Friday, June 6, 2008

How Does

a quick pre - ride of a course turn into an all afternoon event? Well ok, I admit I was checking out the flying dogs that were part of the Teva Mountain Games jump contest. Cool stuff. Those dogs were psyched!

But I don't think we were dragging my teammate Nina Baums dog ANYWHERE today....not even to the contest. He could have cared less.

Then I admit that I was taking in the views of the Aspens:

And of the mountains in the distance:

And checking out the venue:

And oh yeah, then there was me putting our awesome team mechanic, Eric to work truing wheels, checking Stans levels, talking tire selection and most importantly changing out my front shifter to the dual control XTR. Otherwise I was not going to have front shifting during the ride today or race tomorrow due to my still broken (and now powerless) thumb.

With the shifters I was having him put on, I could let the thumb sit on the handle bar and just use my other four fingers to shift up or down depending on if I put my hand on top or the bottom of the same lever that serves as a brake too. Ingenious!

What I have been doing with my current shifters to shift is taking my left hand off the bar and hitting the button with my left index finger. THAT method unfortunately wasn't gonna fly when descending through trees over rocks and roots at mach speed.

Once Eric got the bike all ready to rumble I headed out onto the course which was a very dry fire roady uphill climb (1200+ vertical feet) then a fast singletracky rocky and (dry) rooty descent. 4 laps tomorrow on that sucker.

And, aside from yesterday in Fruita, this was my first real mountain bike ride (meaning technical) in 5 weeks. And, YES I tipped over in THE ONE mud bog hole because I was trying to take it too slow on the way up. And yes, I fell to the left, and yes, stuck my left splinted hand out to catch my fall, and yes, was greeted by (LUCKILY) a soft mud hole. My hand just sunk into a vat-o-mud that was about a foot deep. I have never been so happy to see a mud hole in my life!! Had that been hard ground........oh man...I don't want to go there. But all was good and well if you can believe it. My thumb was just sore afterwards and who's to say if it was from using it for the first time or if it was from that specific incidence. Don't know but I do know I was lucky!!

As for the thumb itself, it was ok. I mean when you give it and yourself NO CHOICE other than holding on for dear life, that is what it does, whether it has strength or not. It did get jarred some here and there and it let me know that is was not super psyched about it...... but one's gotta race because one is going stir crazy being all couped up!!

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