With Durango just 15 days away my greatest fear is getting banged-up on a practice ride. There's always that chance when mountain biking, but generally you're thinking about how to clear that log pile or rock garden or drop or whatever. You're not thinking about what happens if you don't. That may sound like a fine line but really it's a big fat one because the body tends to follow the mind. Think about landing it and you land it. Think about falling and you fall.
As of Friday, I had three crashes in as many days. Not biggies but they could have been. One I can blame on a dog that jumped in front of me as I was coming off the first Sole Trail bridge - nobody to blame there really. But the next two were avoidable and only happened because I was thinking about not crashing.
Bad mojo that I have exorcised through technology. I happened to watch this awesome 50 second video on the Contour web site. Now let's be clear I am never riding anything as extreme as this trail. Not even remotely close. Ever. Except in my dreams. And while watching the video I am riding that stuff. I am nailing it. I think I watched the video 10x. Next time out on the bike I hit it harder, had more fun, and most importantly thought about landing and not about crashing. I was cured.
But there is another type of crashing that has nothing to do with mental state and has everything to do with equipment state. And that's what happened to Sebastian today (video 0:27). While my mental problem was cured, his equipment problem was about to bite him. I think some fresh Stans tire sealant may have prevented his front tire from burping and instantly decompressing right when he needed it most - dropping down onto the Creative Playthings bridge. I'd estimate he flew 15' horizontal and 6' vertical (down) before landing in a heap (still clipped in) by the side of the bridge. I missed the crash but at least caught the aftermath on video.
Tangent: Speaking of falling while clipped in, there is also some amusing video (video 1:30) of another rider (don't know who) doing just that out near the bonus loop. Classic and funny because it's happened to everyone who uses clipless pedals. Which raises another question - why do they call it "clipped in" if they're clipless pedals?Anyway I finished the ride with a rapid descent of the Blue Trail, letting the Turner eat up the roots and rock gardens of that sometimes gnarly descent. It felt so good (I was 2.5 hours into the ride at this point) that I rode back to the top of the park just to bomb Blue again. And I could have easily done it a third or fourth time except I was already overdue at home.
So I am clearly not thinking about crashing anymore. I am just thinking about Durango. Twenty-four-by-seven.
"Little hand says it's time to rock and roll."