Thursday, August 3, 2017

Turning 63

This looks a lot worse than it was. Scalp wounds bleed.

Twas the eve before my 63rd birthday.  In commemoration of that singular event, I had signed up for a mountain bike race at the tech trails - ostensibly a 12.5 mile event.  So on the night before I took a little spin on my bike on my own singletrack and hit a  tree.  A little too much speed.  As I got up I saw blood dripping on the round and could only see out of one eye.  At first I thought I might have injured my left eye, but when I wiped the blood away I could see fine.  My helmet was cracked in two places, but amazingly my glasses were not even bent, although they were knocked off.  Fortunately my bike was not damaged so I rode home - only a mile.  I stopped at Sam's to get hosed off so I wouldn't shock Marja too much.  Once there I showered and Marja patched me up with some gauze and bandages.  At first I thought I would need stitches, but the gash on my temple wasn't that deep and stopped bleeding when the bandage was applied.  I had a stiff neck and a hard time turning my head to the right.  I wasn't sure if I could still do the race, but when I got up the next morning I put a hot pack on my neck and after a few minutes could turn my head - so I figured, hey I've paid 44 bucks to do this race, I'm gonna do it!
The MTU trails are very hilly and the course involved climbing to the top three times.  I had ridden the course a couple of times earlier so I knew what I was in for.

I started and finished near the back of the pack in around an hour and 37 minutes, but hey I did it!  Not bad for a 63 year old buck.  I think I finished 3rd in my age category.  The guys that are still riding in their sixties are mostly skinny dried up old coots that aren't pushing the load uphill that I am.
Sam finished second in the 25 mile event - in just over two hours.  I can't fathom how anyone could ride that course twice, but I guess it helps to be 50 or 60 pounds lighter and 32 years younger.

Post race.  A bit of red-tinged sweat dripped down my cheek, and several people asked if I had crashed during the race.

Sam racing in to the finish.  The kid has a motor!

Sam's friend Nate came up with his wife Becca once again to do the race.  We enjoyed visiting with them.  Welcome back! 

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