Friday, November 10, 2006

Hoosier mountain biking

My hubby likes to live on the edge. He's calmed a bit over the years, but still likes to push the limits. He says it's his Sagittarian ways. I say he's either brave, or stupid -- with love in my heart, of course.

Several years back, he did a lot of biking. Not on a motorcycle, mind you, but bicycling. He rode his bike to work, took long rides on days off, and would do a bit of mountain biking with friends on the weekend. Indiana doesn't exactly have mountains, but he did ride a bike through the woods and the hills -- mountain biking, Hoosier style.

The guys he rode with had a trophy that was passed amongst them. Constructed of a part of a bike, embedded in a stump, it was given, at the end of the day, to the guy who had the most spectacular wreck. It was the responsibility of the winner to display it "prominently" in their house -- if any of the group didn't see it when they visited, there were penalties, though I never knew what they were. (Some kind of man law thing, I suppose.)

Before the next bike outing, the winner was responsible for adorning it with some type of piece that was appropriate for the subject. It was covered with bandaids, stickers, and some brave soul added an athletic cup. I never asked whose bright idea that was, but the guys loved it. I marvelled that we hadn't had the trophy at our house. Hubby claimed it was his expertise in riding; I called it dumb luck. Till one fateful day.

Hubby gave me a smooch and headed out, planning to spend most of the day biking. I went out for a while, and was surprised to find him in the recliner when I got home. I greeted him with my normal question, "did you win the trophy?" He logrolled over my way and said "no, but I almost died." Oye.

It had rained in the days before, and the woods were muddy. Hubby apparently went to jump a creek, didn't get the front wheels up in time, and when the tires embedded themselves in the mud, he went flying over the handlebars landing, as I'm told, vertically in the creek, on his head. The other guys came flying through the woods and helped him up, got him in the van, and drove him home. Of course, this was not until one of the riders showed him how to properly jump the creek. Again, man law.

He arrived home with numbness in both arms and toddled off to Medcheck with his loving wife, where he was told that he had pretty much done the same type of thing that Christopher Reeve had done, but that the water had absorbed much of the blow. Bruised his spinal cord and his ego, but he was at church the next day -- where the guys all came to check on him during the passing of the peace. I expected it to be the passing of the trophy -- must've been a pretty spectacular fall, for all of the guys to show up like that. They all agreed that he had won the trophy for life.

He hasn't biked like that since, though he still does hit the pavement now and again. With a helmet on.

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