I had originally planned to ride at Oak Mtn the afternoon of the 22nd, but my hypoglycemia kicked into high gear that morning and caused some serious heaves in the parking lot of my office. After finally feeling better it was time to call it a day anyway so I postponed my ride time until Saturday. With lots on our family schedules as always, I had limited time to ride. The weather was overcast with temps in the low to mid 50s…..typical Alabama autumn day. I decided to head up to the top of Double Oak Mountain on the EBSCO property to do some climbing.
Once crested, I rode the pavement for a short while then turned around and headed downhill on the jeep trail to EBSCO gate #1. Along the way I bumped into Mike, who patrols the acreage for EBSCO, and had a short chat about large cat sightings. As always, Mike was a good resource for what’s going on up there. Heading downhill on some of the steeper sections, I had some leaf slide-outs that led to some very close calls in terms of wipe-outs. I did have one pretty good wipe-out, but luckily it was more of a slide and had no real impact….unlike the crash I was to have later in the ride.
After hitting gate #1, I simply turned back around and headed back uphill on the rather steep Category 3 climb to Double Oak Way. Due to how many leaves have fallen, even during just the two-week span since I had last been on these trails, it was impossible to get enough traction to climb all of the hills. So, I had to walk my bike a few times to get over some of the super-steep sections. The rest of it was good riding though.
My original thought had been to backtrack my way to the Forest Parks neighborhood, head down 280, and then get on the Dunnavant Valley Greenway Trail at Soccer Blast. However, knowing how many leaves must have fallen on that trail, which is treacherously rocky in some places, I opted instead to hit pavement back to Hwy 41. From there I went to the opposite trailhead for the DVGT, taking it inward until the first rocky section that would have required walking.
On my way home I decided to add another mile or so to my ride by doing the lake trail at Mt Laurel. During the last 10 yards of trail before it exits back onto the lawn at the lake, I took a wrong line down a rock chute and did a hard endo over the handlebar. I must have hit a rut that was buried under some leaves, because my front tire just nosedived into the ground, sending me butt over head onto some large rocks on the ground. Knowing some folks were at the lake and likely had seen it, I quickly hopped up to make it not seem so bad and then rode on out. Upon riding out, I noticed that it was Travis and his family that were at the lake, and he had in fact witnessed it. We chatted for a few minutes before I headed home to deal with my wounds…..just a shame that it wasn’t caught on tape.
After a few minutes the pain started really setting in. By Sunday morning it was unbearable, so I reluctantly made a trip to the ER. Diagnosis was a small shoulder separation, sprained finger, and fractured forearm near the elbow. That one small decision I made to take the lake trail rather than go straight home cost me lots of pain and some upcoming time off of my bikes. Not one of my finer decisions.
Ride link can be found here. Pics are below.