Wow. My pulse is still way up. In my post surgery recovery, I am finally starting to ride again. Today is the first time in over a year that I’ve pointed the bike uphill. There was a downhill to go with it.
The hill starts right out the back door. I get about two blocks to warm up, and then the Garmin tells me that I am going at 14%+ grades. It does back off into the 6-8% periodically, but it does a great job of waking me up. I did better than I though, but I was completely maxed out the whole way. Wow, it was hard.
After a few moments to regroup at the top of Mt. Soledad, I headed down. I’ve done the decent many, many times and it is quite fun. There is one corner into a level spot that usually has some water in it, but I’ve never thought much of it. You hit it with some speed, but nothing crazy. I was going in the mid to upper twenties and leaning the bike over a bit.
Then I felt the rear end start to go. My “lean” became pretty extreme and I was thinking about the best way no to hurt myself. I was looking at the curb and the parked car I might slide into. Then I got traction again and popped upright. Somehow I was counter steering in the turn and just came out of it. I lost some speed, but not too much.
Once I realized I was still up, I squeezed the brakes and pulled over. I had to get off the bike. I don’t know if it was the lack of oxygen from the climb, the adrenaline or what, but I was pretty freaked out.
That was the closest I’ve been to hitting the deck without hitting it. And I have hit before, so I knew what was coming. I’m glad it turned out to just be “what I thought was coming.” When I looked back, I think I just hit a rut that popped me back up. Not too unlike a rut that once took me out.
The rest of the decent was casual and I was pretty happy to make it back to the garage.
I’ll take luck over skill any day.