A few friends and I went out to San Juan this past weekend to hit the out and back trail. I was and am still nursing a cough and sore throat, but since I really enjoy riding San Juan, I decided to go against my body, mind and wife and ride anyway. This was a bad choice as my ride ended up being a sufferfest for me.
San Juan is basically a 6 + mile out and back. If you have the time/legs, you can throw in an extra 4 mile loop at the top, but we didn’t have the legs this time around. The 6 mile climb was pretty bad the first time I rode it, but this time it took nearly double the time mainly even with the Kona Hei Hei’s granny gear. The sickness left me gasping for air for most of the climb and there was a good 4 miles stretch where I was unable to focus …. even when I was telling myself to focus. I was lightheaded and ready to quit but thankfully my friends kept encouraging me and we made it to the turnaround point in one piece.
Too bad, nearly all of us left a little some skin on the trail on the way back down. What is normally a challenging but fun downhill became a myriad of falls for 3 of the 4 of us. It was on this extended downhill section that I decided to test my Sette Strike elbow and knee/shin pads by overshooting an exposed turn and falling off the edge of the trail. I went down a good 10 – 15 feet before friction stopped me and the bike. I decided that since I was performing a review on the pads, I might as well throw in a test of my camelbak’s durability as well. I did this by flipping over mid crash and landing on the camelbak (subsequently, my digital slr).
The results of the test are that my digital slr is still ok… the padding I put around it did its job… I’ll post a picture of the padding to show you what I do. The Sette Strike pads are continuing to do a great job protecting me from damage. I am SO glad I brought them along. They are totally worth the small monetary investment. Click here for info on the elbow guards and here for info on the knee/shin guards.