Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Witch's Eye: A Tale of the Fall

The morning started beautifully after a great night's sleep, didn't wake up at 6am like the last trip...this one was more like 7:30 or 8. Eager to get out in the dunes, we set out for a ride before breakfast. Decked out in brand new gear, I learned to shift in my wonderful new boots. It's definitely a different feeling being unable to move your ankle or lower leg, but I felt so much more protected and comfortable in these. Regaining my bearings on the quad, the four of us set out for a ride into the dunes, the bf in the lead. This place is different, soft sand, smoother rides if you cross it the right way. Up and around, over and through, racing around in 3rd and 4th gear. Learning to downshift to make it up hills, taking a deep breath and scaling the dunes...not the huge ones mind you, I'm not that brave yet, it's only my second trip.

Riding around, following the bf and the Announcer*. Struggle up the hill-need more power, push in on the throttle, crest the top, follow them down. Going too fast to follow their turn, try to make it over the little ridge in front. Up and over, quad starts to buck, uneven and jolty, make it over, bucking back and forth. Grip breaks free, I go flying, quad goes flying, roll and land in the soft sand. Sit up, the bf, the Announcer and the Announcer's son come rushing over, I'm okay. Not sure what happened and just a little sore and shaken. Stay sitting in the sand for quite a while.

From what they saw, quad and I went the same direction as I flew off, but it tipped the other direction at the last second, remaining upright instead of landing on me. I rolled and didn't try to brace, which kept me safe. I don't remember doing it, but it was the right thing to do. Quad okay, I'm okay, the bf's blood pressure slightly elevated, lots of adrenaline for everyone. We take a break and walk on the dunes. Go back and look at what I hit, I remember seeing it and I remember it getting jolty, then remember being on the ground, uncertain of the middle...I think I closed my eyes. The angled shelf is what I hit, the Witch's Eye. They say I made it up over and several feet before I flew, it got so rough I'm pretty sure that my hands simply weren't strong enough and were torn off the handlebars. I asked the bf, and I think that if my hands were stronger and maybe a little bigger and if I maybe had a bit more experience, I might have ridden it out. I should have stopped before I went over...I forgot I had brakes when I couldn't make the turn. Left hand by thumb sore, probably from trying to hold onto the bike, slightly scraped from inside my glove, but not badly. Right hand a little sore, but not like the left. Left knee feels scraped, but just a nice line-like bruise...probably from the quad. Twisted my head to the side as I landed, slight headache/neck ache for a bit, but mostly better now. Helmet did its job. Good helmet. Covered in sand, the Announcer gave me water from his Camel Pack to rinse the sand out of my mouth.
We ride a while more, I'm a little scared. The bf makes me go over a few hills rather than around, gotta get back on the horse. It's scary, but he's right, I'm glad he makes me be brave.

Good part of the ride? I caught about 6 inches of air...and I didn't even know it until they told me I did it and landed perfectly. I had no idea. Just a little hill/bump, but I got some lift. Kinda cool. Back at camp the bf made a delicious breakfast and then we met up with the group that drove out this morning. The bf is out on a ride with them and I'm resting in the trailer, since they're going to be riding hard and crazy. Even before I tried to fly and fell in the sand I wasn't ready for hard riding. I'm tired from the ebbing adrenaline and am contemplating a nap. Ibuprofen made my head/neck feel better. Overall I'm not very sore, the bf says I landed very well and avoided really hurting myself...the sand was a loose, mostly soft landing.

And don't worry, I'll keep being careful. Now I know to brake before I hit a Witch's Eye instead of trying to clear it. I'll go on probably at least 2 more rides, gotta get my courage back, can't let one little fall keep me down. To be honest I think I scared the bf more than I scared myself. As soon as I saw and hit the Witch's Eye I pretty much knew I was coming when I flew off the trampoline, I'm a little fuzzy on what happened in the middle. The important part is that I'm okay. Just need to ice my hand a little. :) I think I'm going to give into the post-adrenaline fatigue and take a nap while the bf and the others are out on their ride.

I hope you are all having fabulous weekends!

*The Announcer is one of my favorite systems architect guys at work. On the weekends he sometimes hosts a radio show, he totally has radio voice.


April said...

Yikes! Be CAREFUL!! (I know, I know, duh...LOL). Glad you are okay! You've made me nervous to get back on the quad. Heh. I've only ridden once and it was through the orchards (hilly in spots) but I always nervously slowed down at hte hills. I'm a sissy. LOL

Anonymous said...

I really dislike ATV's and the like. Sure they are fun to ride, I've ridden plenty. But I had 2 friends who died on them (separate incidents), one was 10 and one was 17. Broken neck for the little one and blunt force trauma and brain hemmorrage for the older one. I am glad you are okay.

Gramma Ann said...

No Comment. You already know what I think! ;)

Renie Burghardt said...

Wow, Jaina, you had an exciting ride, and thank goodness you weren't hurt!

I like my quad, but I only ride it around here in the field and sometimes up and down the gravel road. No Witch's Eye around here, just somewhat hilly terrain. Sometimes we take long rides on the loop, a series of gravel roads that cover 25 miles. It's a great way to see the heart of the country.

But I bet you looked cute in your new spiffy outfit, on that quad!

Have a great week.


Anonymous said...

I hate that you got hurt, even if you feel it wasn't that bad. Bottom line, those things scare me. I had a few friends who had very bad experiences with them. I hope my kids never get on one! I hope you don't do it again either. Doesn't seem worth it to me. So glad you had your helmet on and that it did what it was suppose to do.

You take care of yourself, be very careful.

Jaina said...

April - Haha, yeah. Don't be nervous, it was totally my own fault. I cleared the thing, I just tipped off the side. I was bound to fall at some point, and this one really wasn't that bad.

Mrs. D - That's really scary. I will definitely be careful.

Gramma Ann - Yup.

Renie - It was, and I'm just a little sore, no permanent damage.
I could totally see the quad being a great way to get around there, they're really a lot of fun. It was my own fault I fell. But hey, now I know.

Cheryl - Thanks :) I will be riding again, I already have, but I promise to be extra careful. Falling this time has made me much more cautious than I was before. Not to say that I wasn't cautious, but I was a little more fearless before...I'm definitely taking it easy now. And I was talking to the bf following a question from my mom...and I hit my shoulder/side when I landed, and then I rolled. But I promise to be extra extra careful.

Katie said...

Dude, you have some big girl kahunas! Hope you're all better after your spill.

Momo Fali said...

Don't worry?!! I'm a mother! Sigh...can't you find a different hobby?

Jaina said...

Katie-Haha, thanks. I'm doing much better :)

Momo-I know it's silly to say don't worry. It's not a full time hobby or anything, and trust me, I won't be doing anything crazy...none of the big sand dunes for me thank you. But I promise to be EXTRA careful. And now I'm even more aware of what I need to do when I'm riding.