Well, it finally happened. I crashed hard on the rocks of El Paso, Texas, and the rocks won. I will be okay, first of all, so don't worry about that, but my bike riding is done for a bit until my knee recovers. Details? Read on...
I went for a ride on the Big Mama and hit the Lower Sunset trail first. There is a pretty tame downhill section to start out with, then a sharp right into a ravine/arroyo area with some switchbacks. The first is okay, the second one is tougher. Its always been one I've walked. This time it was really eroded and blown out from riders skidding around it. I still attacked it and cleared it for the first time ever. I was stoked.
Some rollers followed with a steep uphill. Then I came across a split in the trail. You can go left for a more difficult route, or stay right. I'd never done the left route, so I took it.
Well, there was a very steep down hill over exposed bedrock. My front wheel went left and I went right and....
Things happened fast, and when I quit tumbling I was in a seated position. I looked at my left knee, as I felt pain there. I saw a flap of skin sticking up. A thick one. Not good. I looked closer and saw a 5mm wide by 8mm long hole in my knee that I am pretty sure was exposing my patella. (It's not like it mattered what I saw at that point!)
Right about then I started feeling really dizzy and everything was getting more brilliant and washing out to white. I couldn't see. Ghostly shapes, dizziness, and extreme pain were all I knew for several long minutes. I don't know how long I sat there. I knew I had to focus to keep my consciousness. I didn't want to pass out, since my car was the only one in the lot there, and I saw only three sets of old tire tracks on the trail. I fought and prayed, and managed to keep it together. Note, all through this, I hadn't moved from where I had landed.
Finally, I decided I had better dig out my emergency bandages. I always carry them. I still wasn't bleeding, but I knew I would be sooner than later. I bandaged it, put a bandanna over that, and decided to try standing. My head was swimming. I did stand up. My vision cleared somewhat. Still, I didn't push the issue. I ate and drank some water. I rested until my vision cleared some more, then I haltingly started walking back up the trail I had come down.
I stopped a bit again, assessed the situation. Feeling better. I actually soft pedaled a bit, but couldn't climb without sharp pain. I finally got back to the easier beginning section and managed to pedal it back to the truck.
Well, Mrs. Guitar Ted wasn't too pleased, I must say, but she got me patched up, being an R.N. and all, so I'm in good hands. Needless to say, I won't be back on a bicycle for a bit!