For a video that features no riding in it – it is in fact a no-frills lo-fi talking head clip – this latest vlog from Cedric Gracia is totally inspiring.
In it we simply hear Cedric waxing lyrical (in his most excellent French accent) about why we all ride mountain bikes. Why we ride mountain bikes much more than we do anything else. Why we’re obsessed with riding them.
Perhaps the key lesson here is that it’s not about racing. It’s not about winning. Indeed, Cedric appears to be brutally honest about the lows of being a professional racer; once he stepped down from the podium he “didn’t care”. Glory was all too brief. Winning wasn’t everything.
So what is the most important thing? The answer sounds rather facile and duh: it’s to have fun, essentially. But this video more about not being distracted into chasing any other goal above and beyond having fun. Fun is paramount.
And fun is very, very democratic. You don’t need to have the most skill to have the most fun. In fact, it’s arguably the reverse; the more skilled you are, the more you can end up focussing on minor errors and forget about the thrill and fun factors.
“When you go home, you’re on your sofa, you just chill, you close your eyes and you’re like… uhh, I remember today when I hit that corner I felt my bike going just crazy… super fast, got an acceleration… I was full of mud and hit that puddle like this and… THIS is mountain biking. You know, emotions. And, er, probably one of the few sports that gives you that much emotion.”
Maybe we’re just overtired but we welled up a bit watching this. Viva Cedric!