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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Matt and I went biking on NICK-spåret in Järvafältet on Saturday. It was cold and rainy, and the trails were quite wet and muddy. I wore the Arc'teryx Gore-Tex pants that Ethan got me a few years ago. In fact, this was the first time I had used them. They came in handy.

After a while, I took off my long-sleeved shirt and rain jacket because I was getting overheated. Riding with just a short-sleeved shirt but long pants worked well, even if it did mean that my upper body got soaked. With all the mud, the ride was challenging. Many of the uphill sections that I can usually ride I had to walk this time.

The next day, on Sunday, we went biking again — this time in Hellas, South of the city. Sunday was a much warmer and brighter day. The sun was shining the whole afternoon.

Plus, because it wasn't raining, the terrain was a lot less slippery than it had been on Saturday. A littlie moisture in the ground actually helps with traction, because it makes the dust into a harder packed dirt. But too much moisture makes the dirt into mud, and then it's even more slippery than the dusty ground would have been. Plus, if there is any water, moss, lichen, mud, or wet leaves on top of smooth granite, it's a recipie for disaster. In several places on Sunday, there was water flowing down the trail — runoff from the previous day's rainfall. In many of those sections where the water was flowing over exposed rock, I got off my bike and walked. Still, I stayed on my bike for most of the wet parts, and I fell a few times.

Once, my front wheel bottomed-out on a downhill section that was covered with roots and rocks. With the front wheel stuck on a root and my weight too far forward, I flew over the handlebars. Amazingly, I detached from both pedals and landed on my feet in front of the bike, even managing to keep hold of the handlebars with one hand! I wish I had gottan a movie of that fall!

I rode for a few hours with Matt, and then once again on the same trails with Åsa and Patric. Åsa was trying out her new mountain bike for the first time, and she did a spectacular job.

After the ride, we had a beer, coffee, and cake at their place in Hammarby Sjöstad. Then I biked home. I took this picture of the sunset from the bridge back to Södermalm.

At home the next day, I took a picture of the result of one of my crashes. The big chain-ring scraped across my calf after I slipped on slippery granite and put my foot down to try to catch myself. I look like I've been attacked by a mutan nine-clawed bear!

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