I came across a post by a Saffer (Andrew Clayton) who did his first ever downhill mountain bike run. You can read all about it here on Mountain Biking by 198. He said about his experience: "You have to keep pushing the boundaries cause one day you will get 'MTB Old' and stop testing those boundaries."
It made me think.
Is that where I am. Having done a wonderful 3 week jaunt across South Africa, have I become "old" in my mountain biking approach. Certainly the riding or lack of it lately would seem so. This lull I am in was highlighted by our ride on the weekend and the couple we rode with.
Dawn and Dave. They have a tough stage race coming up at the end of September and they have trained really hard. We set out and at the first river crossing, Dawn fell into the water and Dave waded in to disentangle her. Well, we laughed, she laughed and I wished (not for the last time) that I had my camera. The route was gorgeous single track and was pretty gnarly at times.
At a particular tricky "bridge" over a fence, Dawn fell off, hard. There is always that moment of silence as you imagine the worst and then she picks herself up, laughs about it and on we go. it wasn't the last time she fell but she charged down the rocky descents and huffed and puffed her way up this hills, pushing her limits all the time.
She wasn't MTB Old. She was young and energetic and pushing boundaries, like I used to be. Out of practice on some of the tecnical stuff, I would hesitate and then berate myself for it. I hate that I have no MTB mojo but I also understand the need to get some space from the intensity of the first six months of year.
But I can't wait to ride the section again, this time more familiar with the obstacles and ready to flow through it.
When the time is right, I will be "MTB Kid" again.