The best part about being a Government or large organisation is not so much ignoring obvious issues or risks until they come to fruition, but that you then get to make massive knee jerk reactions or overcorrections as a result afterwards. As we like to say, there’s no ‘I’ in ‘Team’, but there is a ‘U’ in Witch Hunt.
Usually the catch phrase is that there will be a ‘Transformation Agenda’, or if you really want to have a solid wank on it, a “Transformational Road map”. Don’t be surprised if you see the word ‘Journey’ in there as well, which is about as accurate as saying you did a line of charlie to help with your hay fever. Its all cuntspeak for “Uhhh, guess we better be seen to be doing something to keep up appearances“.
So, on that theme, as I’ve been sitting around drinking $5 artisanal chocolate milk (for real and yes, what the fuck?), I’ve been going through the usual post mortem process following the epic crash, aided by the neck brace which makes sleeping a special kind of treat.
If we obsessed about all the ‘What If’s’ continually then chances are no one would ever go out on any form of bike, much like no one would ever have a one night stand if you considered all the whack shit that can come out of that equally delightful activity (“Oh god, I didn’t know I had a long lost half sister!!”). But, now that I know what break neck speed really feels like (actually not that fast), its time to consider some possible ‘operational changes’ for 2016.
I realised a long time ago, but not fast enough unfortunately that you can never really tell people what to do, even if they come and ask you:
- Friend: “Do you like my new boyfriend?!”
- Me: “No, he’s a total cunt and treats you like shit”
- Friend: “I know right, I totally can’t wait to marry him!! Its gonna be rad!”
With that in mind, here are some hopefully thought provoking items to consider (like, maybe you should do this shit) if you’re getting rad over summer. Important to note this doesn’t apply if you’re under 30 years old, just enjoy being pretty much bullet proof or too apathetic to worry about this shit.
Its more fun with others
Think of mountain biking as sex… Not just because it gives you the same smile at the end and can make you feel as dirty as fuck, but also because its better with others. Sure, its good by yourself, and still satisfies assuming you know what you’re doing, but it can’t match having someone else present and if you’re lucky enough to get 3 or, #legendstatus, 4 or more participants, then it just gets mind-blowing.
I originally wanted to use this innuendo metaphor to deliver a thought provoking safety message, but then realised there is no relevance at all from a safety perspective, unless you’re into some mega kinky action. What I’m trying to say is that if you’re getting rad on it, better to do so with others. Imagine if I had eaten a platter sized portion of shit solo? You definitely need a #Rodfather with you in the event of an emergency…
Having an agreed action plan or a general idea about what to do if shit goes sideways within your shredding squad (or Roadie bunch) also probably worthwhile. Not everyone will be as Iceman cool as the Rodfather in an emergency, so good to have at least thought about it with your homeboys/girls prior. I’m certainly going to be minimising the solo MTB action where terrain gets a bit serious.
You want big brother to find you
But, in addition to rolling in the safety of a herd of ComRADes, I think its time we talk about taking this shit nek level. Its not the first time I have thought about this either, no, the thought first entered by head when I went over the edge whilst on the Edge in Craigieburn:
I distinctly recall Mad Markus saying to me after this crash “Fuck brah, I’m glad you didn’t fuck anything as there is no mobile coverage out here and I’m not sure we could carry you out either“. FART NOISE. Imagine that scenario, fingered and in the middle of nowhere without the ability to tell anyone, or even worse: Put it on Instagram. Yes, you may think you’ll build a shelter and become Bear Grylls, but I would be the first in line to panic and get eaten by an animal.
Yes, our modern day addiction to smartphones that sees us enjoying their company more than the opposite sex, or our friends, means that we are lulled into a false sense of security that they will always save us. However don’t let their sleek sexy lines, access to instant gratification and eHeroin wares fool you. If you go down and you’re in a dead spot, then you may end up one yourself. So, its time for one of these:
Yeah, I know, an emergency locator beacon may seem over the top and all a bit much… Right up until the point you need one and then feel like a cunt for not having one. Sure, if you’re a park rat, probably not on your christmas list of items to ram into your ENDURO pack. But, if you’re going anywhere sketch, then probably a wise investment.
