On Saturday, I headed down to Innerleithen with Katie and Gen to remind ourselves how to ride scary stuff after months of cross country and cyclocross (we're all doing the Innerleithen Night and Day Enduro in November). I also wanted to get out on my new bike and give it a proper test run (as I was packing it into the van, Chris reminded me that "it's not the Remedy, remember, that bike could get you into trouble"...yeah, yeah).
We hadn't realised it was an uplift day, so whilst all the big boys loaded their big bikes onto the uplift lorry, we pedaled and pushed our less big bikes up to the top (funnily enough, nobody on the uplift was actually going right up to the top, so we had that bit to ourselves).
It was quite late in the day when we started, so we did 2 runs of trails which were used for the DH Enduro earlier in the year, then we decided to have a last whizz down one of the less techy DH trails (the wee notice at the top promised swoopy, bermy, doubles and tabletops and none of the big drops mentioned on the other notices and it would take us to the top of Cadonbank for a final scoot back to the carpark).
I set off first, with Katie and Gen close behind whooping and hollering. I knew I was going quite fast when I had to stop to wait for them to catch up at one of the intersections, but it was all hanging together quite nicely and I was having great fun.
I popped over one of the wee jumps, cheerily saying hello to the group of boys standing by the side of the trail. Then things got really fast.
Still in control.
Round that berm...phew, that was close.
Over that wee jump.... woohoo
A bit faster...
Down the drop...
On the ground, bike on top of me, lots of blood pouring out of my mouth.
Katie appeared a few seconds later and Gen a few seconds after her and they quickly moved my bike from on top of me and helped me sit up.
Uh oh...the worried faces didn't look good.
Lots of tissues pulled out of bags and handed to me to try to stop the blood.
It was starting to get dark, so we needed to get off the hill. Gen took my bike, Katie took my Camelback and I stood up, then sat back down again.
Uh oh...I'm not going to be able to drive home....I feel really beat up and dizzy.
A quick phone call to Chris to ask him to drive down to pick us up and then a very slow walk back down the hill.
By the time we got back to the carpark, it was properly dusk, I was feeling sick, dizzy and very sore, my mouth was still bleeding and my teeth really hurt.
Chris arrived, helped Katie and Gen pack their bikes into our car and quickly explained how the car worked and then we headed off to A&E.
I must have looked pretty awful as I tried to tell the triage nurse what had happened (covered in mud and blood, shaking, hobbling and crying in that "I think this might be bad" sort of way).
An hour and a bit later, nothing broken, lots of massive bruising, slightly concussed, pretty woosy and a very busted up lip (I not only split my lip open, but I cleverly managed to bite it too) I'm packed off home with instructions for Chris not to leave me alone...just in case.
So now, I feel like I've been in a massive crash. Everything aches, it hurts to move, it hurts to breath and it hurts to cough. My lip is so swollen I can't eat unless it's chopped into very small pieces and I can only drink through a straw and my teeth feel like something's not quite right.
I know it'll all get better soon, but at the moment I feel very sorry for myself.
I have learned from all of this though....if I'm going to be pushing myself on DH trails, I really should wear a full face helmet rather than my xc helmet. It wouldn't have stopped me crashing and I'd probably still have bitten my lip, but I wouldn't have split my lip and probably wouldn't have got concussion.
I also learned that I have some very good friends who know what to do in a bad situation...thanks guys!
On the plus side, it proves I was pushing my limits apparently! Maybe I'll just do it a wee bit more carefully next time.
x (except I can't pull a kissing face at the moment)