Thursday, February 21, 2008

The carnage of a downhill

So last night was the Full moon cruise. I got to the bridge around 15 after 11. I had bought a couple of beers and was enjoying watching everyone get to the starting point. I talked with a few folks we exchanged bike stories. I couldn't help but to notice the usual hipster fixed gear riders showing up. Some of us almost took bets of who would bail on the ride before it was finished. Now before anyone starts to jump on me about the hipsters...yes I do ride a fixed gear. No, I don't go around doing tricks or skidding (unless I need to for stopping reasons). I like riding fixed because of how I feel with the bike, not because it is the new BMX, and all the hip kids are doing it.

The reason for the bets, was because of the rides route had the infamous Mt Bunell.

So everyone finally shows up and we took off. As soon as we got down the spiral walk way someone ate it right away because of the sharp turn. Maybe a preview of what was to come. The group started off strong, we had maybe 25-75 riders. As the night progressed and the hills started coming we started losing people. One was to the fact that some folks didn't keep up and didn't know where we were going and some because the hills did have a sting in them. We stopped several times along the way, drinking beers talking and then we would start up again. When we were about half way on the ride we already had lost quite a few people, about half of them were no where to be seen. Everyone else is still going, so it was off to the hardest part of the ride. Mt. Bunell.

Now I personally have not ridden this before and wasn't quite sure what to expect.I knew the hill was brutal. I also knew that I wasn't familiar with the roads, so I took my time when we would have a downhill before an uphill. I was always at the back of the pack, because I ride fixed and I have no front brake or rear brake, except for my legs. The hills were quite fun to go down and a bitch to go up. I run 52x14 so the hills were a bitch. I made it up all of them with out getting off my bike, except once. That was in part because when I was almost at the top of the hill everyone was stopping and getting off of their bikes and starting to walk the hill, and that cause me to almost run into the back of someone else. So I walked the last 20 yards or so.

When we got to the top, one of the first things I did was catch my breath and looked for the hipsters....only a couple to be seen. Once we reached the top, there was a stair case that we all went up to take our final break of the evening. Bob gets my vote for biker of the night for carrying his heavy ass stereo up all the hills and then up the stairs. He did end up up chucking a little.

Everyone was ready to ride again, so we started the descent. I was told that at the bottom of the hill was a 90 degree turn, so I already knew I might be in trouble depending on the hill. WE got down the first of two big hills and I came up on the second one. Man that thing was steep as hell and I ended up getting off of my bike and walking down the hill. Call me a pussy if you want, but I ended up jogging down the hill because it was so steep.

As I approached the bottom , I was informed that two people busted ass on the hill and that an ambulance had already been called. I was so glad at that point because 1. I didn't want to wreck, and 2. One of the guys that wrecked was riding fixed and with no brakes. "He's still in ICU he has a broken collar bone, fractured skull, and he has some brain bleeding. He doesn't remember a thing!! I think we should have a new rule all you trendy fixed gears need helmets!!!" Now I hate to see anyone go down on a bike and I wish him a speedy recovery. He was also one of two people I saw with a fixed gear at that point besides me. That just goes to show that the hipsters are about tricks and not just the ride. Otherwise they would have climbed those hills with us 3 fixie riders and the rest of the geared riders.

So I guess this is my official vote of, lets not take the Mt. Bunell route again. Two riders down in one night and the last time that route was taken a rider went down.

This is just my two cents.

Overall the evening was a blast, except for when I got rained on coming home, but that wasn't that bad. I just didn't want to wreck and have no one around.

til next time



Jason said...

There were a couple fixed riders left, but I think you, he and Andy were the only brakeless riders at that point. There was a guy who dodged a bullet right in front of the accident, I had my fixed gear commuter (with brakes) and then there was girl who was riding a fixed conversion with road drops. I saw a pack split at 35th the first time we were on it. Ah well, it was a fun ride with the exception of the crashing. I too am for a flatter, chiller ride next month.

You know maybe someone should organize a race so everyone can get it out of their system.

Mike said...

that was lurch (my housemate) right in front of the guy who bit it. crazy shit.

i ditched out on the ride at the capitol. i know, i'm a pussy, but i just wasn't up for what i knew would inevitably be a fixie race (what, with all those crazy ass hills)

- j e n n - said...

i thank you tons for walking down that hill. i'm glad i didn't get an emergency call last night.

thanks for being safe lovely.

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