Tuesday, August 30, 2011

more riding adventures

it sure was a fun summer doing the race league up on the big mountain. but it had its consequences. MA took a few hard falls, but managed to finish each race, but her last fall is a costly one. falling hard on her wrist near the end of her second and final lap, she tore some tendons, and now has to have surgury. no riding for another 4-6 weeks.

then i had my hardest fall in recent memory. i got tangled up with a rider faster that me, as he tried to pass. i mistook what side he was on. once we collided, our handle bars got tangled, and there was no corrective action. over the handle bars we both flew, and had we been able to go in slow motion, it could have been an outtake from a Jay and Silent Bob movie. "boy, this is going to hurt, isn't it?" "sure will, got insurance?" "hope the bikes don't break". then wam and a cloud of dust, massive scraps, bruises and ego busting. i heard it described as "epic" from a rider behind us who saw the entire thing.

so after my initial thought to go straight to the bar, my competitive side came back. i quickly tried to get back on my bike, as i heard a wave of cries of "Noooo" and get out of the way, from the second group coming at high speeds down the same hill i had just nearly died on. to stay in their way would be to cause another accident, with more people. i jumped off the trail, and now my adreneline was REALLY pumping. back on the bike, but it did not work. i had not taken a look at it. the chain was off, and later i found out i had broken a spoke. still, i took to the coure again, just ahead of my crash test dummy, whose handle bars had twisted 180 degrees. out group was far gone, the second group was mostly gone, but we were ahead of the third group. eventually i got my head back in the game, caught just one from our group, but finished the race, cleaned myself up, and headed to the Stube, to find out on closing night, the Beer Was Free!! i think i deserved it, so helped myself to a few, and made a pretty good night of it.

there is no moral to this story. just some fun and hard lumps.

and still plenty of time left this year to head into the hills and get in some big mountain rides.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


well, august is running by in a hurry. we are finally into some hot weather, though my friends visiting from Memphis continue to insist it is not "hot". well, sure to them. but they also refer to this time of year down there as "hell".

i really do not have that much going on, as i have been scrambling to finish my wonderful place in ovando, which now is done and looks amazing. soon it will have it's own site, as i hope to rent it out on a nightly basis. think: fishing, hiking, hunting. okay, so that is all of montana. but this one is a bit more quiet, a bit more real. a bit more like "real" montana.

i do want to include a story that was recently submitted to me. as i hope any of you still reading this know, i am the "Bike Patrol Coordinator" for the new Whitefish Trail. we have 15 patrollers, and many of us just took our first aid and cpr courses this spring. two of our new patrollers were up close viewers to what could have been a massive injury, as well as first responders. please read and enjoy.

My self and fellow patrol Erin were spectators at the Lone Peak Revenge Downhill Race on Aug 14th in Big Sky, Mt. There were probably 50-60 riders in the event, with multiple practice laps and two timed runs down a double black diamond trail. Erin’s husband, Noah Bodman who is a very experienced rider mentioned that it was probably the toughest course he has rode this race season and is more difficult than our local DH trail Runaway Train. There were 1minute intervals between each rider. During the second lap of the event a Category 1 rider, 19yr old Bridgett LeBer went over the handlebars directly in front of Erin and myself. The area was probably a 30degree washed out slope with intermittent rocks and roots. She got about 10-12ft of air and landed on her left side and head. Immediately she started to scream. I jumped up and started to work my way down to her. Erin went for help from the local bike patrol/ski patrollers stationed above us with a pickup and backboard. When I got down to her she was shitting up and I could tell she was in shock. I did a quick assessment asking her name and age. I could tell that she probably had a concussion but no broken neck. She wanted to lay down in the trail. The race was still going on, I had to work quickly to get her off the trail so another racer did not crash into both of us. It was a hard decision to make because I could tell that her helmet visor was broken and she could possibly have a neck injury. It would have been hard for a racer to miss both of us and if they hit us would have caused more injury. So I helped her up and we moved 5ft to the side of the trail. I laid her down next to a log to help brace her body and her head. Again I did an assessment asking her name age and the day, where she was at and what she was doing. She had a slight concussion and some of the shock was wearing off. She wanted to finish her run, I told her that it was not a good idea because her helmet was broke and she has a concussion. Here left wrist had a sprain, but it was difficult to tell because she had elbow pads that reached down to her forearm. About 2-3mins after I moved her to the side of the trail, the patrollers showed up. I gave them a run down of her stats and what happened.

Basically the patrollers started completely over with their own assessment of her. When he asked her what her name was, he repeated her name incorrectly at Brittney, she caught it and said no it’s Bridgett. I immediately picked up on this and thought to myself that this guy was really experienced and did that on purpose. We looked at her helmet and made the decision to take off her helmet. Spending about 5 more minutes with her, we walked her down the trail a short distance and loaded her in a pickup for the bottom. She asked me on the way down how the wreck looked. We knew then that she would be ok. Bridgett just ended up having a sprained wrist that the patrollers mobilized with a smaller Sam Splint with a thumbhole. I saw her during the awards and she thanked me and had a smile on her face. It was here that I knew the training that I had a bike patroller, helped out during an event away from home. It was very rewarding to be part of the team that helped this girl out. I learned quite a bit from the experience and believe that it made me a better patroller.

Erin was able to locate the patrollers, stop the race, and find this girls mother and boyfriend. She had the difficult task of running up the steep, heavily wooded terrain. After the incident we debriefed each other and were excited that we were able to help.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

more action

it has been a fun filled week, despite a decent work load and trouble in the home garden (ie. i just cannot find the time to weed the damn thing, and some of the desired plants are suffering. may be time to go to raised beds and drip irrigation)

sunday was the foys lake triathon. a "paddlethon". canoeing or some form of water transport, but not swimming, a mtn. bike ride and a trail run. all in all,it went well, but the run (for this non runner) was not what i would call fun. but i was only passed once on the run, and it was early, by a team player, who was flying. otherwise, i think i did okay. once things got into the water, we all seemed to find our spots, and not much changed. after that, i passed a few folks on the bike ride, and one gal on the run. as with so many triathons, it is so much about the water portion. my wife did so much better (relatively).

i also did my last porter load up to Granite Park Chalet. with the heavy snow and lack of melt this year, they have only just begun to be able to get horses and mules up to this chalet. they still cannot get all the way to Sperry. so some of us humans have been doing the job. some money. i thought of it as "paid training". about as close as i could ever come to getting paid for an athletic endeavor. but we are done, as horses and mules can do what our team of four takes a week or more, in a morning. the crew at Granite was very happy to have its first fresh fruit, vegies and yogurt in over a month.

the fishing is in. just look at the rivers. looking smoother and more clear every day. finally.

and of course, the riding just remains great. still some issues for any high mountain epics, but otherwise, we are in the midst of a great summer of mountain biking.

any good stories out there?