The Twin Creeks History ride was a fun and informative event. The above story covers most of that. However after the last grave was doused and last story told, I learned three more important lessons.
While some were visiting and taking turns at dousing graves, Josh and my thoughts turned to singletrack. A steep embankment along side the road looked like a fun challenge. Landon and a couple other younger riders watched as Josh rolled up to the edge to take a look see from the top. It was steep and covered in tall prairie grass. While Josh pondered the descent I came up and did a rolling look. I rode over the edge slowly and started down with my butt over the back tire, trials style. As my front tire and shock started parting the grass I saw things I did not see before. Some washouts, a couple buried rocks, and two fair ruts running perpendicular to my direction of travel.
I negotiated the first ravine successfully but the second one stalled my front tire's forward motion. The rear tire got light and a face plant from ten feet up crossed my mind. Fears of a repeat of the KC Cup incident influenced my response. It is amazing how fast a bike can shoot out from under you when you let off both brakes and pull up on the bars in the middle of a steep hill. The results were not exactly what I was looking for. With my elbows being the first point of contact the ER Doc I saw later thought the first bounce may have dislocated my shoulder the second bounce popped it back in. It is not near as much fun as Mel Gibson makes it look in those Lethal Weapon movies. Besides proving there is more than one way down a hill I learned these three important lessons
Lesson #1, when approaching a steep unmowed, unmarked, roadside embankment, stop! Get off your bike and walk at least part of the descent to see what is hidden under that tall grass. Deep washed out ravines and ledges running perpendicular to your direction of travel require special attention. Two in a row requires real special attention.
Lesson #2, after inspecting said unmowed embankment and discovering treacherous ravines, and buried rocks remount your bike and take the easy way back down. Save the heroics for the marked trails.
Lesson #3 after ignoring lessons 1 and 2, and finding yourself flat on your back at the bottom of the hill; a removable Camelback bladder makes a pretty good ice pack. Plus as the ice melts you don't have to get up for a glass of water when its time for the next Advil!