It was over before it had even begun. One moment the trail was my plaything and the next moment I was a rag doll being tossed about by the trail.
It was just one of those things. It couldn’t have been helped. No rider error, no mechanical meltdown to blame, just a one in a million. The rear mech got sucked into the rear wheel by a worn chain that wanted to be closer to the spokes. The rear wheel instantly locked but the timing was atrocious. I was on the fastest part of the mountain, no brakes needed, squeezing out every sniff of speed, hopping rocks, making doubles in the trail like an antelope across the savannah and skimming over the horrendously rocky ground. Then on one preload, when my body was at maximum compression and about to push itself and bike into a low orbit, the bike stopped. I was sent over the bars and into the ground so fast that there was no time for any catlike maneuver, just let it play out as it was scripted and use any intuition to try steer the story away from the final ending. It was quiet though, graceful even, almost comfortable. There was a loud thud as the chin of my helmet impacted on the earth but then I was instantly returned to my calm, gentle course across the earth and it was still quiet. I suppose flesh burning and tearing doesn’t have much of a sound but I did expect there to be the alarm bells and screams that come from within your mind during times like these. But no, just relaxation. Maybe the most relaxed I have felt in a long time.
All this happened faster than it would have taken for your hamsternet to load this page but it felt a lot longer. It felt more drawn-out but not in a way that can be considered as time. A flicker book of snap shots it what it felt like. Eventually my body skid across the earth started to slow and the thoughts started to catch up with my brain. Am I ok? What is broken? How do I get off this mountain in this state? I knew the only way I could answer was if I was to get up right away. I did and as I did my body did a preliminary diagnosis only to find it was all OK. If it hadn’t have happened I would have said it was unbelievable. Somehow I was fine. ‘Twas but a flesh wounds. I was buzzing from adrenalin and joy. People asking if I was OK and telling me to sit down. I think they were more hurt from seeing the crash than I was from being the crash. It is a mystery how I managed to be hurled so forcefully into the jaws of the land shark and escape unscathed. This incident happened in Åre, Sweden and aside from a few niggling cuts the only thing I feel is that Åre is a very special place.