So, you were out having a meal with the missus in the Ladybower Inn when a group of lads and lasses walked in looking like multicoloured storm troopers. covered in mud, oversized jerseys on, helmets in hand, at least one is bleeding, and they are talking about how much its going to cost to repair one of the bikes that broke.
But what you actually saw was AWESOME and you knew you had to be like them.
Off you rush to your local bike shop (hopefully) or occasionally Halfords / Go Outdoors / Decathlon and hand over a signature for a finance deal, walking out with 2 new wheels in your hand; you have told your other half “its a cheap hobby once the bike is bought”
Once home, you sign up to a load of Facebook groups for mountain bike riding and find a local one that has rides going you could join in on. BUT you tell yourself, you’re not good enough, fast enough, fit enough, too fat etc. to join in and you will join in once you’re better.
This is where the mistake was made. You head off out, with noone to help or assist or coach or even encourage, and certainly noone with any knowledge in how to pick up your spare body parts should it go wrong, or repair the bike. A week later the bike is in the shed and already forgotten.
So for the new riders, here are the encouraging noises that you never heard.
NONE of us experienced guys are bothered about a noob joining in, as long as your attitude is one of giving it a bloody good go, your already out mate, if your shattered on a climb and have to push, we just get a longer rest at the top (although it does help if you occasionally puke, just to show you are actually trying lol).
We will almost all be carrying some spares, lessons learnt the hard way! We will be able to help you fix a flat, rejoin a snapped chain or tighten up whatever it is that is rattling.
We will scream at you to let go of the brakes when you’re going so fast downhill, that one of us walking next to you would almost have to break into a jog! And will congratulate you for doing so.
We will show you some routes you would NEVER find on your own and push you way beyond your comfort zone, and we will do it in such a good way you will want to do it again.
You will learn about where to look, where to position your arse (very important), how to avoid going over the bars, and over a very short time you will wonder how you coped without the rush.
You will then realise you should have taken up drugs instead, because they would have been cheaper, and caused less damage to your body.
And before you know it, you will walk into the Ladybower Inn, and some random bloke will wish he was you!
The Circle is complete.