Tuesday, August 27, 2013

sunday, 08.25.2013, trail ride - ouch!

the day was gonna be another hot one but we really wanted to go for a ride, whether on dirt or pavement. i chose the dirt, so off we went.
at the Rowlett trails off centerville we got on our gear, packs, and off we went. the course was reversed from the last time we were there. and since i was still apprehensive from the last ride, i had a little intrepidation about the ride from the start. but i went forward and followed my hubby. the start of the ride was smooth but it was definitely not what i had wanted. this being our 2nd time on those trails, it made it confusing as to where and which trail to follow. we were quickly in the thick of the tricky stuff. not exactly what i had wanted. but i pressed on. i wanted to face the fear and conquer it. coming to the more challenging hills with tree roots, i stopped and took a long time to decide what i would do. most of the challenging hills i walked down but one i decided that it was strait enough to ride and get up the other side. would have made the upside part if people weren't on the trail making me stop half way up. but i was ok with that and walked the bike up the rest of the way. after remounting my bike, we continued on. i watched as hubby went down another challenging hill. this one started with a soft curve but straitened out and went up steeply on the other side. on the steep incline is a divot in the ground with a lip on top that could cause the bike to flip. u had to maneuver ur bike to one side which had a tree right there on the left. the right side has stone blocks sticking out of the ground that made it impossible. when riding in the normal direction, this is not too difficult to go down but having to go up this side makes it most challenging and tricky. after taking several minutes and letting a few bikers pass, i finally went down the hill on the bike. goin' down was good. however, as i started up the incline i had placed my bike right where i didn't want to be. i slammed on my brakes and promptly went backwards landing on my back. the seat was sticking in my back slightly but no real damage. just some scraps and more apprehension. but what did i do? i took my bike back to the other hill, waited a bit, and tried it again. this time, i made it half way up but didn't pedal so i caught myself with my left foot on the ground, steadied the bike, and walked it up the rest of the hill. i walked it for quite a ways b4 remounting it. with a few more challenging hills i walked the bike down and back up, i finally got back on when the trail straitened out.
i followed hubby at a slower pace as fear was really beginning to bother me. even tho i asked God to help me face it, i was having a very difficult time letting go of it. this is not my kind of trail riding. i don't mind some challenges but not where there is risk of really hurting yourself. i prefer the trail to be much more scenic and enjoyable.
we continued on the ride goin' between very narrow spaces and over rough ground with lots of tree roots makin' the ride challenging. after coming up another challenging hill and between two trees, the path goes strait but has a downhill embankment. the embankment is covered in small brush with trees growing. branches intertwined along the ground. at the bottom of the embankment is a river. having stopped in between two trees, i was contemplating whether or not to ride it or walk it. with the trail being riden in the opposite direction, this part was particularly challenging as the tree root could cause u to go down the embankment, which is on the right.
i chose to ride the trail. wrong choice when u have fear or intrepidation in the back of your mind.
i had backed up my bike and chose the route i would take. i chose to ride over the wrong tree root. after hitting the tree root with my front tire, i lost control of the bike and headed down the embankment. heading strait down where no trees were to help stop me. the tree where my bike ended up was on my left, and it was just a small tree. i was headed strait for the river. somehow i ended up on my back. my pack under me saved my spine from injury. my bike was completely upside down. my seat and some branches were poking my back. i lay there screaming. even when help had come, i screamed. hubby was there trying to calm me. i did stop screaming and he asked if i was hurt. then he asked if i could move. moving my legs and arms i made sure i was intact. that in itself is a miracle. once i calmed my self down, i could feel pain in my upper chest between my right breast and shoulder, it felt like i might have broken my upper rib(s). but after taking a few breaths and not having any wheezing, it was determined that no rib(s) were broken. taking deep chest breaths were very painful so i took the deep breaths in my abdomen immdeiately releasing when the chest filled and the pain was felt.
hubby then assessed how to remove me from my landing spot and get me up the embankment. another rider had heard me scream and came to help. i have very strong lungs. that also was a clue that i had not punctured a lung or had broken ribs.
first thing hubby tried to do was move the bike. but he couldn't cuz the rear derailer was embedded in the trunk of the small tree and i was pushing against the seat. he asked if i could move and i tried with searing pain goin' thru my right shoulder due to the pain in my upper chest from the battery pack for my light hitting me when the bike the flipped. i grabbed the top bar of my bike and pulled myself up to a sitting position and then carefully placed my hands on the entangled branches covering the ground to move away from the bike. however, i couldn't move very much due to branches sticking me in the back. hubby removed them and i carefully maneuvered myself out from under the bike. he told me i have 2 holes in my shorts, which were small and not really noticeable, thank goodness. as i stood up, i looked at my legs. my left leg was covered in scratches and contusions. bruising could be seen on the front to the left side of the left leg. the scratches were stinging but not deep. in fact, no real bleeding at all. the right leg got just a couple scratches. my right arm and wrist got a few whipped scratches. my left arm was covered on the underside with scratches. i got a good laceration on the left side of my neck, just above the base, and a V-shaped scratch on the left temple near the eye.
after the assessment i turned to get up the embankment, which was very challenging with all the entangled branches covering any good footing. the other rider who had come to assist, was able to grab my pack and water bottle. he then helped me over the top of the embankment back onto the trail. he then turned his attention to helping my hubby get my bike back up and on the trail.
all the while, not another rider passed by. if i was alone, i might have laid there for a long time. it's always recommended to ride in pairs. and i'm glad i was with my hubby.
i am also glad that i was wearing protective eyewear and a good helmet. without those, it could have been much worse.
getting the bike detached from the tree was not difficult, amazingly. getting it upright and up the embankment was a bit more challenging. but with the guys on the case, it was done efficiently and quick. the other rider who assisted, continued on his ride after making sure we would be ok.
as i stood there, things were a blur. i had to bring my mind into focus and i did that by thinking of how my fall down the embankment happened. it was good to focus on it as it kept me from blanking out. not blacking out but blanking out. my hubby went over the bike and made any adjustments needed. he especially looked at the rear derailer. amazingly, it was not damaged. in fact, he said the thing was in perfect alignment. go figure! being embedded on a tree fixed the problems i was having with it. and it really did. once he said the bike was good to go, we continued on the trail walking the bikes. i wasn't quite ready to remount. hubby said, "if u want to walk all the way back, i'm ok with that. it's up to u." after walking the bikes for a distance and down some hills and back up, i remounted on a strait stretch of trail. hubby went ahead and i followed. i did not ride down any more challenging hills or up them either. i rode the flat, strait stretches. there is nothing more painful that having the feeling that something is stabbing u in the lungs. i had to constantly remind myself to breath from the abdomen.
hubby decided it would be quicker to the car if we got off the trail and onto the tractor trail, which should take us strait back to the parking lot area. but since we did not know where we were due to being unfamiliar with the area, we went in the wrong direction for quite a ways. but i was not bothered by it. as we were riding, my right eye peripheral vision went into black and white squares. i told hubby and he soon figured that i needed to eat. after eating, my right eye peripheral vision cleared up. i guess we were on the bikes for another hour to hour and a half b4 finally making it to the parking lot area. hubby had me sit at picnic table and he washed off my legs with my water pack. we then headed to the car and home.

