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Survivor's guilt

 I try to stay positive and I like to encourage others to try new things. I'm gonna be the guy yelling, "yeah dude, you got this!" to someone standing at the top of the jump. Usually this works out and we all cheer when the rider overcomes the new challenge. yah! Sometimes it doesn't go that way though, sometimes it goes badly and I was the guy saying "you got this." Even if you didn't.

And sometimes other factors in my life can infect my mountain biking. Here's an example of how one specific day went. It started with my wife challenging everything I said. Me: I'll just take the puppy outside to go. Wife: Oh she won't go yet. Me: I'll just use the trimmer to cut those thistles. Wife: I don't think the trimmer will work on thistles. ect. Me: whatever.

Then I made it to work where my boss challenged everything I said. Me: That oil leak is the pressure sender. Boss: You don't think it's something else? Me: That head is aluminum. Boss: Really? some heads are iron. ect. Me: whatever.

Then I finally made it to my happy place at the trail head. I started riding my mountain bike and all my stress from the outside world melted away. I met up with a good riding buddy. Him: Where should we go? Me: I'd love to hit Brown Town, but I don't like what they did to the jump, so I'll go around that. Him: Really? Because I was looking at it and it looks pretty good.

Some synapse in my brain snapped. Instead of an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other, I looked to my shoulder and saw two devils kicking the shit out of an angel. I made an evil grin. Me: Ok! I want to see you hit it.

Just for the record, I have a lot of experience cutting thistles, fixing engines and dirt jumping. The last time I hit this particular jump it bucked me forwards, I nose cased and went over the bars. I had scrubbed some speed before going into it and I though the speed was a factor, but also the jump was poorly built. At Left Hand anyone with a shovel can try building jumps. I've talked to diggers who build jumps without even testing them. So it's believable that we could be left with some jenky jumps and that's what I felt about this one.

But my friend and I got out there, he took a couple run-ins. I told him to bring some speed, I didn't want him to nose case like I did when I went too slow. The last thing I said was, "with speed, some is good, more is better and too much is just right."

It turns out that is not an accurate statement, it's just something clever to say. Later, when he was getting a neck brace at the hospital, I pondered the circumstances. Could I have giving him better information? Could I have told him the perfect speed and weight distribution to overcome a poorly built jump? Should I have vehemently convinced him it was a bad idea and disagreed with his judgement? What does it say  about me if this the fourth  person I've been riding with who ended up in the hospital? What does it say about my friend Rex that he's brought me to the hospital once from a bike crash and once from a ski crash?

So many lingering questions, but as they say "pain is the greatest teacher." I don't know if that's an accurate statement or if it's just something clever to say.


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