I don't remember the crash. It was sudden and violent. I was for once scanning the trail up ahead as you're supposed to and so I don't even know what I hit exactly.

I just remember my field of vision filling with my left arm, and then being off my bike -- way off my bike, as it was lying in the trail -- and needing to sit down.

I sat down on a rock. After a few minutes I used my good arm to pull my bike as far off the trail as I could. My legs were fine. My arm was a mess but I wasn't sure why. I hadn't hit my head, yet my brain was jelly, which was weird. Now I know that is what shock feels like. This is valuable information.

At the time all I could think was that I needed to stay still and wait for Zoo, who was on a loop that would take him by me. He'd be able to tell how bad I was messed up. I really couldn't. For the next hour, I would believe that maybe the pain would wear off and I could ride.

Here is Zoolander. I can't even look up at him. Too much effort. Is my arm broken? Can I move it? Yes, yes I can. Maybe tore some muscles, I think. So ZL tells me the shortest path to push my bike to my car, which will go through a field and onto a gravel road that bisects the trail. I tell him to go ride as my legs are fine and I can walk out.

I say the same thing to Ashley, who finds me a few minutes later. She makes me sit down. She says, "Is your shoulder always dented like that?" It is silly to let her push her bike and walk out with me. It won't make me any faster. Go ride, Ashley.

In retrospect, I should have let someone walk me. If you are in shock, KEEP SOMEONE WITH YOU. That is a good take-away. A couple of times, in the field and riding one-handed on the gravel, I thought I might pass out. Even this did not clue me in. That is what shock does. It keeps you from being clued in.

In a bizarre way, shock incapacitates you so you can keep functioning. Once I made the decision to walk out, then by God that is what I was doing. Until suddenly I wasn't.

I sat down in the grass beside the gravel road. I was twenty yards or so from the trail, where it crossed the gravel. I don't know if I can walk anymore on the gravel, and at the end of the gravel I don't know if I can steer my bike downhill on the steep road. But I can't sit here forever. I will sit here until I figure out what to do next.

Just then ZL flew by on the trail. Didn't see me. I felt like I was watching a race. He was really moving. I listened as he hit his brakes all the way down the fast downhill. Huh, I thought. Maybe it's not so goofy that I brake all the way down that thing too.

Okay. Time to move. I will just walk back to the trail and then decide whether to stay on the gravel (a little shorter but lumpy and hot) or walk the bike over the singletrack (long but shady and with more people).

I was going to make the wrong decision.

Tomorrow: trail angels.