Calling All Evil Trees

Man meets tree: tree wins.

Well it had to happen. It’s been over a month since I had a good cycling accident and in the last few weeks I’ve been pushing my chances a bit. The off-roading runs I had been doing were of average length and incline, but had nothing to dangerous in them. Two weeks ago, however, I discovered a couple of new routes through the woods.

The Killer Tree

The Killer Tree

One was a fast downhill ride, using a track about half meter wide with some sharp turns in it and (in places) lose ground. The scary bit was the start, which is a slope of just over 45 degrees. This means the speed at the start is excellent, but it also means that the bike will still keep moving even with both breaks on.

The second course starts off with a shallow, but rather narrow, path that then opens up into a wide slope (about thirty meters across) littered with fallen trees. The aim is to get from the top to the bottom as fast as possible by picking the best route. The hazard here is that a lot of the logs are difficult to jump over and it is very likely that having cleared one they’ll be another immediately after, giving only seconds to make a turn.

The Path - Downhill

The Path - Downhill

I suspected I’d crash doing the latter of these two, but as it turned out I lost control at the start of the first one after hitting a small root. This pushed me off course and I was unable to either slow the bike or point it away from a large pine tree. The result was me riding straight into the bottom section of the tree and being pushed off (rather than the controlled jump I would have liked) by the branches.

The damage wasn’t too severe: a couple of cuts on my face, some other scratches on my arms and some bruising on my legs. Nothing broken this time and far less blood. The adrenaline kick afterwards was fantastic.

The moral of the story is: kids, wear your helmet. Mine took a big knock which I suspect would have resulted in a gash to the head.

A few more pictures can be found on the Flickr.