A mountain biking addict reflects on falling off
By Sarah Hansing
“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?