after getting home, he told me, "go take a cool shower, then get into tub. don't worry about the bikes and stuff, i'll take care of them."
"ok," i said. "a cool shower then just enough hot water to take the chill out of the water." i headed strait for the shower. he took care of the bikes, including the cleaning and re-oiling of the chains on both bikes.
while in the jacuzzi tub relaxing the pain away, i asked God to take me back to the accident and show me what happened. 'what did i do wrong?' God showed me that an angel had kept me from goin' into the river and caused my bike to flip. i thanked God for saving my life and keeping me from getting more injured. i thanked Him over and over again. i know it was He who saved my life and kept me from really getting hurt. and this is not the first time He has done it.
hubby came in and gave me a kiss and said "drink!" and put my protein drink on the side on the tub. later, when he came to take it to the kitchen, he asked, "want to eat something?"
"i'm hungry, sure," i replied.
"how about an egg sandwich?" he asked as he walked away.
i had already made up my mind to accept anything he offered to eat. and the egg sandwich hit the spot!
not long after eating the sandwich, i finished the bath and got out.
b4 calling it a nite, i chatted with some friends in a game i play. then it was off to bed.

it will be a long while b4 i go back to those difficult trails. i will stick to the more leisurely dirt trails for a while.
i will give myself some time to heal and get my mindset corrected. don't worry, i'm not gonna quit riding my bike.

