Last summer I was exploring some mountain biking trails in my area and stumbled upon this jump. I immediately thought to myself, "What kind of lunatic does something like that?" As I was inspecting the jump a little closer and mulling over this question, my insides started to churn and my palms began to sweat. I was dreaming of being in the club of lunatics that would dare ride off a jump like that.
(I don't know if you can tell but the landing is pretty far down and there is a pile of rocks you have to clear.)
That night I didn't sleep well. Thoughts of what it would feel like to ride off the end of that wood and sail through the air for a second or two filled my head. These thoughts pitted against the worst case scenario (paralysis) and the responsibility to provide for my family, waged war in my simple mind. Let's face it when you are a thirty-something father of three, with one on the way, it is probably time to grow up and walk away from extreme sports or at least start to taper down your involvement. Definitely not the time to start pushing your limits, but still I laid awake contemplating the decision more than once.
For a while it had seemed that common sense had won out. I had shaken the urge to ride off the wooden plank and let gravity run its course. (I chickened out.) I retained my inner-manhood by rationalizing the fact that I didn't have a 'downhill bike' and really that is what that jump was designed for.
Months had passed with only an occasional thought of the jump that never was. Then one night I was messing around on youtube looking for some new places to ride in my area. When I stumbled back upon 'the jump.' On a clip titled "Addicted to Webb Canyon" I watched an 'average joe' drop off 'the jump' on a bike no more worthy than my own. Instantly I got that sick feeling and sweaty palms back that I had felt the first time I dreamt about taking the plunge. The excuse I was hiding behind was no longer valid. After watching the clip over and over I finally decided "Heck if some 'regular joe' can do it, so can I." So again my sleep was regularly interrupted with contemplations of the risks verses the rewards.
I have no idea what it is that allows one person to see something that doesn't look safe and immediately dismiss any ideas of doing it without another thought, while another person is sentenced to lose sleep because of his desire to participate in it. I am not even sure which group I would rather be in. I think most would say it is intelligence that decides which group you align with but me being in the second I would have to argue it is more complicated than that. Unfortunately, I am not smart enough to argue it any deeper than that, so perhaps it really is intelligence. Nonetheless I guess we are who we are. And Gosh Dang It! I had decided I was going to be one of the lunatics. I was going to rid myself of the demon that was haunting me now more fiercly than ever.
To be continued...