It began as a typical Wednesday night club ride. We had a good sized "A", "B" and "C" ride leave Wooddale and Robbie and I headed towards the Greenway. Not even a mile from the church Robbie's foot slipped off the pedal and his pedal came up and bit him in the shin. Ouch. Even despite that, Robbie was riding well and our pace was up over last week. But, when we got just past the Depot in Hopkins he said "I think I have had enough." After a total of about 10 miles I deposited him at home and returned to my car at Wooddale to get my lights and set out on my adventure.
I saw the "C" group coming back as I rode near Home Depot on Valley View, then headed south on Mitchell to Pioneer Trail. Just past Dell I spot the thundering herd that was the "A" ride and smiled that it was still intact and moving along quite well. Victoria came quickly and I headed north to St. Boni. I decided if I didn't stop in to see the Bakers, Kristen would kill me, so I stopped and topped off my water. The only thing was, I had to wait for them to get home from the extended "B" ride. Thanks Bakers!
From St. Boni I hit the trail an got the typical photo for FaceBook at the Mayer trail-head sign. Then my adventure took a different turn as I went west instead of north out of Mayer. New Germany was only four miles away and I flew on the now dark, deserted hiway. There I turned north onto Hwy 33 and was amazed at what a fabulous road that was in the middle of no where. Somewhere past Hwy 7 the road turned into Wright county Hwy 8 and I continued no for a long ways. Finally I realized that I was pretty far north, but not sure exactly where I was, so I pulled out my Blackberry to check the map and it was still on FaceBook, so I decided NOT to look at the map, but instead posted my location on FB with the question "Where should I go?"
It did not take long to get a reply and I headed east on Hwy 30 back to Delano. From Delano it got tough. Up until now the roads were sooooo good I was able to keep my higher than normal-in-the-dark pace and was still over an 18mph average. But Hwy 11 out of Delano is terrible. I almost lost my bike in two pot-holes that came up fast and was almost run over by a deer. I slowed down. Way down. Besides that, the hills were pulling my legs off and my saddle sores were back -- and angry. By the time I hit Wazata the battery on my phone was nearly dead, and my legs were right behind it.
On McGinty a deer jumped over my front wheel and nearly kicked my head off. I backed off even more. "I am nearly home now" I thought as I crested Baker over Hwy 7. "Oh, shoot, I have to get my car at Wooddale". As I approched the stop light at Baker and Excelsior [I live a couple blocks away] I was feeling pretty satisfied with the ride and my performance when suddenly my front wheel disappeared into an unseen pot-hole and stopped abruptly. Next thing I knew, I felt my back wheel leave the ground for what seemed like a few seconds, then my momentum pushed it forward and my bike began to twist. I remember having plenty of time to think "This is really going to hurt" as I hung there. The rear wheel returned to Earth and started sliding me side-ways as my front wheel popped out of the pot-hole and I started going down on my right. I was still clipped in on impact, but luckily the second or two that I fought with the bike was enough to slow me to a crawl and limited the damage.
I got up. Checked myself -- elbow ripped up; knee ripped up; hip hurts, but not bad -- and checked the bike -- not a scratch -- remounted and chuckled as I thought of Don and how most accidents happen close to home. My last four miles brought all sorts of pains -- legs, bottom, elbow, knees, hips, ego -- but was, none the less, uneventful. All told it was just over 108 miles and a very lovely, but late evening for a ride.