It had been a good ride. Carol and I had met Joe and his friend Chris at Rampart Reservoir, that morning. We parked the cars at the dam, and took off on the singletrack trail which follows the shore of the reservoir.
All of us had ridden well, and we had made numerous tops just to take in the views and shoot the bull. About a half mile from where we would hit the dam road to get back our vehicles, we stopped at the top of a little rock garden and talked about how nice the ride had been. Everyone took off, with me bringing up the rear (as usual).
I made one pedal stroke, hit a rock, and took one of those slow-motion headers where you keep thinking you are going to be able to avoid the fall, but you hit the ground anyway. I put my left hand out to break my fall, and that was a mistake. I wasn't very successful at breaking the fall, but I did a good job of breaking my ring finger.
I actually don't know if I broke it, or if I just dislocated the first joint. All I know for sure, besides the fact that it hurt like hell, was that the tip of the finger was pointing outboard at about a 45 degree angle.
"Are you okay?" Carol asked, over her shoulder. She had stopped when she heard me crash.
"Not really," I said. I held my hand up, and Carol gave me a curious look. With my glove on, she couldn't really see what was going on. I took the glove off, and her eyes widened.
I told her that I could ride, and I just wanted to get back to the truck. So, we took off after the other two guys.
Once we got back to the trucks, I stood at the tailgate telling the other two guys what had happened, as Carol changed out of her bike clothes in the cab. I had a 1994 Dodge Ram, at the time, so there was plenty of room for changing.
I held my crooked finger up, grabbed the end of it and popped it into place.
"What the hell was that?" Carol called, from the cab of the truck, as Chris fainted.
Chris was an Emergency Room nurse, so I was a bit taken aback by his reaction. We propped him up, and got him conscious again. Then, he told me about the two hand surgeries he had just gone through, after shattering his little finger in an accident.
I guess that had made him a bit sensitive to digit injuries.
I felt pretty bad about making Chris faint, but I was very glad to have my finger straight, again. It took a month for it to stop hurting, but I at least didn't have a hooked claw on my left hand.