On June 13th I went riding with a friend Rodney and his nephew Travis to 23rd Street Bike Park in Pittsburg, Kansas. It was Travis's first time riding with us. As it was also the first ride for my helmet. But more on that later. It was a HOT and humid day in Kansas that day. I swear that my flesh was melting off my body even before I started putting on my gear.
But anyways, I was wearing my Airborne shirt and some 15" Dickie's work shorts. And for those of you that don't know me, that is my preferred riding attire at this moment. I slide my hands into my Giro Remedy gloves, wiggling my fingers comfortably into place and securing the wrist strap. I then saddled myself up with my CamelBak Capo hydration pack, making sure everything was securely snapped in place. And from there I slid my Fox Rampage DH lid over my head, strapped it in place and slid my glasses on through the front. I was ready to rock and roll.
For the first hour we rode at a moderate pace so that Travis could get used to the trail system. And after he said he was comfortable we picked up the pace and eventually started rocketing down the trails as usual. Turns out he didn't know the trail well enough. Rodney and I took a left to head towards the dirt jumps and apparently he went straight. Rodney and myself ended up back at the car and behold, no Travis in toe.
After waiting for several minutes we got a little worried as I mentioned it was his first trip riding MTB at all. He also didn't bring a water bottle, hydration pack, gloves, or helmet. We split up, in hopes of locating Travis faster. Hoping he was lost and not hurt. We rode down the trails calling his name, making sure to be loud enough to let our position be known. No response.
I pedaled my way down this snaking section with a couple blind S corners. And behold, what do I find around the last corner... Travis and his rig blasting head on into me. His head bounced off my helmet, luckily without a concussion. My front tire and my left shin took the brunt of the impact. The resulting impact left an instant massive goose-egg bigger than a golf ball on my shin.
Apparently my shit bounced off the bottom of his steerer tube, pushing the fork back enough that the bearing was hanging out and the fork was straight up and down in the frame instead of being raked out. My Airborne Marauder didn't even get a scratch. Although I did end up with a slightly tweaked front rim.
From there I rode over to one of my favorite spots at this given trail. And that is a 7 foot tall vertical step up that you have to pull a flat whip off of just to transition to the nearest trail. Well there was a small tree fallen between the step up and the trail I wanted to transfer to. So being over confident with the helmet, I had way too much speed and over shot the landing. Ice picking and then OTB into a nice big bed of thorns. Scratching and tearing of the flesh followed as my 38 lb FR rig lands on me and proceeds to help me slide my way down the hill on my back through the thorn bed. Awesome.
I'm very lucky that I had the helmet and CamelBak on. As the CamelBak and helmet kept the back of my head, neck and back from getting all cut up. As for my arms, legs and crotch... not so lucky. Haha. From there I mounted my rig and rode to the car. Where I asked Travis how he was doing. Even responded with "Yeah I'm fine, just hurting a little from your damn helmet". Turns out he was fine, just a slight headache. Glad everybody was able to have fun and walk away, even with bumps, bruises and bleeding.
So that was how I tested the crash protection of my helmet and hydration pack. Below you will learn how I exploded my rear tube...
On June 20th, I was chilling out watching some MTB videos and conversing with peeps via Twitter and Facebook. I decided I was going to get some free stickers from Vital MTB. So I sent them a self addressed and stamped envelope so they can send me some stickers. It was going on 10 P.M. at the time, I tweeted Vital MTB and told them I was riding my FR rig to the post office to mail them. So I decided to just go on a late night urban freeride.
I ended up riding for over 2 hours. Not sure how. My hometown is tiny. Columbus, Kansas... doesn't have much to offer. So I was making due with what I have. I decided to try something I've been wanting to do for years. Ramp down the staircase at the courthouse. So guess what. I started doing that. Eventually a crowd formed. 7 other bikers on Walmart grade bikes, and another 11 or 12 standing around watching. On my 14th or 15th pass down the staircase I got 'ballsy' and hit it faster than ever. Landing all the way down on the flat concrete below.
The end result was me landing flat, rear tire first. Exploding the rear tube on impact. Never had that happen before. I inspected the tire, rim and tube instantly. No damage done to the tire or the rim, so all I need to replace is the tube. I have to order off of the Internet because my LBS's don't carry big enough tubes. Bummer. But oh well. In the process I will be ordering a TruVativ Hussefelt 2.2 crank with Howitzer BB.
So that was my last two rides. Filled with pain, pleasure and awesomeness... The worst part about the late night urban freeride that ended in the blown tube was that I had to carry the 38 pound FR beast 1/2 a mile home. I do have to say. It was one hell of a work out on top of the two hours of riding I had just completed. I guess that's all I have to say about that. What did you think? Ever had anything similar happen to you? Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed the post.