|My Favorite Death Machine|
Tonight was my third night out on rollerskis this season and the first night out on my skate skis. I was exactly 16 minutes into the workout when I went down.
It was another one of those flyswatter slaps where you're already bouncing back up from the impact before you even realize you were falling.
Actually, that's not true. I knew I was falling because I vaguely remember a thought process that went something like "oh no, I think I just caught my wheel with my pole. My arm's at an awkward angle... I'm...GET YOUR HEAD UP!!! GET YOUR HEAD UP!!!"
My pole still landed outside of my leg, so I didn't pole between my legs (which is the one you really kick yourself for when you crash rollerskiing). I think I actually jammed my pole right into my wheel.
The downer about it all is that I was just falling into that mental black out zone that you get into when you're going for a long workout. You know what I'm talking about. That mental state where you look down at your watch and say, "oh my, six and a half hours have just passed, I rollerskied all the way to Michigan...I wish I'd brought some money or my cell phone!"
That's awesome when you get there (mentally, not to Michigan, although Michigan is nice too) because it's better than sleeping. When you're sleeping you still dream and are semi-tormented by all your pending tasks. When you get into mental black-out, you can finally relax. People spend their whole lives sitting around in caves contemplating koans to get to that state ("what's the sound of one hand clapping?").
Smacking my chin and knee into the pavement sure brought me back to reality.
Man that hurt.
I just lay there for a moment hoping a cyclist didn't come along and run me over just to make matters worse. After a little bit, I started flexing muscles and they all seemed to work. I had some zip-ties in my pack just in case I needed to zip tie something together...like my knee (Bruce Wayne did it in Batman III). But no surgery was necessary. I started rolling again.
One hour and forty-five minutes later, I rolled back up to my car in total darkness. I remembered to bring my headlamp (which showed tremendous foresight on my part) but I didn't remember to bring fresh batteries (which didn't show any foresight...but c'mon man!) so I had only a yellowish shadow to guide me. No more crashes though.
Last year the only time I went down was when the screw that functions as an axle broke in half sending me windmilling into the ditch. The year before that, I had a whole rollerski break in two.
It's not like falling on snow. Snow is soft and is mostly made of water.
Asphalt is made of sharp, angry rocks.
But crashing on Rollerskis is just an inevitable part of autumn. It teaches you not to go all that fast on your rollerskis. Save your intensity workouts for hillbounding.
It also teaches you that...yes...you should spend the $80 and get a new set of rollerski wheels...RIGHT NOW! It also might be time to hacksaw off the extra inch and a half of screw that's sticking out from each wheel since they didn't have the correct screw size at Farm & Fleet when I had to replace the axels. Lord knows you don't need any other disadvantages when you're out rollerskiing--no other grabby surfaces looking to flip you into the pavement.
Oh, and it might be time to start wearing a helmet...
And knee pads...
And body armor...
The only reason I subject myself to all this torture is because skiing is soooooo wonderful!
I've gotta be ready for when the snow comes, so I'm going to drain my knee and strap on those death traps again tomorrow! Loving autumn! Loving rollerskiing too, just like every year!