I was riding along on Saturday morning, out for my first solo ride on the new bike. Gliding on auto-pilot through the stifling humidity of the forest, and lost in reverie about handlebar rise and rake, I found myself face-down in the dirt, arms pinioned beneath my stomach and my legs arching over my head.
Generalized pain washed over me. Here we go again.
I rolled over to my back and looked at the tops of the pine trees, ever-retreating into the sky. The ripples of pain subsided until there was one throbbing pebble above my right knee. An eyebrow-shaped cut solved the case, stem to knee contact caused by a sawed off stump protruding 4 inches above the trail. In a forest full of trees, this tree defied the will of the bureaucrats and was marked for shoddy removal.
I stood and recovered the bicycle– still a complete stranger, an internet date, a wing-man’s lament. Due to be replaced, I feel no commitment to this temporary ride.
I tried to shake it off and continue as planned, but the disappointment, the ache, and the swollen lemon growing on my vastus medialis obliquus sent me homeward. I escaped the heat and the sand to join the bench full of sick and wounded riders this holiday weekend. I got off easy. The million-dollar wound.
And that reminded me, it is once again Shoulder Season.