San Cristóbal Crash
Tuesday December 8th 2015
Ever since I realised that I was actually a good downhill cyclist, I'd been trying to set the fastest time on Strava for the descent from Antilén to Pedro de Valdivia. My personal best was 7 seconds slower than the overall best time. Today I went for a late cycle over the hill, and felt good on the way up. When I got to Antilén, the roads were quiet as the park had already officially closed, so I had a really good chance to set a new personal best at least.
I powered down the hill. All the way to Mapulemu I felt like I was on for a record. Looking at Strava later I was actually 6 seconds up on my previous best time and 3 seconds up on the overall fastest, with half the run still to go. Surely I could do it.
There's a sharp left turn at Mapulemu. I knew that it was the curves where I needed to carry a lot of speed through to have a chance at the record. I leaned heavily and attempted the curve at a faster speed than I'd taken it before, and suddenly I lost grip. The back wheel slid out, and suddenly I was on the floor, rasping across the tarmac.
I came to a stop pretty quickly, luckily without hitting anything else. Two people who I'd overtaken just moments earlier came to see if I was OK. It was a very, very stupid crash and I felt pretty silly. I also had some physical damage, some savage road rash and a nasty cut on my ankle. But after a couple of minutes I'd caught my breath and got back on the bike to painfully head home and clean myself up. It was an epic fail for record breaking and I decided I was, as I'd previously thought, not very good at downhill cycling.