Fall down go boom

Posted by SuperClydesdale on September 20, 2011 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment

I’m wounded — not just from the heart-wrenching decision to remain home rather than make the annual pilgrimage to Interbike – but a more superficial type of wound.  Interbike 2011 will forever haunt my soul, causing me to be just a little darker, have a little less energy, a loss of that spark – I may end up being that guy at the party, kind of wandering around, not making eye contact, occasionally lingering in isolated corners, reflecting on what could have been.   You may see me on a street corner, carrying a cardboard placard, asking for money.  Despondent, my working days behind me, my sign – scrawled in crayon – might read “Please help!  Missed Interbike 2011!  Had ticket!”  I think people would get it.

This injury will, presumably, heal.  This is just, probably, a rotator cuff.

These types of injuries are the silly ones.  They are what can happen when you ride a mountain bike with a slow person.  Not that a slow person ran me over, or knocked me down, hell – they’d have to catch me first.  This was because I was trying to preoccupy myself while waiting for a much slower rider to catch up.   What the hell else are you going to do?  I could bring my iPad – it’s got 3G. I could watch movies, or play Words With Friends.   Problem is, it’s 1st generation, and I couldn’t be seen in public with aging technology.  What would the slow guy think?  “He may be fast, but at least I have the iPad 2.”  That wouldn’t do.

I could nap, but I hate sleeping out of doors.  Bugs.

Instead, I decided that I would try to hit every rock, bump, and item of interest on this trail.  Eventually, this led me toward a lack of consideration as to the landing zone of the jump.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the best jumper.  With all of my previous sports injuries (ankle, knee, shoulder), a long day of jumps can set me up for some serious discomfort later on.  All of those old injuries remind me that they are still there – subdued, but still there.  I don’t know that a joint ever really heals.  It pretends to when you are in your 20’s, but as you age, they make themselves known.   So, it’s not that I’m un-athletic, and unable to jump, its just that I am somewhat inexperienced at it.

So, about a third of the way into the ride on a twisting little single-track section of the trail, I hit a smallish rock.  It sticks up about 12” at a tempting angle – I make a last-second decision to try to launch off of the rock.   Unfortunately, since it was a last-second decision, I didn’t consider the landing all that much.  The trail slopes away from this rock, and I landed on the edge of the trail.  The front wheel immediately slid out from under me and I went sort of diagonally off the bike, landing on my left shoulder, and into some rocks and grass.

My slow friend was right behind me at that point.  A bit embarrassed by crashing off a simple little rock, I shot straight up, and got right back on the bike.  I was thick with stickers – they were everywhere.  I didn’t want to make a big production of the fall.  It really seemed pretty minor.  I quickly resumed the ride.  I almost repeated the exact mistake about 100 feet up the trail, but was able to stay on the bike.  My balance certainly seemed a bit off.

At the top of a hill, I stop and take stock.   I take off my Camelbak, and make an effort to remove some of the stickers from my clothing.  There were hundreds, under my shirt, down my sleeves, under the Camelbak, under my shorts.  No biggy – brush them off, and keep going.

I did the rest of the ride at a pretty brisk pace, just stopping and waiting for my friend every half mile or so.  I still did every feature on the trail, including a large rock that I had never done before.  No problems, just flew and had a great time.

When I got back to the car I noticed that my left shoulder was getting a little stiff.   By the time I got home, I couldn’t raise the arm.

I went to the doctor for a quick opinion, and he says that I need to wait a week or so, to see if it’s just inflamed or if I need an MRI to determine if I’ve done some serious damage.

I had my right shoulder scoped about 10 years ago.  This feels just like my right shoulder did back then.  Right now, just icing it, taking ibuprofen.  Hopefully, this will fade away.

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