Saturday, February 9, 2013

Crashed Ice

I have been biking up and down Cathedral Hill quite a bit lately, and
got the see the different stages of Red Bull Crashed Ice – St. Paul
that took place the last week of January this year, from building the
track to test runs to tare-down. My favorite was climbing the hill
during a sound check with Coldplay’s “Paradise” blaring in the
background. Coldplay should accompany those bitter cold rides more
often (it was for sure below zero on that day).

There were daredevils doing test runs of the ice course on their skates, which included a start ramp that dropped 4 stories at a 45 degree angle. As I was
riding by someone hollered out to me to try my luck on the course on my bike. I called back that it sounded like fun.

Well, I got a chance for my own version of crashed ice last Friday; it didn’t hold a candle to what those guys were doing on the track, and ended much more embarrassing for me. I took a nasty spill after hitting a patch of ice, cracked and bruised a few ribs, and spent part of the evening in urgent care assessing the damage and getting some meds to take the edge off the pain every time I breathed.

A friendly couple passing-by stopped to make sure I was okay while I lay collapsed in a snow bank. Through gritted teeth I thanked them for their thoughtfulness and assured them I was fine, just had the wind knocked out of me and some bruised pride. Few times have I felt more paint though… and I am sure I am a wimp compared to those crashed ice guys who love to slam into the boards at full speed. Riding the Red Bull Course doesn’t sound like so much fun anymore; I’ll remain content to watch from the sidelines.

I’m going to borrow and share some sage advice just received from
Freewheel Bike:

“This year the road ice has been playing peek-a-boo with our tires.
First you see the ice, then it's gone...then BAM! it's back again in a
place you never expected it!
Stay safe. Stay upright. Ride studded tires.”

I am taking this advice and am accepting pity from a friend who is donating some lightly used studded tires, telling me I should not be walking on, let alone riding on ice without that added safety measure. It is definitely not fun seeing the ice below your wheels, and then the wheels out from under you as you crash onto the ice.

No comments:

Post a Comment