Tuesday, December 25, 2012



Didn't think I would get the time to post, but as it turns out I have quite some time today. Took that time to pull off a Christmas Day ride for the first time(for me).
The Surly Trucker was the weapon of choice. I was not sure if I was going to road it or woods or beach. So I took the bike that can do it all.
Grabbed my iPod, hit shuffle and off I went. While I still was not sure where the hell I was going I had a pretty good idea. When the beach's are froze and hiway smooth you pretty much have to do it. These conditions can reverse and anytime. So beach it was.

Tail winds had me rolling near 20mph as i headed south. I knew, as Im sure you all do to, that the way back north would not be as fun but I really just did not care. Rolling fast and easy, just a feet from waters edge with iPod blasting Greenday. This was a good ride.

Until a rookie mistake. Rolling up to the first water crossing. Riding 15 miles on the beach has us riding across 4 or so water crossings. Small creeks and such that empty into the lake. Some are always small. Some can get quite large with strong current. Years of beach riding has us pretty much figuring out if one of these is too big. Or not.
So I rolled up to the first, not so big crossing. Looks pretty tame. Maybe 6 inches deep and 5 feet long. We do these with our eyes closed but I guess I was deep in thought or something and made pretty much a rookie move.
Like I said, it was only about 6 inches deep but the water was moving fast. So that means under the water is soft sand. Slower water means the bottom is froze. So, I rolled in way too slow, front tire sunk in sand, still clipped in, came to a complete stop, balanced for a split second, has one of those "oh shit" moments when you know whats going to happen, and over I went into the water with both feet still in the pedals.
I got kinda wet but had a bunch of layers on so thought I was good there. But as I laid in the water I noticed my right shifter was under water. So I knew I had about 30 seconds to find the right gear that I was going to use the rest of the day. At 20 degrees I had no more than that so I centered the chain on the cassette and not a second too soon as the shifter froze.

I felt fine but was about an hour out so I flipped it and rode back basically singled out in the rear. The headwind seemed to hurt a bit more than I thought it would. I still enjoyed the ride home on the beach. I bit colder tho. In fact, just a few miles from the store I was full on cold and I found out why. It was a balmy 22 degrees when I left and now two hours later, is 17 degrees. That was a bit strange.
Every now and then I get a ride in that is unique. Today was one of those ride. My first Christmas day ride and then just being stupid at that water crossing. Just about 2 hours and 24 miles. I remember rides for strange reasons. Some rides I forget about in days. Some, for what ever reason, big or small I remember forever.
I'll remember this one. I think.
Have a awesome Christmas.



Steve Manthey said...

Your other mistake was listening to Greenday. Actually, if I had to listen to that, I would jump in the water to try to kill myself! Glad to hear you got out though and that you're ok. Merry Christmas!

Dan Dittrich said...

yeah, I didnt get too wet. And Greenday is my tunes of choice. Motivation. Hope you had a great Christmas....