I crashed hard on my first attempt to ride the new 4-foot high skinny drop at Hillside MTB Park in Elk River, MN a month or so ago. I somehow had it in my head to not go too fast, that it was better to err on the slow side. And since I’m good at riding skinnies, riding it slow was not a problem, or so I thought. 22-second video:
Looking at the video, clearly visible in the slowmo segment, I not only approached the lip too slow but I didn’t use any ‘technique.’ My front wheel dropped immediately and OTB I went.
Fortunately, I was completely armored up: chest and spine protection, shoulder & elbow pads, hip and tailbone pads, knee and shin pads. Unfortunately, I was pretty shaky afterwards and decided to bail on my riding companions, L to R, Paul Hogan, Troy Sierakowski, and Bradley Cyr:
I sustained some cracked ribs on my right side, which have pretty much healed since with no complications.
Here’s a video of Hillside’s DirtWirx trail steward Rich Omdahl riding the skinny drop on the day it was installed this past summer:
A few months ago I noticed two small cracks developing at the top of the seat tube on the frame of my 2011 Trek X-Caliber 29’er. It gradually got to the point where seat post wouldn’t stay up. A couple of my fellow riders suggested that I check with my local Trek dealer since the Trek Care bike warranty covers “Frames for the lifetime of the original owner.”
This past summer, fellow mountain biker and uber volunteer Bill Nelson used his Ford Tractor to help CROCT, our local mountain bike club, fashion various obstacles in our new skills park area along our Sechler Park mountain bike trail. I soon became his apprentice operator and it inspired me to take on the role of skills park ‘dirt boss’ for the trail. More details and skills park photos in this CROCT blog post.
Mid-November here in Minnesota is a good time of year to try riding some MTB obstacles that I’ve been avoiding. Why? It’s not too hot to armor up completely and I have all winter to heal should my lack of skill make me pay a price.
1. Riding down the big rock at the end of the wooden bridge in the X loop of the Lebanon Hills Mountain Bike Trail. It’s a steep drop, made trickier because the landing is the bridge over a 4-foot culvert with some rocks down below. I rode it just as it started to rain. It took me 4 attempts to clean it. 20-second vid:
I’m starting work on a bike advocacy project for Advocate Cycles, one of the race sponsors. (More on that soon.) So I thought it would be fun to capture the event while spending time with founder Tim Krueger and some of the SCA guys I’ve met in the recent past, (eg, Tim Kennedy, Adam Harju):
With sunny skies, temps in the mid-30s, and a gusty north wind, race director Jay Arrowsmith DeCoux sent the riders out at 10 am on the SCA’s Pincushion Mountain Trail System in one big group: Experts first (22 miles), followed by the Sport class (15 miles) and Citizens (4 miles):