La puta ruta de rolleresquí de la meurte

17 May

Found a mountain bike path near Granada. Let’s be clear about this: not a rocky path for mountain bikes, but a smooth, car free path for cycles in the mountains.

Looked great from a distance when I spotted it from within a colleague’s car. When I returned, however, it did present some problems. The path surface was very smooth and hard and so my poles didn’t grip well.

But that was a minor issue compared to the steepness. Going from the markers painted on the path, the grade went from 10% to 16%.

Beastly. Technique-wise climbing it was all paddling. Otherwise put, leg-assisted pole hauling.

When I got to the top, I thought long and hard about my speed reducers. I have heard that they can seize up on a long descent when they get too hot. Here I faced several horrendously steep kilometers to get back down. I decided the risk wasn’t worth it and that he who wants to ski again, walks.

Still, I was itchy to try at least a little bit of the descent. Near the bottom, where the road was steep but eventually flattened out, I decided to go for it. I chose the road instead of the bike path because I wanted a greater margin for manoeuvre. So I put on my skis and attached my speed reducers set to maximum friction.

In the wide-open spaces of the Sierra Nevada foothills, distances are deceptive. When I started rolling I realized that I had a longer way to go before reaching the bottom of the hill than I had anticipated. And even with the speed reducers at full power and snow-ploughing like all hell, I kept on accelerating. Moreover, to add insult to injury the road got bumpy.

So, just before things flattened out, I fell. That is to say, right at maximum speed. The GPS accelerometer had me pegged at 30.2 km/h at the crash site.

It’s a bad sign when your body is flailing across rough pavement and you have time to marvel at how long you’ve been sliding. You are losing skin the whole time.

Happily, though, there wasn’t any hard impact. Just a lot of friction. So while I lost a lot of skin on an arm and on my butt, no bones or vitals were ever jeopardized.

When I got back in town, after being very gingerly seated on the bus, I called my colleague to pick me up. He snapped this picture. To the faint of heart I recommend against zooming in on the damage zone!

This happened last Monday. I’ve still been able to jog despite my injuries, so while painful they are not serious. I won’t go into the gory details but prefer to focus on how soft my new skin will be. As I’ve surely mentioned before, rollerskiing’s benefits include free dermabrasion.

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