Sunday, February 13, 2005

Elizabeth Furnace

Woke up early Saturday morning a little before rickyd and Jo showed up at my place. Gina, rickyd, and me were heading up to Elizabeth Furnace for a day of riding after the last snowfall had made the local trails unridable for the last week. Jo was very kind (Thanks, Jo!) and offered to watch Sagada while her bad parents left her to go riding. I'd only been to EF once before and from my experience, it had lived up to it's reputation as one of the area's more advanced trails. The plan was to join up with the MORE folks for what was billed as a "casual" ride. Hmm, a casual ride on an advanced trail is still an advanced ride according to me. So I was a bit worried about Gina since she hasn't spent much time on the trails lately. I really should have been watching out for myself:

Photos by Peter Beers

That was our first stream crossing (or in my case, stream swimming) of the day. I had watched about three other people ride across this stream ahead of me. So, with a bit too much confidence in my "skills," I gun it hoping that momentum would carry me over the rocks. Well it sorta did. As in over the bars and into the rocks. Even though it was about 40 degrees that day, that water was freezing cold.

Turns out that Gina did fine. Except for some cramping in her legs from all that hike-a-biking, she had fun, probably more than I did. I even think she enjoyed watching me take a dive. In a way, I actually enjoyed that dive as well. As far as I see it, there's good pain and there's bad pain. I've experienced them both and consider myself lucky to know the difference. Bad pain is what you feel when you're sick and stuck in a hospital bed thinking you're gonna die. You hit the morphine button, but that 2 minutes before it takes effect seems like hours because your insides feel like they're tearing themselves apart. It's the result of years of neglecting your health, whether it's because of school, work, a poor diet, whatever, it's all the same. Good pain, I've only discovered recently. It's that burning sensation that starts in my legs and works it's way into my lungs during a long climb up a steep fireroad on my singlespeed. It's also the sensation of a tree trunk crashing into my ribs as I lose control in a turn because I'm trying hard to keep up with my friends at the races. It bothers me when I hear someone say that they don't like to exercise because it's too hard, or when they see all the bruises on my shins from biking and wonder why I put myself through that. As far I'm concerned life is painful by nature. If you are able to, you just have to choose between the good kind and the bad. Damn, this was supposed to be just a ride report. Happy thoughts, happy thoughts...

Photos by Peter Beers

Thanks for having such a great camera, Peter!


Blogger Your Name Here said...

Good Morning, Joe. I'm glad you guys had fun. I love the way you animated the photos. It definitely improves on them. Shows some great action.

I'm also happy that you didn't just stick to the ride report. You comments on pain definitely hit the nail on the head for me. Only this morning do I feel a bit more like myself after my crash on Saturday. It reminded me to look back and see why I feel this way and how much a part of my life that riding with this group has become.

Thanks. I needed that.


7:36 AM

Blogger gwadzilla said...

great story
great time
the motion imagry is just a flavorful desert to an already fullfilling dinner

10:20 PM


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