Montana Jones

Montana n: A state of the northwest United States bordering on Canada. Admitted as the 41st state in 1889. The fourth largest state in the union, it includes vast prairies and numerous majestic mountain ranges.
Syn: Treasure State, Big Sky Country, Last Best Place.

Jones n: slang. An addiction or very deep craving.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

First Blood

The blood had coagulated into a thick blob, dark red where it had dried, bright red and glistening where it still oozed from my knee. I was surprised that it did not hurt at all, the soap did not sting it, no pain from probing my fingers into the wound making sure there were no more bits of gravel or dirt.

It was a minor cut, I got it in a stupid way. With a little free time on a beautiful sunny afternoon I extended my usual afternoon bike ride to the post office into an exploration around the edges of town. Much to my delight I found a trail leading up a wooded hill. The trail was nicely groomed, not too steep, beautifully suited to the first off road bike ride in ages. Plodding up the hill my lungs were quick to complain and it wasn't long before I was shifted down to the granny gears. I couldn't make it all the way up the hill, I had to take a break. That was my mistake. Stopping on an uphill with loose gravel while in the granny gear.

Starting a bicycle from a total stop involves a push off from the foot on the ground coupled with one good down thrust from the foot on the pedal to create enough forward momentum on the bike to carry you until both feet can be clipped in and more power applied to both pedals. When stopped on an uphill an even more powerful push off is required and there is less momentum and time before you fall over. Stopped in the granny gear means even less power transfer from pedal to wheel. The fancy clipless pedals and shoes means more time fumbling with my feet before I could get sufficient power to the pedals and more difficulty in ejecting should something go awry. And the loose gravel surface meant no traction for the wheel even if I could get power to it. The end result of this equation was a pathetic push off, a small roster tail of gravel from the tire and my toppling over with feet firmly clipped to the pedals.

A move like that is more embarrassing than painful, I'm just glad no one saw me. The result was a little cut on my knee that started oozing an impressive amount of blood and I actually had to walk my bike up the hill to a more suitable spot to mount up again. I'm glad no one saw me walking too. Pushing a bike is almost more embarrassing than falling off one.

The remainder of the ride was completely uneventful. The downhill part of the trail was every bit of fun the uphill part was not. The sunny beautiful day was perfect for being outside. I was even sporting a bright red badge of macho dripping down my leg. It was oozing just the perfect amount of blood, not so much to make a nasty mess of me, but enough to make it obvious that I could play hard and scoff at injury. I was the guy in the movies who could face down villains after getting beat up. I was showing the world that it takes more than a divot in my skin to stop me. I felt cool.

I think It's good to get first blood early in the season. It helps remind me that little scratches don't hurt and I feel confident playing harder during the summer. The nicks and scabs make excellent trophies to ones deeds. It reminds me how important it is to get out and do things. Even the band-aid makes me look burly. Now if only I had gotten it from a huge spectacular wipeout; then I would have a sweet story to match.

Amusing post, though not because you are injured but because of your attitude about it. As my blog says scars make better stories than tattoos.
Uhm...congratulations on first blood of the spring/summer season, glad to know it is nothing serious and won't keep you from riding.
Enjoy the sunshine, I am loving it over here.
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