There is nothing nice about crashing. I can't say I've ever enjoyed the experience, and if I ride long enough to accumulate another million kilometres, I don't expect I ever will. It's not so much the injuries sustained (although in my case, these have never included so much as a broken fingernail), it's more the time off the bike that follows (two days so far and I'm already climbing the walls), and the anger in the immediate aftermath of the crash that never quite subsides, the wishing you could go back and navigate that corner again just one more time, and all the things you would do differently.
Yes, mine happened on the descent from O'Reilly's Plateau at Lamington National Park on Saturday in the wet. For me the really annoying thing was that it was the absolute last corner of the descent that I failed to navigate, having easily dealt with every other corner on that 14km descent. I suppose I should look on the bright side and be glad I didn't crash higher up the mountain (as I did in 2002) and have to deal with cooler temperatures and the prospect of still having half the descent to do, yet it's still rather annoying.
The day itself had been wet, and the temperature barely made it into double figures on the mountain itself, yet conditions in the valley below were pleasant enough to make me think about climbing Beechmont for an encore on the way home. The dropping temperatures on the climb didn't concern me because I generally enjoy riding in the rain. Today there was an added bonus as the rainforest on the final 7km of the climb came alive even more than usual.
Of course, the descent on that higher part of the mountain was freezing, but I had brought a long a jacket I'd bought in New Zealand some three years previously. It hasn't had much use on this side of the Tasman, but it justified it's price tag today. I even detoured out to Kamarun Lookout, just a little off the "main" road to take in some really spectacular views of the clouds swirling around the mountains on what had been a truly remarkable day in terms of the weather.
Of course, my crash at the bottom put paid to any plans I had of returning over Beechmont and another ride in the clouds. That said, I was genuinely surprised how well I handled the final 50km ride home, particularly the climbs on the gorge road from Canungra. It was only the flat final stretch after Nerang that caused limbs to stiffen up and the loss of blood started to pose an issue. I ended up buying an energy drink at a convenience store to make sure I got through it all. That said, the final damage hasn't been too significant - despite the blood stains on that cycling jersey that didn't come out in the wash. My knee looks to be regaining flexibility already, and I could be back on the bike in time for the weekend. God knows I need it.