Every time I set out on a mountain bike, the Las Vegas bookies get busy.
If you bet on the possibility that I'm going to have a crash of sometimes epic, always embarrassing proportions, you WIN!!
Don't get me wrong - I love mountain biking. The dipsy-doodles, the hopping my bike over roots and even the occasional screaming downhill. It requires concentration, strategy and the knowledge of the nuances of the situation vs. gears.
BUT, mountain biking reminds of a quote by the awesome comedian, Eddie Izzard when he talks about snowboarding, "There's two positions when you're snowboarding - either riding downhill looking cool or DEAD."
Scenario #1: Butt in the air, going downhill leaning back on the pedals, wind in the hair.
Scenario #2: Wheeee! Down the one side, up the other and swing around a switchback.
Scenario #3: I don't remember.
But I wake up lying on my left side still clipped in, the last noise I remember is the "crrrrack" of the left side of my helmet, my left shoulder seemingly pushed into my body like the "diet" or "root beer" tabs you can invert on the plastic lid of a fast-food soft drink cup. (Not that I go to such houses of ill repute, Coach.) There are rocks stuck into my skin like push pins and I'm emitting a sound much like the braying of a donkey. "Uuuuugghhhh."
The screwy part is not that I stand up as best I can listening to the rhythm of whatever makes my head throb like that, pluck most of the rocks from my body, ride another 100 yards and burst out crying but that after about five minutes of losing it having the brilliance to say, "Let's not end the day like this." And from there hopping on my bike, happy as a clam and finishing out my ride.
This, of course, is followed by Meltdown #2 in the truck and a request for the closest bakery.
Oh, and the last two days wondering if I can possibly get my head and neck somehow returned to the center of my body from the unwieldy place they now sit somewhere over my right shoulder.
Today the Wile E. Coyote bump is receding and my muscles stopped begging for an entire bottle of, in lieu of Vicodin, Extra Strength Tylenol.
I do, however, look like I've been used as a goalie sans protective gear for Tiger Woods, Sammy Sosa, the entire team of the Chicago Blackhawks and both the Williams sisters.
The upside of this whole adventure is that I feel like I truly became one with nature and took some of the wilderness home with me, probably in places I have yet to discover.
As for mountain biking (here comes another nugget from the sicko triathlete mind), it represents something to be revisited, conquered and overcome. In other words, I'll be back in the saddle next week probably crunching about a cup of sand (use a high gear but pedal fast) in my mouth and leaving bits of souvenir flesh as evidence of my stubbornness to simply admit defeat.