Fat Tire Tuesday: Crashes Happen

A mountain biking addict reflects on falling off

By Sarah Hansing

We crash. We get back up. We smile at the bruises, and do it again.

We crash. We get back up. We smile at the bruises, and do it again.

“I was going faster than I ever went in my whole life, then I fell off. “

I wish this movie quote actually applied to what happened to me.

But it didn’t.

In fact, I can’t remember the last time I actually had a crash with a good story behind it. And by “a good story,” I mean a cool story. A rad story to go along with my bruises and scrapes. Something that would make me seem like a bad-ass mountain biker chick, and not some idiot that just didn’t clip out in time.

Because what REALLY happened was, I had cleared all of the difficult sections of the trail. I even had ridden up the single plank ramp, and halfway down the other side when I got distracted. Or something. I don’t really know what happened, truth be told… except I found myself suddenly on the ground, tangled in my bike, unsure of how to extricate my leg from the top-tube/ handlebar/ brake lever pretzel I was staring at. I decided upon the “quickly” method, because my friends behind me hadn’t seen the actual crash. I was loathe to let them see the aftermath, because…

Well, because I guess I AM proud. Which is silly. The whole beauty of mountain biking is that you need to give your pride over: To gravity. To dirt. To traction. To logs. To rocks. To roots. To stupid mistakes. To nature.

We crash. We get back up. We smile at the bruises, and do it again.

At the end of my ride, I was actually stoked as I watched the color of my bruises grow and expand. It had been a long time since my last crash but I need to be reminded every now and again that I am just a girl on a bike, having fun.

Falling off keeps us humble.

Getting back up again, and pedaling on keeps us hopeful.

And that’s what life is about, isn’t it?



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