if I fall, I could regret not having one. I was beginning to feel better, but I cut the ride short. Pushing my body, trail conditions and my luck didn’t seem like the thing to do.