Also has the added benefit of getting choppers to your location as quickly as when you’ve finished beating the fuck out of a mushroom cloud laying Alien. I haven’t worked out how this would work if you’re traveling to different countries, but having something like this as part of a contingency plan probably worthwhile.
You had me at Hello Helmet makers
As you can imagine, I’m in the market for a new ENDURO helmet at the moment. My IXS helmet has been ENDUROtastic the whole time and I love it, especially after it saved my head, but I think its time to step things up and get amongst the MIPS.
No one really know’s what MIPS is, but its an acronym that we can say as a word and companies can charge more for it in a helmet, so it must be good and we clearly must have it. Trust me, I worked in a tall building once that had meeting rooms with projectors and this is pretty much how shit works.
If a fancy acronym and coloured diagrams aren’t enough to convince you, then this video from Giro which includes a homeless looking German dude who may just be the Euro version of Shaggy from Scooby Doo will definitely get you across the line.
Would MIPS have saved me from hearing that dreading cracking sound as I imitated a pile driver? Fuck knows, but I’m going to be voting for anything that gives a little more protection moving forward (that’s #cuntspeak for ‘in the future’).
Shooting on my chest
Distracted? Thinking warm thoughts at that subtitle? Escalating into shallow breathing even? Well, welcome to my world when the Go PRO chest mount slammed into my rib cage and made me feel like I had taken a Chuck Norris fly kick while I was busy taking a piss.
In other words, the chest mount suddenly became a liability when shots were fired. Having said that though, on reflection I am even more worried about what may have happened had it been on my helmet. Would it have provided extra leverage when I landed head first and done additional neck damage? Who knows, but luckily I didn’t have to find out. However I can confirm it hurt like fuck when I eventually slammed my hairy chest into the deck.
So, aside from the shaky as fuck footage and the fact it obscures my own narcissistic branding on my ENDURO jersey counting against the chesty mount, I’m going to be re-working how the gPRO ends up being mounted to capture Dirty content. Be careful out there gang, POV can be dangerous.
But there’s one thing I won’t be doing:
For those that suggested I stop or do something different, if your Christmas presents arrive and have the slight aroma of vitamin laced piss about them, then you only have yourself to blame.
Swearing, inappropriate jokes, thinking girls smell nice, eating bacon even though it has bad PR, getting drunk on 2 beers and disliking cunts are all parts of life that are as ingrained and compulsory as cycling is for me. Whilst I don’t have a chain tattoo on my leg anywhere, the thought of not riding a mountain bike fast is about as abhorrent as the concept of moving to Syria to open a hipster cafe.
The only thing the Nomad Crash Investigation Unit hasn’t been able to conclude is what the impact to my riding will be. And no, I’m not talking physical here… If you followed the EuroEnduro II mission, I had started to fray mentally a little by the time I got to Finale, with nervousness and hesitancy stepping in to take over from confidence and boldness. I’m not sure where it came from, but I know one thing, its poisonous.
Cycling fast, or on starfish tightening terrain demands confidence. The less you have, the more likely you are to not commit and therefore, the more likely you are to embrace calamity. Its a difficult relationship to have and of course, its all a mental game. Roadies have to shut out terrible suffering and pain on a climb to hold a wheel and mountain bikers need to arrive at a steep rocky drop in and have the confidence and self belief to let it roll and crush that shit.
At this stage, I have no idea how that’s going to work out when I start heading down a trail some time next year. Will it all come back to me easily and I will roost and carve like a mini Grubby? Or will I tense up and start to freak out like my teenage babysitters used to once they worked out that perhaps I wasn’t just a sweet little boy wanting a hug. The answer to that remains to be seen, and something I shall be leaving to 2016 to sort out. But until then, perhaps ask yourself what do you need to change to make your riding better/safer/radder next year?
Its now time to edit some video footage of various description, one of the upsides of #bracelyfe is that I have plenty of time to indulge in the shrediting lab. A massive Dirty thanks to AT and Team Taylor for hosting me in Wellington post hospital discharge, epic Netflix marathons were golden, and to all the awesome people that visited, messaged, had a coffee with me, read the posts and sent healing vibes. Your support and general GC action is a reflection of why cycling is so fucking cool – Thanks gang.