Monday, September 21, 2009

MTB Old? I hope not.

I came across a post by a Saffer (Andrew Clayton) who did his first ever downhill mountain bike run.  You can read all about it here on Mountain Biking by 198.  He said about his experience: "You have to keep pushing the boundaries cause one day you will get 'MTB Old' and stop testing those boundaries."

It made me think.

Is that where I am.  Having done a wonderful 3 week jaunt across South Africa, have I become "old" in my mountain biking approach.  Certainly the riding or lack of it lately would seem so.  This lull I am in was highlighted by our ride on the weekend and the couple we rode with.

Dawn and Dave. They have a tough stage race coming up at the end of September and they have trained really hard.  We set out and at the first river crossing, Dawn fell into the water and Dave waded in to disentangle her. Well, we laughed, she laughed and I wished (not for the last time) that I had my camera.  The route was gorgeous single track and was pretty gnarly at times.

At a particular tricky "bridge" over a fence, Dawn fell off, hard.  There is always that moment of silence as you imagine the worst and then she picks herself up, laughs about it and on we go.  It wasn't the last time she fell but she charged down the rocky descents and huffed and puffed her way up this hills, pushing her limits all the time.

She wasn't MTB Old.  She was young and energetic and pushing boundaries, like I used to be. Out of practice on some of the tecnical stuff, I would hesitate and then berate myself for it.  I hate that I have no MTB mojo but I also understand the need to get some space from the intensity of the first six months of year.

But I can't wait to ride the section again, this time more familiar with the obstacles and ready to flow through it.

When the time is right, I will be "MTB Kid" again.


  1. Fi, this is a very interesting post. I always used to say if you dont fall off you aren't pushing yourself hard enough. I think I have also become MTB Old.

  2. Ja, well, I guess we have an excuse for a laid back second half of the year but best we commit to an exciting 2010.

  3. Ol Badger has a very interesting little line as his email sign off: " Where the mind goes the body will follow"...I guess sometimes life crowds that mind space a bit and we feel we've lost our mojo or maybe it's simply just because our Freedom Challenge was such an awesome ride & life changing experience that we often feel lacklustre about the riding we do here now.
    I crave those wild unexplored open spaces where everyday was a new challenge & experience. I found myself, my being and the kid in me, just there in those moments between the sky and earth. Most other rides pale into insignificance a bit compared to that.....After all, when you've careened down the decent into Die Hell, over the Osseberg jeep track down into the bottom of the Baviaans or the drop off the Aasvoelberg into the Karoo amongst the many others, of course a 500m little jeep track down the foot of the Magalies is not going to get your mojo going!

    You've hit the nail on the head about what to do about it though...