Sunday, August 5, 2007


"Balls...balls...balls...balls..." Yep, that's what I was chanting in my head, chasing my dad's wheel down the final descent today...who knows, maybe I was even uttering the words out my fervor, in my chase...anything is possible. I got tired of feeling like a wuss. I got tired of thinking, "hmmm, I'd much rather be climbing this..." or, "Wow, I can handle this much better in reverse." Enough. This descending thing, it's a piece of the puzzle (my puzzle anyway) that I really, really need to "get." Well, I got it...for today. Catherine Powers once relayed an interesting fact to me...the little synapses in our brains that make us courageous, brave, ballsy if you will, are formed by the time we are about fourteen years old...This comes into play later in life, when someone like me is blazing down a rocky trail, white-knuckled, feathering the brakes (or more accurately knuckle-headed & grabbing too much brake), having no past experiences, no reference of daring feats such as this...Almost as if I am hard-wired to be afraid of speed (and crashing) because I didn't partake in ski racing or white-water rafting or mountain biking (or any sports) when I was a kid. Maybe so... But, we don't have a DeLorean in our garage... Time travel is not an option and I don't really care to relive thirteen again (bad bad haircut, pre-orthodontia fangs, crappy attitude to, good taste in music didn't quite temper poor taste in boyfriends)...I suppose I should have been wielding a lacrosse stick or ski poles instead of a jar of Manic Panic. So, "Balls...balls...balls...balls..." That and a little imagination...this is a race, the end is near...this is your competition, do not give it up, do not relent just because it's down down down...anyone can do this, you can do this...quarter mile to go, hold it, make it brakes, no brakes, trust the bike...TRUST the bike! Ahhhh...that and a little technique where before, I had none. If only we could race French Creek again instead of Bear Creek. A rematch... Today I got it.


Suki said...

I'm not so good at down.
I'm not so good at up, either.
I'm really not that great at staying on the bike at all for that matter.

goddamn I love this shit, though.

Suki said...

I've had several mantras.

on trail 12 at gretna (I hate them sooo bad. I had them sooo bad. I hate them sooo bad.)

in jim thorpe on fire hill trail (this is too technical for me. this is too technical for me. this is too technical for me.)

yesterday at secret trail X (this is like disneyland for mountain bikers. this is like disneyland for mountain bikers. this is like..FUCK! I just hit a tree...again)

APPARENTLY what I say in my head is NOT what I'm saying out loud, however.

because APPARENTLY I'm always saying "ooooooooh shiiiiiiiiitttt!" out loud.

chunky monkey said...

I used to love going down fast, really, really fast. Then I stopped racing, got slow. I haven't been able to get my nerve up to that again.
You're right, it's all balls, unfortunately I lost mine. Maybe it comes with age and things hurting more. ;-)

Frank Brigandi said...

13, bad haircuts, bad attitudes, you left out bad skin and bad report cards....
brakes or as I like to call them - speed controlers - are available when you want to scrub a little off or how about this, gain traction rounding a corner!! front brake feathering around a corner is a good technique to learn and always keep pedaling as you add some speed controler to your situation..
Never control too much speed on a rocky descent, skidding tires only grip fear not the trail, mini skids are positive speed control just lung your hips back as you do it in a sort of pulseing technique..
When in moments of massive speed control are required, lower your center of gravity andpush the pedals downward with both feet in a short quick pulse, never allow the speed controlers to drag you will exhaust yourself accellerating.
I found my Mantra in North Dakota and it goes like this,
"go where the water goes"
or pretend you are an impala being chased by a lion that works also.