In the Saddle: Rough landing |

In the Saddle: Rough landing

Tim Dudley

It’s difficult to be a good mountain biker when you love to ski.At least that was my excuse as I rode East Government Trail recently.See, you’ve got to get a little speed built up to ascend some of those rocky climbs and nail those boulder-strewn descents. And whenever I reach a certain speed when the air rushes cool by my face, I imagine this rock will have me limping around in an air cast for opening day, or that tree will mean I’m looking forlornly out some window with my arm in a sling while it dumps sometime in December.So I slow down so much a slippery root brings me to a halt, or I give up altogether, dismount and shamefully push, glad there’s no one around to see.I guess I don’t have the guts. And that day on Government, I didn’t have the brakes, either.It wasn’t until I was well on my way to the trailhead when I remembered I hadn’t purchased new rear pads. I figured I could get by, so I kept going.Riding Government with no rear brakes was fine for the first hundred yards or so. Then I came around a corner too fast for comfort and spotted a pile of those feared season-ending rocks. I hit the rear brakes hard and then apparently the front brakes a little too hard.There aren’t many feelings worse than that moment when you realize you’re going over the handlebars and there’s nothing you can do. So I went.Immediately there was a great pain and a little blood from my right kneecap, and I saw the ski season flash before my eyes. But after sitting there awhile and then testing it, it was my medical diagnosis that I had only a bruise and cut on the knee and various patches of trail rash evenly distributed about the rest of my body.I got up, took off down the trail a little more slowly, and imagined what these slopes are going to look like come winter.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User