Monday, September 06, 2010

MBO

I know…right about now you’re already trying to decode the acronym in this post title…

Mustard Baloney Omelets?

Making Bionic Orifices?

My Bulimic Ostrich?

All good guesses. All wrong. MBO stands for Mountain Bike Oregon. It’s an event held annually now for the last five years and my step-cousin’s husband (very similar to my best-friend’s aunt’s sisters neighborhood boss) has been nagging me for years to join him on it.

Sure, I ride bikes. I’ve done a lot of riding. I’ve ridden the 140 miles around Mt. Hood in a single day with its 35 mile uphill section. I’ve ridden Seattle to Portland in a day with its 200 mile length. I’ve ridden 7 day tours where you average 80 miles a day on a bike. I’ve done plenty of mountain bike trails years ago too.

But this was a world class event and only 300 people got in to it. I’m not sure why I was one of them.

The days consisted of guided rides through impossibly steep forests on ribbon-wide trails that would make a hiker cautious. Instead, we were subjected to hill climbs that looked like the streets of San Francisco but with roots and rocks to go over while doing it. I wanted to cry on a few uphill climbs but I was too out of breadth to do so.

Most of the rides consisted of about two miles of climbing straight up and then 14 miles of descending down. Riding down a ribbon-wide trail over roots and rocks is a bit like operating a jack hammer for about three hours. You lose all feeling in your arms and hands and you’re muscles are dying from too much braking to prevent certain death.

The first day out I avoided the hill trails and followed along on a river trail. It was a beautiful trail…I think. I was too busy balancing myself on the trail going up and down endless ups and down with mini cliffs on one side and poison oak encrusted hillside on the other.

I also foolishly rode in the middle front of the pack which meant I got to follow the middle guide as they tore down the trail at this ridiculously blinding speed that I gullibly followed. I was holding my own until I got a little too close to the river side of the trail and it collapsed on me sending my front wheel down off into the abyss and smacking me down on the hard trail like some pre-rehearsed WWF televised event. But unlike WWF, I had real blood and dirt oozing from my knee, leg and elbow.

Still, nothing was broken and so I continued on and survived without another real fall for the rest of the day. Of course, at one point I tipped over into the embankment, which was hardly a fall since I could push myself right back upright without getting off the bike. I think it was at that point that I got poison oak in my wounds. I wouldn’t break out with a major case of it until three days later though.

On day two we did this infamous ride called “Alpine” and again I was ill-prepared and got stuck towards the back of the middle pack which meant mind numbing speed on the descents. There were places on this trail that a fall meant death! Drop offs while descending over rocks and roots on the side of a hill with a trail no wider than Karen Carpenter looking from the side!

I simply hung on for dear life and had no idea where the trail would lead and if I’d stay on it. At one point I spaced-out and veered toward a big drop off and was so balanced on the edge of the trail any slight point would have toppled me over. Luckily I willed my way back to the center of the trail and I never spaced-out again on the trip.

We camped at an RV park because my cousin had an RV but we all had tents that we pitched on the gravel site next to the RV. There we were, camped right next to the highway. I mean right next to it. Behind us were the train tracks with trains coming every two hours all night long. On both ends were these blinding lights for the complex that never went out. Fortunately I was too exhausted each night to even ponder not sleeping. I did have dreams that I was camped in the middle of the road in downtown Portland though.

After three days of riding I’d survived without any serious injury. As a group we’d managed to consume 24 kegs of beer…a new event record. I’ve still got a lot of poison oak because it takes almost two weeks to get rid of it and only a week has passed. While there were things that were fun…because of the poison oak and the likelihood of death or serious injury, particularly since I am VE, I think next year instead of riding up the pass, I’ll just pass entirely.

17 comments:

Subby said...

EGAD! I know all about operating j-j-j-j-j-jjack-h-h-h-h-a-a-m-m-m-ers! The poison oak sounds familiar...OUCH! Haven't done any extreme biking in years!

And really...I thought MBO stood for Main Ballast Operator...er...um...nevermind :)

Subby said...

...um...great. Now ya got me wantin' a mustard bologna omlette :P

What?

Roy said...

I think passing on it next year is probably the wisest move you'll ever make.

Carla said...

At first I was a little confused. I thought the mustard baloney omelets were part of the list of things that made no sense.

The Incredible Woody said...

Maybe you should go just for the beer.

ReformingGeek said...

It should be not only no, but HELL NOT on next year.

MBO stands for Missing Brain in Oregon.

Jaime said...

reading that makes my legs hurt... and makes me happy i don't know how to ride a bike.

Elizabeth said...

That sounds pretty scarey. What did the wifeypoo think of all this??

Janna said...

There's this neat thing I do, that you might want to try... it's called "staying home".
So far I've managed to avoid poison oak entirely.

P.S.
Miniature Black Olives
Mostly Baltimore Orioles
Meeting Barack Obama
Michigan's Buying Ontario

Mrsupole said...

All I was thinking of was "Ouch" when reading about your fall, then it was "Yikes" when you were zoning out, and a really big "Ewwww" for the poision oak. But then I read about Meeting a certain someone and my brain was doing an even bigger "EWWWWWWWWWW".
Although Subby's omelet kinda sounds good, as long as there is a lot of mustard. One can never have too much mustard.

God bless.

Kanrei said...

Hey VE! I can't believe it has been so long too. I am having a Hell of a year and not in a good way, so I am not blogging all that often.

The bright side is that I am almost done with my first script (TV). That is something I suppose. It is for an already existing show and unsolicited, but I wanted to see if I could.

Take care and I hope I will return to the blogosphere soon.

Roy Scribner said...

I always took you for "one-in-a-million" but three hundred? We're doomed.

VE said...

Subby – So you’ve done some jack hammerin’ eh? Unless it’s on that car that won’t go when the light is green, it doesn’t look like much fun…

Roy – I agree. I’m not in a hurry to catch up with Evel Knievel’s broken bone count anytime soon…

Carla – For most people that would be true…

Incredible woody – Except that I’m allergic to beer…

Reforminggeek – That’s a good one…I keep searching for my brain…

Jaime – So when people say it’s just like riding a bike…you panic!

Elizabeth – She told me not to come back broken! I fulfilled that obligation. Of course, she neglected to mention poison oak…

Janna – I secretly knew Michigan was reporting financial woes because they were saving money to purchase Ontario…

Mrsupole – You know how I savor my “EWWW” comments…

Kanrei – A TV script? Really? I’m definitely impressed. My second book should have been a TV series but looking at the templates to writing one was daunting…beyond my skill level at this point. Nice job!

Roy – I had a friend at work that without fail would announce, “We’re doomed” on a daily basis. Eventually he was…he was laid off

Monkey Man said...

Was MBO the same ride that killed someone this year? Just because we have an outdoors, doesn't mean we have to use it. How about trying something other than the 'all or nothing' attitude. I did STP in two days. Much more reasonable.

Megan said...

You're nuts.

CatLadyLarew said...

Dude! You daredevil, you! Impressive! *itch* *itch*

VE said...

monkey man - I heard somebody went to the hospital but didn't hear of anyone dying. Wouldn't surprise me, actually...

megan - Nuts is as nuts does. Wait, that just doesn't work as well...

catladylarew - I'm so done with all the itch, itch too! Can't they develop something to erradicate that damn plant?