Skip to content

I crashed today (and I have a huge grin about it)

Today I did something I haven’t done in years.  I took a totally inappropriate bike to ride a section of track and crashed.

This morning I had an appointment to meet a rider to show them some plans for a dirt jump project.  Turns out that he was meeting a group of locals to do some runs prior to a downhill race tomorrow.  “Hey, come up to the track and check it out.”  “Sure…”  So, we all trudged up the hill, to one of the highest sections of the forest that I haven’t set foot in ever, and started climbing up the track…

Now some DH tracks are technical, full of rock gardens with rocks the size of milk crates and drop offs that have an alarming similarity to the edge of railway platforms.  This was, fortunately, not one of those tracks, it was simply corners carved into the side of a steep hill.  As we trudged upwards, for some reason I stopped thinking about this as a DH track and started pondering coming back down.  I hadn’t been invited out to hit up the DH track, they just asked me to take a look.  There was no pressure or expectation that I should try, no-one to impress (no matter what, I was going to look like an utter gumbie attempting to negotiate this on my XC bike).  Still, for some reason I really wanted to give it a shot.

In a way, this kind of riding takes me back to my MTB roots.  Back in 99 or thereabouts, on a steel XC hardtail with a cheap 20mm travel fork I went with friends to the Nationals DH track out of Canberra at Blue Range and we gingerly and unimpressively picked our way down to the bottom looking like utter novices who had no idea, no skills and no place being there.  I recall feeling scared, out of my depth and not having much fun.  Today was different for some reason.

So, there I was this morning, out on a muddy hillside on my XC singlespeed with it’s skinny, shallow-tread, low rolling-resistance tyres, saddle (Brooks) dropped nearly as far as it would go trying to make it down the track.  It doesn’t take much slope or mud to overcome the grip limits of many XC tryes and this was certainly the case for me, so I picked my way down, mostly with the rear wheel locked up, front wheel on the verge of doing the same and trying to stay mainly vertical and not dabbing a foot.  Until, (as was inevitable), the back end let go during a traverse and I fell over on my side.

All I did was laugh, grin and start riding again.  Minor graze, some mud on my leg and having a blast of a time looking like an idiot.  The lower sections of the track were great, less steep, more rocks and of the type that most folks can ride down, it’s simply hard to do it fast.  I had a hoot the whole way down and we left the DH folks behind to do their training and sort out their lines and returned to noodling around the XC singletrack…

I’m generally fairly risk averse, I don’t enjoy crashing and I have a mortgage to pay, family to help support and all that jazz, so I don’t hit up dangerous stuff at all.  Today wasn’t dangerous, it was just not suited to what I was riding, and so, I crashed and looked stupid doing it.  I haven’t had so much fun on a bike as I had in those 5 minutes in years.

Why do we grow up?

More Opinions...

How To Tidy Cabling

A little while back, my good lady wife’s bike was in need of a spring clean so I took the opportunity to finally cover something I’ve been meaning to do for ages – cables. But this is not so much a ‘how to setup and tune your brakes and gears’ and more like ‘how to keep…

Go on then, tell me more...!

F U C I

Didn’t I already write a bit on what I thought of the crotchety old men of the UCI and bicycle design?

Go on then, tell me more...!

SeaSucker Review

Our car was big enough for all of the baby stuff plus her bike, surely?

Go on then, tell me more...!

earHero Review

Headphone use on bikes is always a hotly debated internet forum topic…

Go on then, tell me more...!

Fit for use

Last week it happened, I met the ground with a thud.

Go on then, tell me more...!

The Schlumpf

It’s every rider’s little dirty secret. I’m sure it’s the same theory for all activities, but for cycling deep in the back of every cyclist’s mind they secretly like to think themselves as being ‘hardmen’. Some just think it, others are quite overt about it but either way it lingers there, simmering under the surface.…

Go on then, tell me more...!

The Hype Cycle

I’m allergic to production bikes. Ok, that’s not strictly true, but I will generally avoid most production machines – usually based an irrational dislike of the brand, a less irrational dislike of the available colourschemes, ill-suited geometry or a combination of the above. Recently, on the hunt for a new project, I had a (rather…

Go on then, tell me more...!

Bikes are boring

I bet that title caught your attention!? Let me expand on that. Bicycle ‘design’ is boring and I mean both in terms of visual appeal and in terms of design and designing. It’s funny when you think about it but somehow, in the world of bicycles, we seem to have ended up with a never…

Go on then, tell me more...!

Be seen – Orfos bike light review

Orfos lights started as one of those Kickstarter campaigns that did rather well. What was the final result…?

Go on then, tell me more...!

What Type of Cyclist Are You?

At the London round of the Rollapaluza National Series during the week a conversation got my cogs whirring… Nick Hussey, Damien Breen (of that most excellent In The Saddle blog) and myself were talking – it was like a mini bloggers convention (although not ‘mini’ in that any of us are particularly short I might…

Go on then, tell me more...!
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Scroll To Top