Sunday, August 25, 2013


ROUTE: neighborhood
TEMP: 90*F
WIND: from the E/SE TRIP: 6.50 miles
START TIME: 1003hrs
FINISH TIME: 1035hrs
GOAL: n/a
OF NOTE: legs aching to ride.

on this short ride before leaving for the trails, i did my best cadence yet. i am staying in the 2nd sprocket in the front and working the back gears to get my cadence, rhythm, and breathing in sync. i will be working on that for the next few weeks on paved roads. riding the dirt trails is a whole different thing, which is really good cuz i get to change up the scenery every so often. 8)

well, that about it. gotta get ready to go on the trails now.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


ROUTE: neighborhood/352/beltline/tripp
TEMP: 90*F
WIND: from the S/SE TRIP: 28.80 miles
START TIME: 2000hrs
FINISH TIME: 2115hrs
GOAL: meet the challenge
OF NOTE: challenge: railroad bridge and adding distance.

started the ride off leisurely but quickly put my rhythm up along with the speed. kept the gearing mostly in the middle sprocket to keep the rhythm quick and smooth. while riding the warm-up in my neighborhood, i was thinking of nothing and was really debating on which way to go. as i came to the stop sign exiting the neighborhood, i decided it was time to meet the challenge of getting up and over the very steep bridge over the railroad tracks. i made the first hill and did my best to get as much speed as i could. however, it wasn't enough to get very far up the steep incline. i persevered by continuing up by gearing down to 2 x 1. it was a definite challenge but i am glad i finally tackled it. after making the crest and heading down, i had to stop at the light b4 turning onto main and headed for beltline. i took kimbrough as i didn't want to tackle downtown beltline. entering beltline i rode the entire distance to tripp rd. without incident. tripp rd was smooth and uneventful. vehicles were polite and went around as they were able. the only incident that bothered me just a little was on 352 heading to wheatfield. a gray car came so close to me i was surprised they didn't hit me. other than that, my ride was great. i have got to stop arguing with myself before every ride. i am so exhilerated afterwards. there is nothing like a good ride to clear ur head and refocus ur mind.
now i have to keep up the work in making my challenges and accomplishing them. tho it may be slow, i am moving forward.

UPDATE ON TRAIL INJURIES: my thumb bruise is healing nicely. my hubby noticed a big bruise on my back right shoulder just behind my armpit and said it is very noticeable. i have not yet seen it. there is a bruise on my left inner lower thigh close to the knee. the scraps on my right calf r healing nicely. the cut on my right index finger is also healing nicely. my right shoulder does have a bit of pain but nothing to be concerned about. other than that, all is well. making plans to do trails again soon.


ROUTE: neighborhood/longcreek
TEMP: 90*F
WIND: from the S/SE TRIP: 10.36 miles
START TIME: 1915hrs
FINISH TIME: 2005hrs
GOAL: n/a
OF NOTE: just had to get out. no real agenda. enjoyed the ride and can't wait to get out again.
the wind was very strong and i decided to just have a good ride. had my water pack on so i could get used to it some more. it isn't too bad with the pack. i am glad to have it as it helps keep me hydrated. next road rally will be much more bearable. 8)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

trails - 18.08.2013

today just after lunch, hubby and i ventured to some dirt trails nearby. i haven't been on dirt trails in many years. so i was itching to get back. the trails were really nice and maintained. challenges were plenty and spread throughout the ride.

