Yes, well, as you saw from one of the pics, I dropped the bike on one of the little tracks. The pic was from a really steep hill where I slid into the ruts and just kind of flopped over- I couldn’t keep my speed up in the rut, but couldn’t get the bike to jump out of it (notice the scrape marks along the side of the right-hand rut where my tire just kind of spun along it). No harm, no foul.
Later that afternoon I wasn’t quite so lucky. I had spent the entire day running up and down these dirt tracks and only had that one little off, so I was feeling fairly confident. Riding along a ridge and looking out over the valley I lost my concentration for a moment. Before I knew what happened my front tire turned in a rut, stopped the bike dead, and threw me up and over between the windscreen and handlebars. I did a partial somersault in the air and landed hard on my back. I was wearing all my gear, but still had the wind knocked out of me- and then I tried to breath. Big mistake. My left hand side erupted in pain and all I could do was open my mouth and play like a fish out of water. Oh yeah- cracked (at least) ribs. Crap. Slowly moving about I finally found a way I could get up, panting the whole time since any attempt at a proper breath just caused me to got back into fish mode.
Standing up, I looked over at the bike for the first time and saw it standing there waiting- for all the world on its kickstand! The engine had stalled out and the bike was wedged in the rut mostly upright! Okay cool- I was not looking forward to lifting up the beast after what it felt like lifting me up. Getting back on the bike I decided to ride forward- I was about 1/2 hour into the track and I didn’t think I was up for standing on my pegs all the way back- it had been a fairly rough track. I figured since the track had made the ridgeline and was starting down that going forward be the best way.
Slowly getting the bike in gear and going down the track it looked like my hunch would pay off- I could see a paved road below me and was heading right for it.
Two, maybe three hundred feet from the road I hit this. Again, crap. I couldn’t get around it with the bike and the trunk was too low to push the bike through. I was going to have to go all the way back.
Well, maybe not.
The road was so close, I thought maybe I could walk the bike right up to the tree, lay it down, spin it on the cylinder head, and then lift it up on the other side. It would really suck having to lift it up, but it seemed better than riding all the back along the trail. I just wanted to get off the bike for the day and see what condition I was actually in.
This was as far as I got. The bike was mostly through and spun around so I should just have had to lift it up. Thing is, the GSA is a measure twice, cut once kinda bike. If you are alone, you are not going to muscle it anywhere- if it’s not going to fit, there just isn’t anything you can do about it. There are only certain places where you can get a grip to move it, you can’t sort of lift one end and push it through. You just make sure it’s going to fit before you try and get it through something.
I won’t go into the twisting it back around and riding back up the trail- it was slow and painful (I spent just over 2 hours at the tree) and I was cursing myself the whole way. If I hadn’t had had that fall I would have never considering that dumbass move with the tree. The road was right there and I just wanted to get on it so bad so I could be done and see about my ribs. Ah well, live and learn I guess.
Fast forward- it’s been 2 weeks since that happened. I still can’t sleep on one side of my body, I dread sneezing, and am quickly reminded of my ribs whenever I try to do too much with my one side. Other than that, all is well. I had to tighten the mirrors, but beyond that, bike didn’t suffer at all. I feel pretty good about the tracks I was able to take and the fact that I was able to get myself out of my own mess. As punishment I’ve told myself that I have to stay on the tarmac until I can lift the bike without wincing….
Next is another mountainous region that I hear has a couple of not too bad riding roads, maybe you’ve heard of them- The Alps.