Chiropractic ride

Rode Wailuna to Royal Summit on Saturday afternoon.  Root was a little late, but since it was in the waning part of the day, it was another half-hour for the world to cool down from the noontime burn of late spring.  The climb was as heinous as ever – it seems that the more I train, the worse the climb feels.  I saw a trail off to  the left of the water tank road, possibly leading over to the terrain between Wailuna and Waimano.  It was well-used, and there was a concrete marker with 2 initials and “1928” written in relief on it.  Continuing up the road and transitioning to the dirt, my legs felt burnt too: I had to drop granny for the climb arond the back of the water tank.  I might be training “wrong” or we’re just going harder and faster now.

There was a welcome cool breeze once we hit the doubletrack climb, but it was a headwind, so it was a mixed blessing.  I cleaned all the technical climbs, but at the expense of further fatiguing my legs.  At the bypass, we ran into Jeff’s friends Paul and Danny.  They had heard about the trail from Jeff and decided to try it out.  Their original intent was to go in a ways and turn around when it became too much, but they ended up accompanying us for the entire ride.  The climb was dry and grippy.  There were some spots on the push-ups where a hiker earlier in the day had sloughed the grass off in places, so assumedly it was damper in the morning or perhaps the day before.

Summiting, we descended the singletrack.  Conditions were nice and grippy, with only one slightly damp spot.  At the rooty right hairpin turn around halfway down, Root went down.  I was planning on taking the line to the right of the tree instead of the rooty line anyway, but as I went between the trees, I clocked my head hard on the underside of a branch that was out of my visual range.  My head was pushed down and back, compressing my neck vertebrae –  I heard a string of loud pops and cracks mixed with the hard thud of the helmet.  Chris and Root could hear the impact and asked if I was OK.  In the delerium, I think I answered to the negative, took off my helmet to examine it, and put it back on and continued riding when I saw that it was still in one piece.  My neck didn’t really feel bad, but my head felt bruised, since my Supermoto has no pads. 

We stopped briefly at the slick clay climb along the descent.  Chris took several runs at climbing it, and succeeded on his 4th. attempt.  I don’ t think I’ve ever seen anyone ride up that section before.  At the hunter’s parking lot, we turned left down the trail along the spur ridge.  The conditions were a little more worn in and tighter than when Chris, Root, and I rode this section for the first time last year, but there was still an abundance of loose, off-camber turns.  We climbed out the old doubletrack, the afternoon sun casting lengthening shadows across the dirt road.  There was a lake in the inner tire-rut at one point, but it was easily avoidable.  the water was still clear, so the piggies hadn’t turned it into a septic wallow yet.  I was feeling good at this point, even on the climbs, even getting into big ring on the smooth, fast section around rusty nuts.  I guess everything was warmed-up, the performance-enhancing drinks and gels were kicking in, and the pack was getting lighter as the 2-liters of water was consumed.

We turned down back door and hairpinned up front door to the grassy field, then sortied out through Kerwin’s and the stunt valley. We ran into Russell Hirata while regrouping at the junction near the plastic chair – good to see another rider form the “old days” of MTB still on a bike.

The road climb up Komo Mai and back up to the park felt good for a change.  I didn’t have to use granny ring, and I didn’t feel as completely depleted as on previous rides.  It makes me think that the pace of the first half-hour or so of the ride is what kills me.  The cleat shims are doing their job – the knees were in top shape for the entire ride and afterwards. 

Total trail time was around 4-hours, with an actual riding time of 1-hr, 31-min. and a distance of 9.69-miles.  Vavr was 6.3 mph.

In the aftermath, the top of my head is a little bruised, but my neck feels fine, maybe even better than normal – like after a visit to Mitch!   I wouldn’t recommend ramming one’s head into the underside of thick tree branches as an alternative to proper Chiropractic care though…

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