If you’ve ever gone mountain biking, you’ve probably had that “Doh!” moment of being halfway over an obstacle, losing the momentum you need to clear it, and then falling in what feels like a slow-motion collapse. Even if you’ve only hit the trail once or twice, I guarantee you’ve experienced some of these:
That moment when you bail halfway through an obstacle, just to realize that if you’d just hung on for another few inches, you would have sent it.
That moment when you hit a berm at exactly the right angle and exactly the right speed to launch out like a kid out of a swing.
That moment when you feel like you’re going so fast you’re starting to channel Georgia Gould, only to have someone else blow by you—in cutoffs. On a singlespeed hardtail.
The moment you think your heart is about explode from the sheer cardio exertion of powering over an obstacle, but you power through, envisioning yourself having a heart attack on the side of the trail.
That weightless instant at the apex of a little jump or kicker when you know you’ll land it perfectly, and you feel like you’re in the Red Bull Rampage, even if you barely got two wheels off the ground.
That oh-shit instant at the apex of a little jump or kicker when you realize you’re about to yard sale, and your mind flashes to your health insurance policy.
That moment when your friends’ eyes begin to glaze over and you realize you’ve been jabbering for the last five minutes about the new bike you’re going to get.
The moment you’re so excited you made it past an obstacle you’ve never made it over before, and you’re so busy being blissed out that you about biff it on the next one.
That moment when you sit back on the saddle and your sit bones are already sore from riding, but you keep going because you know you’ll forget all about the soreness as soon as you’re really moving along.
That moment when you realize those hikers are actually going faster than you are, and you should probably just let them pass through the rock garden ahead of you, even if they look like they’re reeeeally slow.
That moment when you look back toward the trailhead and say, wow, I can’t believe I’ve ridden that far—I’m obviously a total boss.
That moment when you look back toward the trailhead and say, shit, my legs have to get me ALL THE WAY BACK THERE? Can I just call in a helicopter?
That moment the day after a big ride when someone at work asks where all your bruises and scrapes came from.
The moment when you feel like a kid, saying,”Again! Again! I want to do it again!”