The dust that Juancho bit down south ended up in Juancho’s mouth.
Three days after the crash new bruises, brewed deep in fatty tissue and steeped in airport layovers, bloomed like bubbles rising from the stem of a champagne glass. Pop! This one looks like an indigo nimbus, this one looks like Mr. Spock. Bar and stem turned traitors, like being stabbed in the gut by your best friend, your own damn kin. The contusions are nothing compared to the invisible pain between the ribs. A strain, a pull, a cracked bone? Who knows, but it keeps me hunched like a geriatric wincing out of bed, standing up, lifting a coffee cup.
Is it worth a couple grand to get that pedal a few centimeters higher off the deck? You know it.
Those first few seconds rolling over in the dirt, hunching, afraid to take the inventory. The sky above so blue and the clouds ever-receding into it. Always on the move, never disappearing. What is that? I calculate how far I am from the road, and what will it take? A four-wheeler? A danged helicopter? Too much to consider, and besides, you’re probably fine. Ambulatory anyway, once you suck it up and face things.
I’m glad for Hitops. Standing over me, not panicking, already celebrating the nuances of what was hopefully a spectacular crash. I remember the taste of dirt, and a hand deflecting a wheel, black frame swooping down on me like a raptor, claws out for blood.
“Just give me a minute.” Hands and knees now, things slowly un-fuzzing, hard drive reboot almost complete. Open in Safe Mode? Your operating system experienced an unexpected error. I guess I hit my head, but it doesn’t hurt. This hot knife in between the ribs is the issue. Stand up. Whoa! Bad idea. Lay back down, feet on helmet, the friendly blue sky and the retreating clouds. Yes, much better. Just a few more minutes of this please.
Finally rising, stable. I can do this. All I can do not to smash this carbon fiber piece of shit into the nearest pine, or raise it above my head and crush it onto the artificial Munson turf. Honestly, I should sue the Forest Service for laying down a pitcher’s mound on our lovely sand and pine bed.
“It will bring more riders to the trail!” they said, as if that is somehow a good thing.
Oh well, nothing to do but heal, and shop for a new bike, which always fixes everything.