the first section started off like i remembered trails to be, easy and enjoyable. but small challenges were thrown in, which i did have some difficulty with. hubby, however, went for it. believe it or not, i didn't trust my bike, nor did i turn the wheel a few times to make it turn. i leaned it with a slight turning motion. NOT supposed to do that. real easy to meet a tree that way. it took a while for me to at least relax on the bike and let it do the work.
on trail 2, there were a few places that the trees were really close together, barely enough space for the bike. and one or two were coming off turns. i got thru them ok but when it came to riding over the tree roots sticking up, i would slow down and have difficulty getting over them. but since this was my first time in years on dirt trails, i did ok. on another trail section, i was goin' along really well until a tight turn over tree roots with cliff ledge/path made me slam on the brakes. i ended up very close to a tree with me sideways on the trail. didn't come off it, tho i stood there for quite awhile. 2 bikers passed by me before i restarted on the trail.
having never really ridden those kinds of trails before, i started getting apprehensive. but i quickly put that behind and asked God to help me focus and enjoy the ride. u know what? He did. i calmed down and focused on the trail ahead of me. there were quite a few "scary" sections. but the challenge to ride them really motivated me.
another part of the trail made me stop and look at the challenge. the path was easy for some distance then a right curve downhill with stone bridge and steep incline on other side. the challenge was to make the right curve goin' downhill with speed to climb the tree-rooted steep incline which then curved to the left. it took me several minutes to gather myself and then just go for it. asking God to help me, i pushed off and pedalled down the curved hill and up the other side with speed. i was ecstatic! hubby waited for me to make the challenge.
another challenge came up in the form of an 'S' with trees on both sides and a limb making a "low bridge". i was goin' at a good clip, saw the curve coming up and hit the brakes to slow a bit. i made the first curve but did not make the second. my right handle bar hit the tree on the right and sent me into another tree on the left, which i hit with my right hand palm and thumb area. my right leg was scraped by the front sprocket, which drew blood, my left knee hit the overgrown ground. my left arm was scraped up by the same tree as my right hand. had i not put up my right hand to take the hit on the tree to my left, my head would have taken the impact. and i don't need another head injury. after standing up, i checked myself to make sure nothing was broken. all good. since hubby was a distance ahead of me, i finally called out, "i'm down!" he quickly returned and helped me with my bike and i cleaned up a bit. i then remounted my bike and continued on the ride.
nothing more happened but i was apprehensive again. in fact, when i came up on two trees close together, i actually stopped, put my hand on the tree to the right and "walked" my bike between them. but i asked God once again, "please help me" and each time i asked, he answered by giving me a calm feeling and peace. so thankful to Him for helping me accomplish this challenge. the scars will heal but until they do, i have proof i can make it.

we will again ride those trails. and once again, i'll come up on those that caused me to hesitate. i will take the challenge and finish it. taking the trail slow and deliberate will help me make the challenges go smoothly. can't wait 'til we r able to go out again. 8)

Friday, August 16, 2013


ROUTE: neighborhood/BFF
TEMP: 77*F
WIND: from the N/NE TRIP: 19.44 miles
START TIME: 1950hrs
FINISH TIME: 2110hrs
GOAL: rhythm, cadence, hydration
OF NOTE: 2nd ride! just couldn't wait to get out in that nice weather, again. the wind! it was very strong coming from the N/NE.

there r a lot of reasons i wanted to make a second ride in the evening. the main reason: i just wanted to get out on the bike. the weather was so perfect. i just couldn't let it go by without another ride.
this time, however, i made a few visit stops. first stop was to my BFF. she was glad to see me and we chatted about 15 mins. then after that, i stopped at my oldest daughter's to say, 'HI'. but daughter and granddaughter hadn't returned home so i chatted with my son-in-law and grandson. right now, grandson's favorite word is 'no'. so everytime i asked him something, he responded with 'no'. it was so cute. was there about 10 mins or so. just after i got on my bike again, my daughter honked me down and we chatted for about 10 mins. on my way again. after that i continued my ride.

it was a great ride. as in previous posts, i felt exhilerated and wanted to go again but, the sky had turned dark and it was better that i headed home. afterall, it was my second ride of the day. u know, this could become habit forming which is a good thing. 8)

