Sunday, 17 May 2015
When people hear about the extreme bike adventures we do the responses are varied from "That's so cool", or "You guys are nuts!" through "Why?"
The last response is the shortest to ask but the most difficult to answer.
As I sit here now trying to manage a riding induced hand ailment that will no doubt result in going under the knife to resolve, the question of "Why" plays on my mind. Why do we do these things?
As cyclists we are no different to other athletes. Mountain biking, apart from other risks such as carpal tunnel syndrome and saddle sores, carries an ever present risk of broken bones. We all fall off our bikes. Often it's funny, at other times there is no humour in it, but it is treated as an acceptable and inevitable risk. We can take steps to mitigate against catastrophic outcomes by lessening the risk. This, to a mountain biker, would be like an aspirant boxer settling for shadow boxing to avoid taking a punch to the face.
The "Why?" to the basic pursuit of mountain biking is uncomplicated. Certainly a lot less complicated than asking someone why they choose boxing as a past time. Particularly when you finish with "it's healthy exercise and is good for me."
Over the next few weeks in the run up to the Race to Rhodes I want to try unpack the answer/s to the question "Why?"
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- Johannesburg, South Africa
- Just an ordinary guy who started riding in 2005 at the age of 45. I started with the ambition of completing the local 94.7 Cycle Challenge (94.7km). This is an annual road cycle race in and around Johanesburg. Some where along the way it become a race and not merely a completion excercise. I clocked a 2h54 in my first attempt only 6 months from my first trundle down the road and back. I was hooked and then discovered the magic of MTB. While my efforts on the road were credible, MTBing humbled me. Having said that, over the last 24 months I have competed in 9 multi-day events. I'm a very middle of the field rider, but I enjoy every minute of it.