Saturday, August 20, 2011

Starts Good - Ends Bad

Took a few days off last week, bit of a "Staycation" to spend time with the family and just generally not be at work - always a good thing. As expected, did some mountain biking, various rides - solo, with son Ian, hit the "Old Guy Ride" once, and one full family ride...

Family ride location was Iron Horse State Park, outside of North Bend, that includes a gravel rail trail. Trail extends all the way to Idaho, our plan was a bit less adventurous - just cruise a bit to match the speed and interest of wife Lori and seven year old daughter Amy.

Racer Boy Ian complained the ride would be too slow, but once the wheels hit the trail, he acted as the ride leader and matched the slow pace. Ian and I have ridden here before, when he was younger, so he was familiar with the route.

The female half of the clan enjoyed the ride, though it all ended a trip to the ER - more on that later...

The John Wayne Pioneer Trail runs through Iron Horse State Park and continues through Washington into Idaho. Basically all flat and hard packed gravel. Mountain and cyclocross bikes work best. The trail parallels I-90 for quite a bit, though far enough way to feel like a remote ride through the woods. Farther down the trail is a two mile long tunnel, lights required for that adventure. Not on the agenda for the day, just a cruise with many stops to look around.

One for the old school Bridgestone fans; wife Lori's almost mint 1991 MB-3. Cool old bike and perfect for gravel trail running.

The Sette Razzo 29er takes a breather. I've been riding this bike for over a year now and still dig it. The 29er hardtail matches my old school XC riding style. The SRAM drivetrain is holding up well, as are the wheels. Tires are ready to be replaced, rear is pretty worn. I'll probably use the Kenda Small Block 8 tires again, they work better then expected everywhere, considering intended for hard pack use. I've gone though one set of Avid brake pads so far, and my only slight complaint - brake squeal at times. I plan to replace the semi-metallic pads for organic soon, to see if that cures it. Otherwise, the Razzo rocks and is a complete killer deal.

Trestle stop requires tossing large rocks into the water below. Ian demonstrates.

Trail side scenery.

Ragnar appears to have been a stop when the railroad was active. Now just notes an empty field with a few piles of scrap wood. Book your stay soon...

Rattlesnake Lake sits next to Iron Horse State Park. Very scenic stop for swimming and fishing.

Another view of Rattlesnake Lake. We're lucky to live in such a scenic part of the country.

After a four mile super easy cruise on the trail, we stopped at Rattlesnake Lake to goof around a bit. Warm weather, sun was setting, kids splashed around a bit. A nice family day out. Plan was to head to Mazama the following day to get away for awhile, wife confirming our reservations via cell phone while the kids waded around in the lake. That all was about to change...

Kids dried their feet off and we mounted our bikes for the ride through the parking lots back to the car - maybe 300 yards away. On the slight uphill into the parking lot, car in sight, daughter Amy stalls - then tips over at a standstill - onto her outstretched arm. Ouch, but looked like nothing serious, just a simple fall over. The ensuing crying said otherwise, she said her elbow really hurt. I honestly thought she was just upset and not really injured. I loaded up the car, crying daughter included, then we all headed home.

While eating a very late dinner home, she said it was still hurting. Better get it checked - Lori drove her over to the ER for an x-ray. They arrive home a few hours later with a temporary cast, hairline fracture in the elbow area. Yikes. I was shocked, thought for sure they'd come back with a report of a bruised arm. Not to be, as were our vacation plans.

I felt terrible, even though this was just a goofy slow speed tip over. Second time in a few weeks with someone riding with our group getting injured. This time my little daughter and as most parents know, having something happen to your kids is tough. I'd trade breaking both my elbows in exchange if possible. All part of growing up though, these things happen.

Luckily, with the temporary cast place, no pain and also sleeping fine. She's been a good sport about it. The real cast to be fitted in a few days. Amy said to make sure they have pink casts available. Wacky enough, the orthopedic doctor scheduled to fit the cast also races bikes. The wheels continue to turn. Everybody will ride once again.


  1. Noo! Sorry to hear about Amy's fall. Of the few bones I've broken, my right elbow was one of the most painful, but mended really quickly. At least the cast comes late in the summer. -J

  2. If you are not bleeding then you are okay. Get up and stop crying..Bad Daddy..

    Sorry to hear about Amy's fall too.
    But it is a good learning lesson to show both Amy and Ian that you always need to wear your helmet because you can get hurt at slow speeds on a bike.

  3. Hoping Amy heals well and fast. Bravo to you for all the family bicycling, is my best memories, bicycling with the fam.

  4. Real cast fitted yesterday - bright pink! Fracture goes around the bone, pinning was mentioned (yikes), but shouldn't be needed. Cast will be in place for four weeks. Ortho Doc seems to a good guy, he also races road and 'cross. Cool, eh?

    Thanks for all the get well notes. It should all go fine...