Thursday, August 15, 2013


ROUTE: neighborhood/BFF
TEMP: 77*F
WIND: from the N/NE TRIP: 20.04 miles
START TIME: 0905hrs
FINISH TIME: 1042hrs
GOAL: rhythm, cadence, hydration
OF NOTE: the wind! it was very strong coming from the N/NE. however, the challenge was met head on. and i won!
with the weather so beautiful and me just not wanting to really pass up the opportunity to get a good ride in, i fought with myself on whether or not to ride. guess which one won the argument?
i am so glad the bike won out cuz once i got out there, it was so freeing. i really enjoyed the ride. from the start, the wind was definitely noticeable. however, i put my gears where i could keep good rhythm and cadence. i am working on a rhythm that i can maintain throughout the ride as well as when changing gears. it's definitely a work in progress. the change can be dramatic if the gears 'jump'. so i am working on the front gear changes so i don't have to 'kick it down' so hard or fast on the rear gears. there is a definite advantage to using that middle gear on my bike. i am finally riding smarter, not harder. taking the time to find what really works best for me will be the key to having an enjoyable and long ride.
i also do my best to take in my surroundings as i ride on my chosen route. i find when i look around, the ride takes on a much more relaxed feeling. yes, i am still concentrating on my rhythm and all that, it just helps make the workout much more interesting. i am not one to just look strait ahead and ignore what's around me. tho i look like i am not taking it all in, i really am. i have learned to use not only my eyes but my ears as well. i also am honing my other senses as i ride.
the one thing i am learning to do is listen for God's still small voice. i love hearing Him talk to me. His presence gives me the joy i have in riding and getting out. i am very thankful that i can do what i do.
sometimes, as i ride, God and i have conversation on what i am goin' thru or dealing with at that time. it seems i am much more receptive when i ride my bike. He really does help me to be calm, peaceful, and let's me know that resting in His arms is right where i need to be.
i find the ride helps me to be a better me. after the ride i am much more willing to deal with whatever comes up in the right way. my attitude is happier and brighter. guess i need to do a lot more riding the bike, eh?
one other thing: for the past few rides, my cadence has been in the 60's range. 8) that's a good thing. gotta keep up the good riding and get it to a steady 65 and or higher. burns more calories the higher and longer i can maintain it.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


ROUTE: eastfork/neighborhood
TEMP: 82*F
WIND: from the S/SE TRIP: 14.25 miles
START TIME: 0812hrs
FINISH TIME: 0921hrs
GOAL: rhythm, cadence, hydration
OF NOTE: today was a struggle as i had not ridden in few days. humidity also played a role in the struggle.
when i started the ride, the temp was 82 with 62% humidity index. the wind wasn't really all that strong but that quickly changed as i began my ride. i headed up the incline on the service road and did fairly well. however, the climb up the east side of the service was a real struggle. i actually kicked it down to 2 X 5 and i believe ended up kicking it a couple gears lower. i made it up that steep incline and continued up the gradual incline. i was struggling. but the rhythm/cadence kept me goin'.
toward the end of the ride, the final incline on the service road coming back to 352, was also a struggle. this time, however, i did not kick it down to front 2. i just put it down to 3 X 3 and made the climb ok. accomplishing that climb, i knew i wasn't gonna make it any farther than home. so home i did go. however, one more gradual incline stood in my way. riding 352 with all i could muster, i made it to the road turn and headed for the hospital parking lot to start the cool down.
riding the parking lot as usual, i was able to calm my breathing and actually relax as i pedalled thru.
even as i rode the neighborhood, i found it a struggle. but i continued and finished as strong as i could. this ride may have been a struggle, but it was a struggle that i was glad to accomplish. 8)

sandi_SL4-39 10.08.2013

ROUTE: eastfork/neighborhood
TEMP: 95*F
WIND: from the south TRIP: 13.80 miles
START TIME: 2012hrs
FINISH TIME: 2116hrs
GOAL: rhythm, cadence, hydration
OF NOTE: wind was coming from the south. desire to change up my route to add a bit of a challenge at the beginning.

having ridden the same route for a few weeks, i decided to change it up. i was feeling good so after turning onto the service road, i decided to take the east fork route. either way i went, i had to make the climb up the hill on the service road as the road i normally use to reenter the neighborhood was barracaded. with determination, speed, and using the correct gears, i made it up the incline without much trouble. however, goin' up the other side of the hwy on the service road was a bit more difficult. had to put the gears down to 3 x 2. but i made it up the incline. i was thinking to myself, 'what were u thinking?' i answered myself, 'i need to work these challanges. if i don't work on them, i won't be able to pace myself correctly.' so onward i pedaled.
as i rode the chosen route, i enjoyed the ride. i am pleased with my hydrating and endurance. but i would like to push it just a bit more. there is so much u can see as u ride ur bike. however, it can be lonely unless riding with another. but the satisfaction of getting out and doin' something like that is exhilerating. there r times when i slow my cadence down, which doesn't help my average, and just coast as i take in the view.