So this past week I had to travel to South Florida for business and thought it might be a great way to combine some work and pleasure. Our crew of 5 kids were off in different directions, so I drug my Wife/Stoker/best friend with me for some downtime together in the evenings along with some fresh Florida seafood!
While planning the trip, we opted to drive so that we could take our tandem and maybe ride some trails in FL. Even better, I was able to link up with PMK and his awesome bride, Jeanne, and convince them to meet us in Ocala for a tour of Santos.
We met up on Saturday around 10:30am after we had each driven 3+ hours to get to the trails. We were raring to go and headed off into the woods anxious to see new trails and learn from a more experienced team. The tropical storm that passed thru 2 days before had left the trails in great shape with the sand tamped down nice and firm.
We quickly fell into a rhythm behind Paul and Jeanne and were thoroughly enjoying the tight and twisty trails when all of a sudden we were on the ground. Turns out I let the front wheel drift to close to the top of a left hand berm made of sand and when the berm let go, the front wheel just sank in the sand and down we went.
Upon initial review, the bike was fine and the landing in the sand was soft. However, I've been nursing a recurring shoulder issue leftover from last year and the jar I felt when I hit the ground just about brought tears to my eyes! All is good though, so we're back up, dusted off and rolled on. In another 15 min I had found my groove again and we were back on track.
For the next 8-10 miles we rolled through all kinds of different landscapes. Although the elevation was flat, the variation in flora was just unbelievable. One moment we were riding through pine scrub the next through centuries old Oak trees with spanish moss hanging to the soft dirt floor.
At one point, Paul picked up a stick that wedged itself into the timing chain and ring, which allowed a needed stop. At that point, Carin pulled me aside and whispered to me that she may have "tweaked" her wrist a bit on our fall and asked that I take it easy on any fast sections or downhills. I agreed without looking at the swelling too hard and we then rode on.
At our turnaround point, Carin shows me the growing swelling and now can't remove her glove - uh oh. But, the trooper she is, continues to not just ride, but ride well. Miraculously, she stays loose and lets me open it up a bit on the return trip as we are now in front leading Paul and Jeanne.
After a brief visit to the Vortex area and a loop on a short, techy trail, we're on our way back to the trailhead. At some point, we heard the sounds of a tumble behind us and sure enough, Paul and Jeanne had ditched in a corner as well, but were back up in no time and no worse for the wear.
Fast forward 24 hours after driving home late into the night, we spent Sunday morning at the ER and found out that sure enough, Carin had broken the distal end of her radius from the fall we had - the typical wrist fracture. Apparently she put out her arm as we fell to try and brace from the impact and fractured her wrist. The ER doc splinted her up past the elbow in a temporary cast and we have to go to the Ortho tomorrow for a permanent cast for 4-6 weeks.
Her spirits are still high, higher than mine in fact. I feel awful, just awful. I know accidents happen, but I just hate it. She, on the other hand, swears she can still hold on to the bars even with a short cast on...talk about tough!
In the end, we had a great ride with Paul and Jeanne and thoroughly enjoyed their sense of humor and love of riding tandems. Paul gave us some good tips along the way and, well, I hope we are not off the bike for too long before we're able to work on our skills again.
BTW, if you can ever get to Santos, it's a blast and I highly recommend it - just watch out for the sand berms!
Apparently there's a break in there somewhere...
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