Sunday, June 14, 2009

Squirrel Economics

After yesterday's ride to Fork Plus Six, today's ride was mellow and slow. Alot more folks were out today with a cloud cover and dry road. The group of motorcycle guys joked with me about "Working hard pedalling", "How about putting a motor on that cycle?" I laughed.

Caught site of two coyote pups. It was good to confirm both were still alive and doing well.

The San Dimas Mountain Rescue crew were out training, learning how to find a downed airplane.

Even the Forest Service crew were out.

Numerous motorcyclists were zipping up and down the mountain. One in white leather repeated the course four or more times. It was a cautious descent as the motor bikers roared past at close range. But it was a quiet spot of the descent that a squirrel decided to cross the road in front of me. The calculus in my brain indicated collision and the brakes were squeezed tight, the resultant fish tailing of my back wheel caused panic. I saw my own image reflected in the black squirrel eye. It's tiny brain decided that its best course was to back track. It escaped pain free and unscathed. I did not fare as well. The back wheel flailing and rapid slow down, the physics were compelling me to the earth. I slide to the right. A brush of the hip. The palm of the hand. The top of my helmet. My pride deflated. Felled by a small furry rodent.

One water bottle rolled loose on the ground. I sat on the dirt, then realized with the amount of traffic I needed to get the bike off the road before I caused a larger accident. Bike and water bottle corralled. I spent a few moments collecting myself taking stock that I was alive and well and relatively good shape. The forest service folks stopped. I was fine. No need for assistance.

The seat needed pounding back into place. Brakes worked. Wheels true. Spokes ok. The back tire had one small patch indicating it needed to be replaced. I descended slower than before.

Mountain bikers joined me at Big Dalton Canyon and I noticed that they drafted a bit too close. I was nervous from the squirrel encounter and too many riders in close proximity with unexpected tactics caused concern.

I replaced the tire and bought a new helmet. Thus the conclusion that squirrels are good for the economy. Squirrels - 1, GMR - 0.

Six hours later. I am feeling ok. The hip is good only a slight rash. The head is fine. Helmets are wonderful. The palm of the hand is less tender.


Jason said...

Ahhh! I'm glad you are okay. I wonder if back at the Squirrel Lodge two Squirrels, over beer and nuts, are telling their "one up" stories about how close they tempted death on GMR.

"That's nothing. My encourager is better," said Squirrel, " I played chicken with some woman in a red handkerchief and won!"

Anonymous said...

glad to hear that you're ok...did you drop your new bike?

GMR said...

Fortunately the crash occurred with the current (old) bike. The new bike is coming soon!