A few weeks ago I was riding Mahogany Trail at Curt Gowdy State Park when it happened. I was traveling slow over a section that really wasn’t technical and I just lost my balance. The most notable thing about it was that there was nothing notable about it. Maybe my mind wandered a little too far away….
So I fell. And as every mountain biker dreads, I fell to the downhill side of the trail. And as every mountain biker dreads even more, I fell and was unable to unclip from the pedals to safely put a foot down and avert catastrophe.
About two thirds of a second later I realized that a cactus plant had laid the perfect ambush for me. I landed in the cactus on that part of my back just above the waistband of my shorts.
If someone had passed me by in that moment they would have seen what looked like an upside down bicycle riding a dead cockroach across the cactus. It was not comfortable. I laid the bicycle down but was still unable to unclip and this is where the brilliance of the cactus really shines.
The only place for me to plant my hand and begin to get out of the trap was also in a cactus plant. My riding gloves absorbed most of the needles but not all of them but I was, with only minimal swearing, able to right myself.
I spent the next 20 minutes trying to pull cactus out of the second most hard to reach place on the human body (the first being between the shoulders). Overall I did very poorly.
Next I got on the bike and rode for about 3 miles back to the Aspen Grove Trailhead. From there I got in my truck and started to drive home. Mind you I had to do this while sitting on the edge of the seat because if I sat back then it shoved the cactus needles in deeper.
The best part about the story is when I got home and realized what an amazing and talented wife I have because not everyone can laugh hysterically and pull cactus out of their husbands lower back at the same time.
I can’t be the only one out there who has been wronged by local flora?
Have you ever been attacked by cactus?