Monday, March 26, 2007

No brain + No brakes = 2 crashes

Dirt Surfer Chronicles
Chapter 1. Sulfur Sunday

No brain + No brakes = 2 crashes

The East side of Sulfur Mountain Road features 7-8 miles of mostly downhill dirt road. There are several areas that require some walking – (the Dirtsurfer requires slopes whether they be grass, asphalt, dirt trails, sidewalks etc). The intervals of walking were nice and helped to relieve the little bit of a back/right calf burn that I started feeling after the first mile or so.

Four of us bombed down Sulfur on a blue Sunday. Colin stood on an old school 20. Morgan started on a 20 as well while both Justin and I rode Freestyles. Initially all went well no, mishaps. I used the brake to trim my speed whenever it got to hairy. The slope was steep enough that I used the brake to make the turns less freaky.

As the turn approached, I tried to put more pressure on the brake but my speed went unchecked. As I sped almost out of control, in squat position on the board, futilely pushing the break lever, I saw that the hair pin turn dropped into an even steeper downhill – instantly I drop on to my ass and slide across the fire road leaving a brown rooster tail of dust in my wake. While making my slide, I am able to see on my left, a young woman biking up the steep slope. Lucky to witness my spectacular incompetence, she seems to glow. I warn her of the 3 approaching dirtsurfers and she complies, walking her bike off on the side.

Without checking anything, I take off again, this time after Colin and Morgan with Justin somewhere behind me. The slope gets steeper, I am going faster, faster, faster, the terrain gets bumpy and I use my hand on the calf lever and – nothing. It does not work! DUH!! (I now realized that my very prior but slide crash had been caused by brake failure. Looking back I surmise that they must have gradually become less and less effective, kind of snuck up on me). Anyway, the second crash left no dust cloud. All it required, this time, was some fresh skin off of my right elbow. I liken it to a reef scrape that one is likely to get surfing shallow reefs in the South Pacific.

Soon enough, Justin come surfing down the hill looking a little sheepish. He calf brakes to a stop and as he walks over I watch as he pulls a small stone out of his shoulder. Turns out he has just had a wicked crash. He turns so I can see his torn up back. It is not too bad but there will be pain.

Justin: “I thought the bolt was loose in the front, I squatted down and checked with my finger but it got caught and I endoed.”

Thus, in that instant, Justin snagged the Bardo Surfer Sulfur Sunday Crash Award from my clutches. The but slide dust cloud was amazing, even had a lucky spectator but, one look at Justin’s back and there was no looking back, he’d won, wear and tear, hands down.
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