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  1. #1
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    Santos trails in Ocala, FL, with PMK

    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...

  2. #2
    PMK
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    Mike and Carin, Jeanne and I were shocked to hear about the wrist being broken.

    We had a great time riding with both of you. Your fall was a typical fall, and we have done similar in the past landing in the sand, though fortunate to just dust ourselves off. Our previous fall at Santos was similar to yours, but at around 20 mph and more of a classic no front grip long duration lowside. To think our primary concern was your shoulder. I would say your stoker is worthy, to tough it out without any complaints.

    The trail you fell on was Twister. As you mentioned after the ride, no rest as it flows and flops, left and right with a fun pace. Our crash yesterday, we fell on the more rocky Dr Ruth trail. With less than 1/4 mile to be done with the ride, we were screwing around and had the front tire slide a bit to the outside, ultimately getting on the wrong side of the fallen 4" tree marking the turns outer edge. Try as I might, without a throttle, leaned over, that front tire had no intention and was not renetering the the line of the trail.

    I do hope the time spent was fun. Santos is a neat place. Yes it is relatively flat with a few quick climbs and some slight rolling terrain, but as mentioned, and Alex will back it up, you really never stop pedaling.

    The ride back from the I-75 Landbridge shown in the photo was fun with you two leading. The pace was very good, and we had a lot of momentum through the turns.

    Jeanne says hi and fast healing to both of you. Ideally we can get a few of the Florida teams and Georgia teams to meet somewhere semi-central later this year.

    We had a great time with both of you. Overall the nasty weather arrived as we headed home.

    Heal quick.

    JK and PK
    Reps! We don't need no stickin' reps!

  3. #3
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    Just a quick update on my stoker. After a visit with the hand/arm specialist at Resurgens Orthopaedics, it appears that the ER may have agrandized the incident a bit. Yes, it's still fractured, but very slightly. Slightly enough, in fact, that there's no need for an above the elbow cast, or even a cast at all. So, the fantastic doc prescribed an Exos Fracture cast (pictured below) that is both waterproof and removable and proclaimed that in 4 weeks, she'd be as good as new. Even better, no limitations on activity, or movement - even tandem mtb riding. Now, we will be off the bike for a couple weeks, but that won't keep us from riding some sidewalks to remain fit.

    Thanks again Paul and Jeanne for a great ride at Santos. We loved it and can't wait to get back!

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  4. #4
    ALM
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    Sounds and looked like a great time overall! Paul and Jeanne are great. We had the pleasure of meeting but were getting our tandem Paul had helped with. We did not get to ride with them. Glad to hear better news about your wife/stoker wrist. Best to all of you!
    Happy Fathers Day also everyone.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the kind words. Paul and Jeanne are a blast to ride with...

    My stoker is doing well. So well in fact that we rode 15 miles of single-track this morning with the exos cast.

    Quote Originally Posted by ALM View Post
    Sounds and looked like a great time overall! Paul and Jeanne are great. We had the pleasure of meeting but were getting our tandem Paul had helped with. We did not get to ride with them. Glad to hear better news about your wife/stoker wrist. Best to all of you!
    Happy Fathers Day also everyone.

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