OK, the contest is over, and now it’s time to choose a random number to see who won yesterday’s Fat Cyclist Sweepstakes.
And the random number is…
(Sound of virtual roulette wheel spinning)
…The excitement is killing me….
Congratulations to Jen, who — due to her generous $50 pledge — not only gets the bracelet she’s excited to have my wife make, but also gets a $100 amazon.com gift certificate from me. Nice return on investment, eh?
By way of interesting coincidence, Jen emailed me a few weeks ago urging me to use some charitable purpose as my new weight loss carrot. So I couldn’t be happier that she’s the lucky winner. And while the weight loss aspect of this carrot kind of…um…failed, my friends, family, and blog buddies have helped raise $1034 to help fight MS. That’s very cool. Thanks, everyone.
Yesterday, Bob and I went mountain biking on Tiger Mountain. Unlike most people, we like to ride up the technical singletrack. Technical climbing is in fact what most of the people I ride with do best.
It was a great day for riding. It was overcast, but not rainy. The temperature was probably in the high 60s. There were few riders on the trail.
So Bob and I did the first section of the trail, climbing over logs, threading rocks, and just having a great time.
We stopped at a blackberry bush and ate handfuls of the ripe berries, then started up the second part of the trail.
The friends I ride with have a "three-try" rule for technical moves. You are allowed/required to try technical moves three times before moving on. Bob and I stopped at a tall rock ledge at the end of a switchback. Bob had tried it twice and failed. I was on my second try. And while I rarely clean a technical move in three tries, I still play along, hoping that magically, someday, my technical bike skills will blossom.
So I rode up to the ledge, wheelied to get my front wheel up top, and lunged forward. Not good enough. My bike and I started tipping backward. Arms pinwheeling, I jumped back, clicking out of my pedals. I spun around in the air and — amazingly — landed on my feet.
I was so proud of my miraculous save that I struck a gymnast’s dismount pose: Both arms high in the air, feet together. Big smile. Turn and face the audience and bow.
Bob pointed to my bike. "Was that there before?"
No, I can confidently say that was not there before. While I was saving myself, my bike sailed a good ways through the air and landed — top tube down — on a sharp rock.
Ew. I don’t think I can ride that with confidence anymore.
So, my trusty Paragon is dead. On the one hand, I’m seriously bummed. On the other hand: Yay, time for a new bike!
PS to smart bike company marketing types: Want some great publicity from a cyclist with a blog readership of 25,000 per week, as well as a column in cyclingnews.com? All it will cost you is a mountain bike. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.