What do I like about mountain biking?
I'll tell you, it's the crashing or not to put too fine a point on it Crash-Art.
Now you may think that crashing, wiping out and coming off are all something that just happens and are the unfortunate side of biking. Example "those rocks just jumped up out of nowhere" or "my front wheel just wiped out" I beg to differ. I've always believed in visualising yourself float over a difficult piece of terrain. Well I do that mystical seeing stuff except I see myself going down, how I'm going to fall, which way the bike is going to go, and as a bonus, will I manage to take out any of my fellow riders?
A good crash I've always found is like a good wine. It gets better with age, well at least the scars do. Telling your non-biking pals in those quiet lulls between interesting conversation about how your forks collapsed at 40mph and you used your nose as a brake on bike sized blocks of granite. Watching their little faces curl in shock as they spout those words of wisdom (which if we are honest are true) "you must be mad" or "you are one crazy man" or if you're lucky "you're so brave" especially if that comes from the opposite sex. Ha ha my boy or girl you've pulled without even trying.
Some useful advice at this point, the best way to save your nose is wear some motocross goggles, (not really fetching wearing them in the pub I know) and have lots of luck, which judging by my scars I have lots, scars I mean. If you're crazy in the skull like me then I'm sure you've gone down like a sack of potatoes in a crash.
Some of our finest home-grown magazines MBR, MBUK , MBI all claim to know what you should do when you crash to minimise your injuries 'stay loose, relax, tumble and roll' Easy then. Well I say forget the advice and go for the most spectacular landing possible. After all how many times in your life are you going to be able to fly like a bird for at least 3 seconds? Make sure you go for the superman position, arms forward going for a graceful swan dive. If you're good like me the trail will be like a water chute and you can slide down it. Knee pads, elbow pads, don't be ridiculous they're for the slalom boys & girls, after all they crash all the time, what? you lot are saying I crash all the time too..... I've never heard such outrageous slander. Do you philistines not realise that when I wipe out it's never less than glorious.
After all I ask you, what's going to slow you down better than your own skin? "It'll hurt" you'll cry. Maybe, but bear in mind what's more impressive, telling your mates 'oh I just scuffed my pads when I stacked at 50mph' or 'you should have seen it, a
body splattering shower of carnage, look how little skin I have left' Watch them splutter in disbelief that you're still alive let alone riding a bike (or at least trying to).
If you were thinking of getting on a bike after reading this then you probably need your head examined, having said that I've had mine looked at over 200 times and the result in all these cases has been incurable, the doctors advised a lobotomy. No good I retort I've had five already.
This is the end to Chapter 1 of the Art of a Good Crash and when they remove the straitjacket and let me out of this room with no windows, I'll regale you all with my tale of how four inches of travel front and rear really makes a difference on a 60ft drop off.
For anyone stupid enough to attempt to emulate my extraordinary feats of mind over matter, please be advised that some if not all of this text is a complete wind up and should not be treated seriously.
A Final Thought
Respect the trails you ride, your fellow riders and all trail users apart from those really rude ones who deliberately stand in your path always looking for something to moan about and most importantly wear a helmet if not for your sake then everybody else's.