By most measures the Salida Big Friggin' Loop was a success. 58 riders started. As of right now I only have question about two riders' outcome. Lots of great stories coming out. Lots of Futurity Chips were returned to Salida.
All the original Futurity Chips in their hiding place
My day started out well. (That's forshadowing--nobody talks about how their day started well if it also ended well).
I got riders signed in down at Cafe Dawn and gave them their little pep talk. Then it was 6:30 AM and I told them to leave. I settled a couple things after the bulk of the riders left, then started my own ride at about 6:35. It was a nice relief from all the stimulation of planning and getting the whole thing going to just be on my bike, pedaling. I found my own pace and focused on doing what needs to be done to finish a really long ride.
It was going great. It was getting warm early, but I felt good and I was keeping up on eating and hydration. I was moving quickly, but without taking any crazy chances.
I was just near the end of the first section of the Colorado Trail, descending the steep and tight switchbacks down into the Chalk Creek drainage. Those switchbacks are pretty treacherous, and I was being careful.
I was turning left into one of the last serious ones, paying close attention to what my front wheel was doing. A stick attached to a blowdown log was extending into the trail and I failed to notice as my right hand hit it. The stick pinched my pinky finger hard against my handlebar. At first it really seemed like it was just an annoyance. I said, "ouch, that kind of hurt" as I stopped to look at it. I turned my hand and looked at it, and there was already blood coming through the fabric of my glove. I was surprised because it didn't seem like it could have been that bad. I took the glove off and the wound yawned open and blood started pouring down my hand onto the dirt.
I said, "Oh man! I'm out! Crap!"
Rather than embed the potentially nauseating photos of the wound and the stitches that I got, I put them on this page. Look if you want, but you can probably imagine what it looks like if you'd rather not see:
graphic images of my mangled pinky
So, Kathy came to get me after I called her on my cell. We went to the emergency room in Salida. I got stitches.
I'm disappointed obviously. I was really into doing more than just planning and hosting the SBFL. I wanted to finish it. And I was really in good shape to succeed.
But it didn't happen.
As always in these situations, it's a good idea to consider how much worse things could have been. I did not break bones. In fact, it's a fairly superficial wound and I should be able to ride pretty soon. Probably I could ride on the road today. And I got a chance to hang out at the finish, and go out to dinner with some of the cool people who came to take part.
It's OK. Like The Dude says, "Strikes and Gutters."