Raspberries, Rainbows and Goose Eggs – Oh my!

I have a ton of blog posts up in the ole noggin, but nary the time to type them out. These are times when I wish I could type at warp speed. Alas, Scotty can’t quite figure out my dilithium crystals. So, I move along on impulse power. *sigh*

Well, the very least I can do is write about putting color on my legs. Get it? Yes, that’s what the title “raspberries, rainbows and goose eggs” reference is. While I don’t go out mountain biking with the intention to change my leg skin tone to that of Martian–in fact, I prefer to avoid it, this is simply what transpires on most of my rides. Well during most of the rides on my favorite technical trail, that is.

So, what have I done in the palette department, lately? In my last blog post, I talked about the log pile boinkity-boink. That gave me a a few rainbows on my legs. The next day (which happened to be Xmas eve), we went back out riding that same trail. This time, I was stair-stepping my way up a section of roots. I saw the one at the top (which happened to be the biggest, most prominent one) and thought I could do it. Nope, I hit it, incorrectly.



How bad? Think Wiley Coyote cartoon, an anvil and stop-motion. Accent that with the “TING!!!” and reverberation while standing in place. Took me a few minutes before I could even bend back down to pick up my bike. After that ride, I determined that I need shin guards and knee pads lest anyone–especially at the gym–think I’m in the roller derby federation or do kick boxing. Don’t think they were that bad? Huh. Ask Josh – he saw the bruises when they were over a week old and still bright. Plus, I’ve got a nice purple scar on my right knee to keep in memory of that day. ;)

Ah, the life of a person who bruises easily, but don’t take that statement to mean I didn’t take some hard “clocks” and “dings”. Most of them were hard. The rest, I don’t even remember how on earth I got them. I should also point out, though, that I do have a high threshold of pain and perhaps that’s why I don’t remember them. B/c migraines get my attention. Natural childbirth got my attention. But a boxing bell to the leg? Meh – not so much.

My latest swipes at “painting” my legs has included Sunday’s swoosh through some briars. I have a nice “tattoo” they left me on my right ankle. That’s what I get for being kind enough to pull off the trail to let someone else faster go by me. I pedaled off again, not registering that “clinging feeling” until it was too late. Oops. Oh well. I didn’t even stop to look or wipe away the blood. Besides, the bathtub took care of that later, anyway, and I have to say that the bath stung worse than the initial swipe. Yeouch!

Then…there was today’s ride. I had been doing so well. I was so “proud” of myself for have several rides with little to no new obvious rainbows on my legs. I was beginning to think that perhaps I didn’t need the knee pads or shin guards, after all.


Today was “go the counter-clockwise direction” day. I hadn’t traveled that direction on that trail in 7 weeks. Funny how a direction change on a well traveled mountain bike trail (and even a change of sun’s position) will mess you up.

To top it off, it was my own mental state (and not an improper body position or alignment) that caused me to fowl up. I was rolling along well enough and then came to a section that I’ve traveled successfully without hiccups. It was where two trees on either side of the path are quite narrow. I rolled up to it, knowing that it’s narrow and to be careful. However, I was off to one side b/c of where some roots at the base of these two trees rise out of the soil. Mentally, I was already wincing and trying to do evasive maneuvers for the “inevitable” clobber of left-handlebar-edge-against-tree-bark that I expected to feel. It never happened. However, I’d screwed up my weight distribution and went over just after those trees.

In the process, I acquired a left-knee “goose egg” (complete with a small stream of type-A blood), deep beautiful bruises (there and elsewhere), and a pomegranate-sized raspberry on the back of my right thigh. (Don’t ask. I can’t remember how on earth I did that during this process of falling over toward the left.) Although neither shin guards nor knee pads would have prevented the raspberry, they might have lessened or eliminated some of the rest of what I brought home, this evening.

Guess I’m back to wearing long workout pants at the gym for a while.

My husband gave me some razzing about how I’d be in shock when he used to come home from mountain biking in years past. He would (inevitably) be bleeding–usually from more than one spot. I piped back that (a) I bruise easily and (b) I wasn’t actually emitting blood (for the most part) from my body and staining clothes, carpets, towels, etc. Sure, I’m breaking vessels and tissues, but that’s much less scary than seeing it roll around above the dermis! He laughed and acquiesced.

Course, that does make me wonder. Do other women experience this much color when mountain biking, too? Or am I just rough and tumble…and admittedly clumsy?

Well, whatever it is. I still plan on rolling along. It makes me smile to see how much time I spent above my lactate threshold on Sunday. (40% – nearly an hour) B/c I know that between all those grunts and growls I let loose when hitting a tough climb and the pain in the muscles I’m working, this will turn me into a stronger (and hopefully faster) road rider.

It’s all in good fun!

Oh…and btw, anyone have any recommendations on good knee pads and shin guards to wear while mountain biking? I need to do some shopping.