When You’re Cool Like Me

This past weekend was an unusually warm and sunny January weekend for Holland, Michigan so I took several opportunities to ride to the beach, up the lakeshore, and out to Riley Trails. First off, Riley Trails is fun this time of year because some of the really sandy sections are actually rideable once they firm up with the moisture and cold weather. Riley Trails will never be a destination mountain bike trail for a lot of reasons, but it serves as a good place for newbies to experience the joy of the sport and it’s within biking distance from my house.
Sunday afternoon my brother-in-law wanted to meet me out for a ride. After just receiving his bike back from the shop for some upgrade work (he had a “brain” put in his front fork), he was anxious to try it out. It was a great day: pristine trail conditions; bright sunshine; energetic camaraderie; and most importantly for me, no mechanical issues (for the most part – I’m having some minor cleat issues with my shoes right now). By the time I got home my legs were a bit flimsy but I was feeling pretty good. I had put 46 miles under me since Friday night so I felt like I had a successful weekend.
The ride up my street towards my house was a relaxing “I succeeded” no-hands-on-the-handle-bars-while-meandering-all-over-the-street type of a cool-down. I was enjoying it. So, pulling up the drive-way I thought I would end it all off with a quick little endo. Now, in case you’re unfamiliar with what an endo is, it is also referred to as a “stoppy” (which I think is silly), and is short for “end-over-end” and is accomplished by applying your front brake only and leaning forward as you stop. The rear wheel then lifts up in the air and the rider is required to manage his weight distribution and front brake pressure to avoid completing the “end-over-end”. The result is that upon losing all forward momentum the rear wheel returns to the ground and the rider either rides it out backwards or simply puts a foot down with the ride being over.
Now, I’ve never been really good at these, but the confidence of my weekend led me to believe that I could successfully achieve a relatively substantial endo without personal harm. So, when you’re cool like me, you try it. I have to say, the endo went pretty well. I think I got my rear wheel up in the air a good 18 inches before gently landing my rear wheel back on the ground for a smooth finish. I rolled backwards a bit to ride out the finish when I started thinking to myself “You better get your foot out of your pedal now before you stop so you don’t fall over”. And then again “You better get your foot out of your pedal now before you stop so you don’t fall over”. AND….again “YOU BETTER GET YOUR FOOT OUT OF YOUR PEDAL NOW BEFORE YOU STOP SO YOU DON’T FALL OVER!” Remember that minor cleat issue I mentioned earlier? Yep, my cleat stuck in my pedal and once I lost all momentum I started falling towards the trouble shoe side of the bike.
Fortunately for me I had my earphones in so I couldn’t hear that nasty sound of 230+lbs of muscle, flesh, and bike gear slamming into the ground. The force of the fall rolled me and my bike (still attached to my feet) over on to my back and the first thing I thought of was “I hope my phone is not in my Camelback right now.” The second thought I had was “are any of my neighbors outside?” I always like to laugh at my falls, so my final thought was just a chuckle as I finally disengaged my foot from my pedal and picked myself up off the asphalt. With merely a minor scrape on my knee, I put my bike away in the garage and ventured inside to remind my wife how awesome I was.

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2 thoughts on “When You’re Cool Like Me

  1. Nice Joe. Come out with us on Saturday am. Roll @ 9:00 am for some snowmobile trails and dirt road action. Call me for the dirt. A

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