Mountainbikers are made, not born.
Every one of us has a unique story behind, but in the end, it boils down to a couple of phases most of us roll through.
“Normal kids” play with sand castles at this age. We would be too if it wasn’t for our parents’ mistake – giving us a bicycle.
They thought we’ll be riding flat pavement, being happy and staying safe. But in the real world, it doesn’t work like that.
Our attention is drawn to curbs, stairs and random dirt bumps on the side. Because we are little humans, we learn like humans. The results are faceplants, road rashes and spat milk teeth lying on the concrete.
2. Weird jumps on crappy bikes
Later, we bump into other kids doing the same thing and form bicycle gang. We build jumps with steep ramps and super-snype landings.
The result? Mild concussions, broken bones and bikes.
Our parents get it: “damn it, why didn’t we give him a soccer ball?” But it’s too late. We’re addicted. So they buy us helmet and hope we’ll find something else.
3. High school phase
We’ve found something else. Girls, party and forbidden things. Not the best choice either.
Suddenly, there’re no funds left to fix our broken bikes. We wander aimlessly through our teen times on two feet…
We get the job. Lazy lifestyle kicks in. We grow depressed.
One day we’re lying on the chouch like usually, salty fingers scraping leftover chips from empty bag. Suddenly, North Shore Extreme segment appears and pull our eyeballs from the skull. We find out what we were missing…
We buy second hand fullies and start digging weird jumps in the woods again.
5. The puberty of mountainbiker
As we watch full NWD shebang over and over, we realize a thing. These bikers are way cooler and on way better bikes. So we “pummel the piggy bank” and start getting schmancy.
Candy-red rims, and hubs,
Marzocchi Bomber 888 RC3 EVO triplecrown fork,
TroyLee Designs, ankles to skull,
Whatever else what makes the others drooling in envy.
It goes on and on and on… on and on… on and on and on… For years to come.
We want the best parts, most fancy gear, and every hack possible to fire us up to hall of fame. Some make it to the World Cup. Most don’t.
6. Getting it.
So here we’re and there are others. There’s still somebody cooler, with a better bike, or a better something that we can’t match.
Our credit cards are maxed-out and we live paycheck to paycheck.
Crooked behind the order form, meticulously calculating how much can we save on food, to get that shiny set of titranium bolts, to shave 56 g’s.
But something feels off. We don’t ride much, because our bikes are not perfect, or our riding gear was not dispatched yet, or whatever…
Finally, we come to the conclusion that this is not what mountainbiking is about.
We throw a leg over our imperfect bikes and really start riding.
We ride more and more every day.
We stop giving a damn about occasional creaks and squeaks.
Instead of buying stuff, we go places.
We seek adventures, legit biker buddies, and all kinds of two-wheeled fun.
We ride faster then ever, gulp doubleblacks for breakfast and send hips within fair margin of safety.
We don’t overthink features. Movements are engrained in our muscle-memory.
We get in a flow.
We love the ride.
Just like many years ago, but with the skill, proper bike and right frame of mind.