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.