Think you can ride a bike?
Seems easy. Pedal. Look forward. Keep pedaling. Keep looking forward.
Try that. On a mountain side. On a dirt, rock, boulder, gravel, grass trail. At 9,000ft of elevation. With mountain bikers who won their Teva Mountain Games division. Or who ride reguarly, or with someone who manages a bike shop.
Try it. Dare you.
Because you’ll probably flip over your handle bars twice. Once, skidding along gravel, eating rocks, drawing blood, creating bruises. And the latter, flying through pine trees and into juniper bushes, flipping and rolling. And if that’s not enough, maybe you’ll understand what it means to ‘ride a rocky trail’ and endure a brain shake worse than a grocery cart being pulled on railroad tracks. Or you’ll come to see what a decent in the mountains looks like ‘stairs of boulders spit out in every place you would-have-wanted-to put-your-fragile-tire.’
Body positioning? On a bike? That matters? YES.
Arms relaxed on the climb, body weight forward. Arms engaged, legs bent at equal levels, butt back, on the decent. There is no time to think of tonight’s plans or tomorrows breakfast. YOU – THINK – NOW. “Rock on left, move tire right. Weight back. Pedal. Pedal. Brake. Arms lift. Pedal. Dodge giant rocks. Endure bumps. Brake. Watch out for that…. “Ahhhhhhhhh, flying, flipping, rolling in bushes (padding) I’m alive, I’m not broken. My bike is back there. How did I get here? It doesn’t matter: it’s ok to laugh now.”
Great fun! Good thing there are people like Jake, Kari, Mark, Tim and Jenn in this world!