Christmas and New Years.. time for family and friends, some nights out, some blinking lights, and some broken bikes.
In between all the festive events, a little time was found for some essential bike maintenance, and a couple of rides too.
The end of year run in the Slieve Felims was a great event! The weather was unseasonably mild, and there was a great turn out. It was a good opportunity to have an easy spin on the 500 and check a few things that I was curious about. In terms of engine and gearbox, I’ve no complaints. She started on the button, every time, and pulled strong in every gear. The suspension was a bit disappointing, it is definitely sprung for a heavier rider and that’s now next on my list of adjustments to make (seeing as the piston kit hasn’t arrived yet)
After the gentle end of year run, one of the guys suggested a harder enduro run. Leave the 4T at home and take a 300 2T into the gnar.. sure why wouldn’t you go on that spin too.
Unfortunately, about 20k into the enduro spin, I came around a bend to find a fallen tree. Not a big deal, we’ve seen these before.. but I didn’t see the 2nd fallen tree that was right behind it. Ouch.
After ducking under the first I was just standing up again and raising my head when I met the 2nd, and it’s fair to say it cleaned me straight off the saddle and onto the ground. The main trunk got me full-on, on the top of the head, while one of the stumpy former branches got me just under my left eye. It hurt. A lot. There was blood. The helmet totally saved me. This time I definitely lost those detachable vents that had annoyed me previously.. It took time to regain my composure, but about 10 mins later I was sitting up and eating a banana. Concerned friend was looking on – not so concerned that he wouldn’t take a picture though ;o)
Still alive. The tree was unharmed. As was the bike.
I didn’t think I was hurt that badly, but I wasn’t really thinking straight either.. We couldn’t stay on the mountain, and it was too far from civilisation to hike out, and the ceiling and visibility were too low to call for helicopter assistance, so the only way to go was to ride it out. It’s not ideal after a serious bang on the head but I didn’t know how potentially serious it was.. still, I rode out carefully and gave any more fallen trees a wide berth.
Later, a doctor would diagnose me as having a mild concussion, but I gotta say, it didn’t feel that mild.