Sunday, June 21, 2009

Dark Mountain Day Trip

The night before the trip saw many emails and a few conference calls where we tried to take measure of reports of potentially water damaged trails, the possibility of an afternoon shower, and temperatures that were forecast to approach triple digits.
But our resolve could not be shaken and yesterday five us made the trip to the Dark Mountain trail system outside Wilkesboro. In short, these trails live up their reputation. They're incredibly well made, with bench cuts and high berms to keep things fast and flow-y, and they sit along the Kerr Resevoir. The boys were moving, with the usual suspects JD and Ben at the sharp end, keeping us in line. Or they tried to. I, or should I say my body, was uncooperative. I seemingly couldn't get started in the heat, which sucked for everyone.

The day, however, would not be without its suprises. The "Bloody Creek" campground on the two and half mile road section linking Dark Mtn with Warrior Creek was, in retrospect, an ominous portent of Ben's one-off accident. It came as our group separated at a road transition requiring us to hunt for the continuation of trail. Ben and JD had preceded us up the road and as we called to direct them back to the hidden trail blaze, something startled Ben and in a flash we saw him go over the bars. At 6'5" Ben has a long way to fall, much longer than the rest of us. Ben's elbow caught most of it, luckily sparing any damage to his head, helmet, or bike. But that elbow didn't look so good. Our initial fears of a broken bone were off the mark, but the tallest member of our bunch lost a good bit of flesh and for a few minutes, blood, as the result of a deep, deep gouge. We lept into action, with the Professor getting a lift back to his car from another rider, and OG and JD tending to Ben with a first aid kit. By the time the Professor arrived, Ben was better. The bleeding had stopped and a broken bone seemed unlikely but a trip to the local hospital for stitches was required.

The Professor deserves special recognition for accompanying Ben to the emergency room. We've long admired his physical strength and good nature on the bike, but it's nothing compared with his generous spirit, patience, and good will off it. Ben, we're thinking of you and look forward to seeing you on the trails soon. Rest and be well.

3 comments:

hollywood said...

Yikes....epic adventure! Reminds me of last summer's trip to the ER with you Ali. Stitches....yuck!

felonious said...

That was exactly a year ago. Maybe this is a cursed weekend for BCC.

hollywood said...

Crazy voodoo action....I tell ya.