30 August 2013
Part 7: Ambush
Once again, 00D set off on the back of a train - of one. But that rider set a cracking pace, and 00D didn’t overtake until the first fire trail. T hen he was overtaken after he slowed for a crossing cow. But, at the very next track, they swapped positions once more, and 00D was back out in front. In no time at all, he’d put a decent gap on the other rider, and once more found himself alone.
The ride was going very well, and he was feeling good about everything. Of course, he hadn’t yet received an invitation to any secret power-generating spin class, but surely that would come once the results were in. In the meantime, he’d just concentrate on riding well. And he did - finally finding his groove. Even his back wasn’t giving him as much grief - though it would need more stretching at the feed station around the 75 km mark, but he could wait for that. So, he just set his legs a-spinning.
Through all the single track, around dams, over fireroads, then climbing back up single track - the same track where previously there had been a kangaroo. But not this time, this time the path was clear; then it was downhill - he could enjoy the fruits of his labours of climbing. The track was fast and flowy; 00D used the opportunity to relieve his back, hovering over the saddle and picking up speed.
Now, it is a well known fact that gels are the stickiest substance known to man. It is a lesser-known fact that 00D has terrible eyesight, hence his expensive, funny-looking prescription sunnies you see in every photograph. But somebody knew both of these facts, some villainous enemy of the TriHards had set an ambush; a riding landmine. Someone had left an empty gel packet in the fastest, most flowy (and clear) part of the track!
00D’s front tyre locked onto the gel packet, and stuck solid; so he (and the bike) arced over it - shooting him over the bars to dive face-first into the dusty ground. There was no time for any rolling or evasive action, just the chance to watch his helmet and sunnies plough into the dirt, hard. So hard, in fact, that it knocked the wind out of him.
And the wind wasn’t coming back in. He couldn’t breath. Crawling on all fours on the ground, wheezing, and looking back at his bike - there would be no portable defibrillation kit. There was no TriHards support during the race.
Fortunately, the Back Yamma is one of the friendliest mountain biking races on the calendar - not so much a race, as a ride with 500 friends you haven’t met yet. So, while there was no TriHards support out on course, there were still 499 riders out there ready, willing and able to offer assistance, and one came to 00D’s aid shortly after he fell; he helped 00D up off the ground, and assisted in collecting gear - then he noticed some SES volunteers travelling up the path and briefed them on the situation, while 00D began to test his newly redefined limits.
00D couldn’t stand up straight, and he had difficulty breathing due to a sharp, stabbing pain in his side. On the bright side, at least he was thinking clearly enough to try to reassemble his sunnies and gather his gear into one location. What’s more, he knew there would be no more riding for him this day; his race was over.
The SES volunteers called the St John’s volunteers, and with 00D in good hands, the good samaritan rider was on his way to finish his race, and 00D walked with his escort down to the fire trail where they met the first aid crew.
Stay Tuned: 00D’s Adventures continue in Part 8: Unfit for Duty