Downhill mountain biking

In what was Hillary's second or third trip out to BC with me, we took a road trip to the Okanagan.

On that trip, we visited a friend of mine from high school, Ryan and decided to do some mountain biking. Specifically, we went downhilling.

This was a discipline I had only done a few times, though I was a pretty confident cross country rider. This was Hillary's first time doing this kind of riding. It would also turn out to be her last. This was not a last time that slid by.

Geared up and under one of the larger features that none of us rode.

Things were going well for two of us, that being Ryan and I. Hillary was walking her bike down large chunks of the trail. It was steep and relatively technical if my memory was correct.

We eventually got to a feature that was a bit of a drop into a really nice transition. This one was particularly fun, so I figured it would be a good idea to try it again. Then I made the mistake of getting confident and attempting it a third time.

I crashed.

I lay there for a minute or two taking inventory. I knew I had hit my hip pretty hard and my right arm was pretty sore to say the least. After a couple of minutes, I realized I could walk, but the arm was not in great shape, I couldn't hold the handlebars.

But we were way up the trail and our cars were not close.

We slowly made our way down to the parking area, me riding with one hand on the bars for most of it. Eventually we got down to where the car Hillary and I had for this trip, my dad's black BMW 318i, was parked. Ryan's truck was at the top of the hill and we needed to shuttle up to get it. Since the bikes wouldn't fit in the BMW, I stayed with the bikes at the bottom and Hillary drove the car up.

Some time later, the truck came around the corner and the BMW a few seconds behind it. Hillary was frazzled, worried about me and made a comment about how fast Ryan had driven down the hill.

Then we noticed some smoke coming from around the tires of the BMW.

Hillary hadn't grown up around long extended hills with switchbacks. She had ridden the brakes to control her speed rather than let the speed drift up a bit, brake harder, then let off again to let them cool a bit.

So now she had me, who was beat up and couldn't drive and was terrified that she'd destroyed my dad's car and she'd only been around my parents for a dozen or so days at this point.

It was fine ultimately, but Hillary refused to ever go downhill mountain biking again. I ended up with a fractured wrist and had a cast for six weeks. We finished our trip and had to tell my parents that I'd broken my wrist.

Hillary was certain that she'd never be welcome in my parents house again. She was very wrong.