So yesterday’s post was a little on the bitter and dark side (quiterightlyso). I don’t want people to get bored of my blog and just think it’s rant rant moan moan- it’s not intended to be the emo-teenage-angst diaries 7 years too late, so I thought I would try and juxtapose it by speaking a little bit of the positive elements in my life at the moment. Here is a bit about the exhilaration of mountain biking.
The first time I went to work in Megève, my utmost priority was figuring out a way to pack my much beloved mountain bike onto the plane. I still consider her my most beloved possession, largely because of the amount of money she’s saved me in bus tickets as well as the endless fun and adventure she has brought me when juddering down single-track trails at alarming speeds. What’s not to love? The paintwork, although a little chipped and worn these days is pretty and I decked her out with some super-cool customized handlebars from Superstar Components, which arrived in the post accompanied by some Haribo.
So after returning from Megève a second time, having had my feet shoe-horned into tightly buckled boots and clicked into skis, I was all too ready to throw myself atop my Trek and power down a mountain. Now bear in mind, despite doing a lot of physical labour all day everyday and skiing a few times a week, I am still not in the greatest shape at the moment (largely due to cheeky extra helpings of the sumptuous afternoon-tea spread), and so that extra bit of power that I really could have used to propel myself up the hill, was somewhat lost on just carrying up the extra pounds of cake.
So my brother came home on some leave taken from the army and decided that he would give me a day of jock-style boot-camp (he’s in the Scottish Regiment), to try and kick-start me into some sort of regime. We headed up to Grizedale, listening to his driving playlist, a combination of classical rock, alternative and what I like to call ‘man-pop’. He had intentions for us to do the red-rated Northface Trail, 16km of single-track around the forest and I was feeling slightly apprehensive. Admittedly for the first 4km I was a bit of a nervous wreck, having not done much MTB for about 2 years and shaking like a shitting dog. Drop-offs were sort of stepped down in a faux-mountain biking way, bike clutched between trembling thighs as Brother Dear of Mine looked ahead trying to suppress the smirk that was attempting to escape across his face. Eventually though, I got into the swing of it, and started getting more and more daring, by getting onto the ramps and trying to pick up some speed on the steeper parts.
By the end of the trail, I had a go at more and more drop-offs and gave myself some thoroughly sore wrists by the end of it. The sensation when you finally let go of your fear and let it roll is what I imagine it’s like to take ecstasy, as that is exactly how I felt, ecstatic. With the handlebars juddering my wrists at Earth-shattering seismic levels and taking to the air like I couldn’t do anywhere else, I retained a memory which is still sending shivers down my spine a week later.