Monday, April 25, 2005

The Road Less Travelled

My Bike and I

So Yesterday i bought a bike. Its no super $2,000 bike, but he's no slouch either. Good frame, double walled rims, front fork suspension. Its a Specialized RockHopper. And I didn't waste anytime tryin' him out. The guy at the shop clued me into a trail just north of chicago.

This mornin, after calling the shop to figure out how to take the front wheel off, packed a lunch, packed my bike in my car, and drove 30 mins north of the city for a little ride. Its called the Des Planes River Trail, which winds 40 miles along guessed it...des planes river. I found a place to park near the trail, put my bike together, and off I went.

I was tired within the first 5 mins. Not kidding. but the scenery was amazing, tons of lakes, ponds, lush greens, beautiful blue sunny sky..highs in the upper 60s and a cool breeze. and it was a monday...the entire trail was to myself. I found a bridge, snapped a few shots, and headed on. Things were pretty tame, just pedalling along, relaxin', takin it all in, nuthin' too hard. There were a lot of small trails that veered from the main trail, and i always took them. they were through grass and dirt instead of gravel.

I'm a very adventurous person, so i was always excited as to what was around the corner. a bridge? a jump? so at this point i didn't feel tired. i was too excited about what lied ahead. There were a lot of small hills that i could speed up to and fly down. I found one side trail that led right next to the river with 5 or 6 good bumps that i could pull up on and get some air. nice.

i found a picnic area to eat, and a small trail with mud at the bottom...i hit it hard...ahhh..first taste of mud for my bike...and my legs.

around 1pm, i decided it was time to turn back. however i found a little trail that went up this large hill. i thought before i turned back that i would go up this thing then ride it down. this is where the fun began.

I got up,took a short breather, then headed down, pedalling as hard as i could, flyin' down this hill. then i hit the little turn on the hill. Realizing i was going way to fast to make the turn, and with not enough space to slow down, i hit my rear brake, i started fishtailing a bit, back tired locks up, and i fly straight, uncontrollably into the woods...with briars. i was fine...just laughed at myself and moved on.

at this point i'd like to mention that when the bikeshop owner told me i needed a helmet, i said i had one at home. which wasn't true. i just didn't want her to refuse to sell me the bike without a helmet. i never wore those things growing up, and i had my share of crashes and flips over the handlebars. and i'm fine. so i have no helmet on.

on the way back im noticing that its a lot harder going back. the adventurousness is gone.

i find a trail i had missed earlier. tearing down it, i run into a small problem..its way around. don't matter. i go right through it, sloshing up water and mud...getting stuck a couple of times, but i get through. i hit another little muddy area, get bogged down, try to push back on the peddle, my foot slips and my shin slams into the peddle......ahhhhh..blood. oh well. i continue on. it leads to a residential road. i can't find the original path. i ask a landscape worker. he has no idea. dang. i have to go back through that muddy path. i make it through, see some deer and duck on the way.

i can't tell you how tired i was on the way back. exhausted. my legs hurt. my butt hurt. my back hurt. everything. i started counting how many miles i'd been..(there were mile markers) so i counted from where i turned around to the start and multiplied by two. by the time i made it back..counting the muddy trail that i had to do twice...20 miles. what??? how'd i do that? and this wasn't cozy road riding. this was tough. its amazing how much harder the ride going back was.

i just know i'll feel it in the morning.

for pics of this little escapade, go here


kenny said...

#1. get a helmet
#2. bikes, boats and cars are always female. Refer to your new bike as a "she" not a "he." That's just weird.

The Future said...

i disagree with bikes, boats, and cars as always female. I never thought of my car as a girl- it was my homie, my friend helping me pick up ladies, and it worked!

And I never wore a helmet. Never had one. They're for sissies.

The Future said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
kenny said...

Sissies.. yeah yeah yeah... I never wore a helmet as a kid either. But you better be damn sure my daughter will wear one. especially after reading this.

The Juice said...

i feel awkward in a helmet. it restricts my vision. which will cause me to crash more. i'm freer without one. i just don't like'm.

and my car has always been "Earl." i dont' think its wierd. only a guy would go trompin' through the mud with me.

J-Wild said...

The sign of an adult...."Realizing you're not invincible". Maybe you'll get there someday.

Dude, get the helmet. Kenny, things of beauty (interpret expen$ive) should be referred to in the feminine. I am sure Earl fits for Jeremy's car.

Back to the helmet thing. I know you think you're cute and macho by keeping it "old school" and not wearing a helmet, but really it's just silly. Especially doing something like mountain biking where you are supposed to push your bike and body to the limit.

You say it makes you feel awkward. How wussy is that. "Oh I don't look good on my bike....they're all gonna laugh at me!" I mean you wore a helmet in baseball right? Think about the probability of a small ball hitting a small head as opposed to falling off a bike (something you have already done). Yet you wouldn't step into the batters box or round the bases without one right? Do the right thing buy a nice, properly fitting helmet and save yourself tens of thousands in physical therapy costs. If you can find for me one professional bike rider who doesn't wear a helmet...then you can keep on living in the denial of your youth.

Much love!

The Juice said... organized i wore a helmet cuz i had to.

Zach, baseball pickup games at pitch..did we wear helmets?? NOPE.

i THINK really the only thing i need is some type of eye guard. i don't think they make those.

Stormy said...

Ok, friend, you knew this was coming after you asked me to read this blog(ok, maybe you just wanted me to look at the pics and see what I missed)...but here's the deal...first of all, mountain biking alone is never a good idea. Secondly, try having a head injury. You have to admit, you could never look more ridiculous than I did in the board helmet. But alas, the face is still intact. I would love to join you, but not until you get a helmet...I've seen my share of crashes!and knowing first aid doesn't mean I wanna use it. Don't make me tell your mamma!

J-Wild said...

Cool banner, nice touch.

Way to go Stormy.

The Future said...

Nope, I am anti-helmet also. But I bet you could find a really cool looking one that would serve the purpose, that you would enjoy, and get people off your back!!

The Juice said...

would everyone be happy if i wore a Catcher's Mask?

J-Wild said...

No, because you face could use some roughing up a bit. It's your sharp mind that we would like to keep.

kenny said...

Come on Jeremy (and The Future!). This is just common sense. Think about the painful, irreversible damage that you could suffer from a bicycle-related head injury. Why wouldn't you just suck it up and wear a helmet. It's not cool??? give me a break.

Anonymous said...

It's too late. your mamma knows. Trust me Jerm, I have seen too many head injuries and they aren't pretty. sometmes all the physical therapy in the world won't fix ya.
an ounce of prevention ( no matter how you look) could save your life. one wrong move and it's too late. GET A HELMET! I love ya! yo mama