1 subaru + 2 friends + 3 mountain bikes = 1 awesome time
Be prepared. The boy scout motto. Being a former boy scout, I thought I was prepared for most situations I would encounter when mountain biking. I carry a first aid kit, bike tools, and a few essential parts to get me out of most situations. Today I realized I wasn’t really prepared for anything. I went biking with Gid and Dho today. Both of those guys took minor spills. Good thing I had my first aid kit. Bad thing my first aid kit was pretty much useless. The band-aids were all too tiny for the scrapes you get when mountain biking. The only thing useful in that kit was the first aid wipes, which we used to clean up their wounds. I ended up pinch flatting twice clearing some rocks. I only had one tube. I had to walk the last mile. As soon as we got out of there I bought 3 sets of tubes and a whole slew of first aid supplies including gauze and first aid spray. Next time I’ll be prepared.
I think one of the things I love about biking is the sense of community. I get into trouble all the time when biking. Flat tires, chain snaps, horrific crashes– I’ve experienced them all. One thing you can always count on is that there will be no shortage of help. Every time I’ve gotten into trouble, every passing biker has asked if I needed help or if I had all the equipment I needed. I think part of it is that every biker has been in the same situation. It seems that struggling through the same hardships creates a strong sense of community, even among total strangers.
While on the trail you keep your eyes open and try to pick the best line to clear any obstacles. Sometimes you’re given several options. You need to commit to one and be ready to face the consequences. Sometimes you pick a bad line and you crash. You tend to your wounds, pick up your bike and ride again. Sometimes an unseen obstacle rattles you pretty badly. Sometimes you get lost and have to ask for help. Sometimes the trail you pick starts out fun, but leads you at the bottom a deep canyon that you don’t feel you have the energy to ride out of.
Mountain biking is a good metaphor for life. Like in life, you plot out your trail ahead of time but still so many things can go wrong. But you keep on riding.