How many are you guilty of?
AKA confessions of a mountain biker. A whole bunch of things that you know you’re not supposed to do… but you do them anyway.
Pointlessly. Come back into the car park after a ride, yank on the invisible handbrake and screeching to a halt in front of the car. Check. See a patch of loose loam by the side of the trail and drag the back wheel through it. Check.
2. Race for Strava segments
It’s juvenile, silly and a good way to spoil and good ride, but the urge to compete is painfully strong in some of us.
3. Ride round puddles
… and make the trails wider. It causes trail erosion, it’s bad, and we almost never do it, but sometimes the idea of dry legs is just too tempting.
4. Leave suspension in the wrong setting
Flip the shock to pedal mode, climb happily up the first hill before forgetting to unlock it again for the descent. Spend the next five minutes wondering, when did that trail got so darned rough?
5. Hide injuries
Crash, pick up a minor wound like a leg scrape or a wrenched finger, then limp home to a non-riding partner and pretend nothing’s happened for fear of having the riding privileges revoked or just that knowing shake of the head.
6. Forget a vital part
Pop the bike in the car, drive to the trails, open the boot and bingo… there’s no front wheel in the boot, you’ve forgotten to put it in. It’s still propped up against that wheelie bin where your car was parked. It’s not always the wheel of course, sometimes it’s shoes or the helmet. Or in extreme cases, the whole bike itself.
7. Jetwash bearings
Jetwashing is terrible for your bike, it fires out all the grease and wrecks your suspension seals. But by crikey it’s a quick way to strip the mud off though.
8. Watch mountain bike videos too much
On my phone when I should be working. Watch mountain bike videos on my phone while on a family day out. Watch mountain bike videos on my phone at the kid’s school play.
9. Drink too much the night before a ride
Worse, drink a pint mid ride, even though we know it’ll bugger the afternoon up.
Think I’m invincible, the next Brendog, and the bike is running like a dream. Then crash on the next corner.
11. Ignoring the weather
Crash in the spring when the trails dry and run faster. Crash in the autumn when the trails turn slippery.
Tell myself I’d ride this jump or drop next time: I’m just not feeling it today. Or maybe I’ve got the wrong helmet, shoes, tyres or pants on today.
13. Not eating
Go out without eating properly. Surely just tucking a banana into the trail pack and downing a tin of pop before we head out is enough?
14. Not paying for parking
Park up in laybys near trail centres to avoid paying the charge. Hey, there’s a genuine reason for this, like when you’ve got no change…. Okay, okay, it’s a terrible thing to do really.
15. Never stretch
Never warm-up/arm-down/stretch or any of the other things athletes form other sports seem to do.
16. Never give injuries enough time to heal
If it’s scabbed over that’s good enough, never mind the crippling pain and grinding noise from inside.
17. Not cleaning my bike
Leave my bike to fester and the chain to go orange after a muddy ride. Science tells us a layer of oxidation will prevent the rest of the metal corroding any further… please?