I haven’t ridden my Trek Remedy 6 full suspension mountain bike in a couple of week so decided to go out for a ride at the nearby Arcadia Lake trails. I had heard that some new trails were completed on the east side of the dam. I wanted to give those a try. Supposedly they were more technical than the trails to the west. I really like the west trail – not as good as Draper, and different than Bluff Creek. They are smooth, flowing, fast and sandy in places. The main thing I don’t like about Arcadia trails is that I have to pay $2 every time I ride them – $3 on the weekend. Draper and Bluff Creek are free. But Arcadia is 10 minutes from my home, while it takes at least 30-40 minutes for me to get to those other trails. Trade-offs.
I parked at the Arcadia Lake project office, paid my fees, jumped on my Trek and headed east. These were brand new freshly cut trails for sure. At one place I even had a hard time finding where they went as the trail crossed a wide open grassy area. I made it down some rocky technical downhills without any problems, then rounded a corner at an easy pace and came across a deep narrow gully right in the trail about a mile in. My front wheel dropped into the hole and catapulted me over the handlebars. I slammed into the opposite bank head-first WHAM then fell sideways into some thorns and rocks, my bike landing on top of me. If I had been going faster I might have lifted the front wheel to keep from dropping into the hole. If I had been going slower maybe I could have stopped. As it was, this gully was small – about 3 feet deep and 3 feet wide in a sharp V – just the right size to swallow up my front tire and deep enough to send my rear tire over the top.
As I lay there I had to check and make sure all my fingers and toes were working. Dang I hit hard and was worried about a broken neck! It is the third time in my life I have hit something hard like that head-on and each time I was scared that something might end up broken. Luckily each time I survived with nothing more than a sore neck and skinned knees.
As I carefully rode back to my truck I made up my mind to take it much easier on my mountain bike in the future. No more riding rough terrain without first scoping it out in advance. I don’t want to get hurt again, since it takes WAY too long to heal. Any downtime would negatively impact my cardio workouts, and for me right now keeping my heart beating is far more important than any crazy mountain bike ride. Cardio is king at my age and health.