It happened on September 10th. I went out to Veterans Park to meet my good friend, Jim. I got out of work early, and I wanted to ride a little on the trails. We rode for a little while before we ran into another cyclist we knew, and the three of us rode easy before heading back to our cars. In the parking lot we ran into David Marshall, and another girl who I just officially met right there, Stephanie. Marshall mentioned that Doug, Cate, and Greg were coming out. Jim decided to go home, and I decided to wait and do one more loop with everyone before heading home.
We took off. I felt good, and the pace was faster than before, but I was completely comfortable. I took the second to last position with Cate behind me, and Doug was immediately in front of me. Not long in, Doug stopped to check his wheel and told me to go on. I did, and I upped the pace a little to try to get the 3 in front of me back into my sight. I was still completely comfortable at the pace, maybe too comfortable, and I could hear and see Alan, Greg, and Marshall just a little ahead. Here comes the part of the trail I hate. I have hated it since the first time I have ridden it. Three stupid bumps immediately before a leftward berm. I get it, they are there to slow you down before the turn. However, for some reason I have a hard time with the last one. No matter how much I put my weight back, hips behind the saddle, push the bike down, my back wheel comes up. That is unless I am going very slowly. So here they come. I am moving pretty fast and the first bump is fine, the second bump is fine, the third bump…I am not entirely sure what happened. Was I braking before I hit the last one? Maybe. My back wheel flies up. My front wheel is off the ground as well. Am I grabbing brake as I am airborne? I don’t know. My front wheel comes down and in a blink of an eye I am over my bike and with incredible force head first into the ground. I wish I could dull the sharpness of my memory of that moment. It was the most violent, brutal, harsh impact I have ever experienced. I was on my feet immediately. Then screamed. Three loud, guttural screams, that seemed like they were produced by someone else. It didn’t matter who they were coming from, I just wanted someone to hear me. There was no pain at first. It was more like an overall sense of something is very, very wrong. I laid down on the trail and waited for someone to come.