I’ve been concentrating on muni practice lately for the upcoming 24 hr event. Rolandisimo and I have been working it hard, last week doing a 14 mile link-up of some single-track near his house. We’ve also been riding a trail from my house fairly often which consists of cobbly railbeds, farm-roads and some nice trail.
On this trail we’ve been working on one particular steep section, often walking back up several times, trying to redeem ourselves after UPDs on the various portions. Roland’s cleaned it only once, top-to-bottom, on his KH24, but I’ve yet to ride the whole thing on my KH29. This section, only maybe 100 yards long, packs a fairly technical wallop into that short section of trail.
There’s a manageably steep down-slope to a log-hop, a left turn with two more logs in quick succession, then a steep drop to a 90 degree left, an almost immediate 90 degree right and a longer, steeper, rocky, rooty downhill. Extra fun is added by trees closely lining either side for the entire length of the path, and a nasty, spiked fallen tree-end poking into one’s personal space just before the final right turn.
Once I clear the logs at the top (by no means every try) then I can’t seem to negotiate the abrupt turns and still keep the speed down enough to survive the downhills. These last bits with the two 90 degree bends are steep enough to make my 29er with its 150mm cranks pull down the slope like a locomotive on steriods.
A few solo attempts (sans leg armor) last Tuesday left me with pedal bites and rock bites liberally streaking the flesh of my lower legs, eliciting curious looks from my dog waiting at the bottom, and later, gasps and questions from the neighbors all week. One neighbor, Pete, a rugby player who was starting to think about trying unicycling, was convinced by my rather colorful, but superficial, injuries that it’s not for him. My swearing that my mishap was only due to the difficult trail did nothing to change his mind.
Friday I returned to the scene with Roland, cleverly remembering my leg armor this time. Maddeningly, he cleared all 3 logs in the top section, but even with his KH24, he couldn’t quite check his speed enough to make the 90 turns.
My eventual, but sketchy, success on the top 3-log section left me trying to reposition my foot as my 29er pulled me down the first real steep section to the hard left turn. I failed utterly in my foot-adjustment and the muni flew out forward, which led to a hard landing, flat on my back, on an uneven surface. It didn’t quite knock all the wind out of me, but I hit first on a spot just under my protective camelbak, and so sustained a couple bruised ribs on my back.
I realize that was nothing compared to Munivision’s injuries out in Cali last week, so I wasn’t sure I even wanted to post about it. But, well, there you have it.
So I took a rest day, and today I treated myself to a smooth 36er ride out in the country, to be described in excrutiating detail in another post.