Saturday, February 21, 2009

Why We Wear Helmets

I took Shannon out for his first mountain bike ride today. I put the blue bike back together for him to ride and lent him my back up, back up helmet(I left my #1 back up in Phoenix for future visits). We started out at South Sea-Tac, about the best place around I can think of to break in a newbie. Turns out that Shannon is pretty much a natural and took right to the trails. It was really fun leading him around the twistys, listening to his laugh coming up behind me. We rode all over the park, stopping occasionally to catch our breath and prepare for the next challenge. After an hour and a half and about six miles we headed back to the car to load up and head to lunch.

After lunch we drove back into town and I thought it might be a good idea to take Shannon over to Colonnade and show him what all the fuss is about. We rode around the beginner stunts for a bit and then headed off to watch braver souls handle some of the bigger stuff. After that there was a little show and tell at the pump track and the little jump that leads into it. After a couple of attempts he was all over it so we headed off in the direction of the Limestone Loop. Shannon was doing fine, he was walking the switchbacks but he did a couple of intimidating step downs without much trouble, not bad for day one on the bike.

The trouble was at the bottom of Limestone, I took the easy out and Shannon was looking for a route to the bridge. At some point he decided to abandon that and go for the out off a three foot drop to flat. Yeah, that's right, day one on a mountain bike and going for the slow roll into a three foot drop to flat. Oh yeah, it was a slow roll. No discernible lift on the front before going over the edge either. I can't remember the last time I've seen anyone take a hit that could quite measure up to this one. Shannon to the brunt of the hit on his shoulder and head, I sure glad he was wearing the helmet. After the initial shock we both had a good laugh, and I used the bike to illustrate where the whole thing went wrong. I think Shannon got the picture.

The damage.

I let Shannon take it home as a souvenir.

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