A friend once told me that if you don’t fall when you’re riding then you’re not pushing yourself enough. I get what she’s saying, but come on. This humdinger kept me off the trails for 10 days, and I don’t even have a good story for it. I was riding down sweet, sweet Kleeway here in Post Canyon. A trail I’ve grown to love. It was named after Matt Klee – a force for good in the Gorge riding scene, who unfortunately died in an accident before I ever got the chance to know him or give him kudos for all his hard work.
Kleeway is a swooping, hillside ride that moves from clearcut into forest. An alternate downhill route to the ever-popular Seven Streams. I’ve heard some grumblings from folks who don’t feel it’s accessible enough to all skill levels – ie. that it’s more advanced than they’d thought it was going to be – but I beg to differ. I have a blast riding it, even if I roll a lot of kickers and can’t even imagine gapping the gaps. Plus, since it’s a bit wider than your usual singletrack, you have a bigger landing pad when trying some of the smaller jumps.
I’d like to tell you that when I had my crash it was because I was shredding the trail like a pro – but, I wasn’t. I can’t even remember the exact spot where I fell. I didn’t black out, but I hit quick and hard. My bike and body were pile-driving my head into the dirt before I had a chance to try and catch myself. Ouch. I lay there and groaned long enough to assess the situation. My riding group was long gone and fortunately, no one was zipping down the hill behind me.
I crawled back onto my bike and rolled the rest of the way down Kleeway. Once I hit the upper parking area I stuck to the road until I met my group waiting for me at the bottom. I didn’t feel like being tough and frankly, my knee had a big flap of skin hanging off that was really grossing me out. I got my group’s advice on preferred knee-pads (more on that in the future) and bid them adieu.
At home, my hubby tried to use our hose with a spray nozzle to clean out the wound, but the combination of pain, a messy gash, and 2 curious kiddos crawling on my achy bod, made me realize the job was not going to get done and the flap might just need some professional help. Off we went to the Emergency Room for some family bonding on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
The nurse told me my knee looked “gross” and the doctor told me it looked like it had just “exploded” on impact. Thanks to some magic injections, a fancy cleaning syringe, and a tetanus shot, my knee was cleaned and stitched up in no time. And, of course, the best time to take your bike in for a tune-up is when you won’t be needing it for awhile. So off it went for a tune-up to get ready to ride another day.