Sunday, February 20, 2011

Bruise Watch

I remember how pretty the rocks on the trail looked as I was leaving the saddle.  The limbs on the trees, to either side of me, seemed to wave in slow motion as my feet went up in the air, and I was inverted above the stones at 15 miles per hour.  The bike frame glinted in the sun, dust flew into the air, and the ground, formerly so far away, was suddenly very close.  Very close.

And then...

I opened my eyes and wondered, briefly, just where the hell I was.  And, why did my arm hurt so much?

Slowly, as the fireflies began to fly away (Wait, we don't have fireflies in Colorado!  Did I hit my head?), I began to remember.  I was on a mountain bike ride, at Deer Creek Canyon, by myself.  I had been heading back down from the top, flying low, when I hit a sharp dip in the trail and...ass over tea kettle.

Wow, my arm hurt.  And, where was my dang bike? 

As I slowly got to my feet, I tested my left arm to see if it was broken.  I couldn't feel any displacement in the bones, but the elbow was about the size of a grapefruit and tears came to my eyes every time I tried to move it.  I couldn't see my bike, anywhere, and I was wondering how I was going to get back to my truck.

I finally spotted the bike, downhill from the trail, in the trees.  I made my way down to the bike, and managed to get back up to the trail.  My elbow was throbbing, and my head was swimming as I got on the bike.  I slowly made my way downhill, and walked the technical parts of the trail.

Eventually, I made it back to the truck.  My arm was a little less painful, and I was actually able to bend it slightly without throwing up, so I decided to just go home.  The E.R. nurses would have to wait for another day, to see me.

After I got home, I struggled out of my clothes, and prepared to take a shower.  As I passed by the bathroom mirror, I noticed something in the small of my back.  It was a bruise, in the shape of my watch.  More like an imprint, really, than a bruise:  You could see the shape of the rotating bezel, and the crown of the watch was perfectly outlined.

I had turned the watch to the inside of my wrist, as I rode downhill, because it was banging on the back of my hand as I rode over the bumpy terrain.  Somehow, in the course of the crash, I had managed to land on my arm, which was twisted so that the inside of that wrist hit me in the back.

No wonder my arm hurt!

I didn't mountain bike, alone, for quite a while after that.  Nowadays, if I do, I keep the speed in check.

You might say I watch it...


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As always, sorry about the word verification. It's a necessary evil, unfortunately.