The last time I rode a bike before yesterday must have been about fifteen years ago.
And then yesterday I went mountain biking.
If that sounds like a bad idea it’s because it WAS. It was a nightmare out of the spookiest corners of the mind. In fact I actually repeated that to myself several times while I was in the middle of fucking nowhere carrying the bike through the parts where I could have killed myself, I said “this is a nightmare. I’m sleeping in my bed and this is not happening.”
But it was happening. I went to a forest reserve that has a trail that has been responsible for separated shoulders, broken legs, severed arms, cracked skulls; a trail that can kill human beings and I ran it in a bike. FOR FUN.
I can’t tell you how many times I was about to die because I lost count. And I’m not talking dying of falling off the bike and breaking my neck, I’m just talking about dying of plain exhaustion. Something that I didn’t felt since I went on Aventuras Tierra Adentro, and even back then I never stopped; this time? I stopped and lay in the dirt to catch my breath SEVERAL TIMES. Once I almost BLACKED OUT and I asked out loud “am I going to pass out?!” because as I felt the light of the day turning into darkness I couldn’t freaking believe me. That thing where I lost my breath and felt like my body was giving up on me? I didn’t knew what that was. But there’s a first time for everything, some people say.
I ran all the parts I could, which I’m not ashamed to say weren’t many. I mean, I’m proud that I came out with all my extremities attached and nothing bleeding. Going up was just too much on accounts; the exhaustion killed me and that part of the trail had this deadly traps where on one side, huge freaking hole full of little stones and sharp edges, on the other side, huge freaking rock full of holes; choose how you want to break your vertebrae. Going down, the second trail, was much more manageable and it might have been that I was so tired that I didn’t care anymore, but I ran that part as fast as I could without even caring what I was going over.
Yes, I fell once. It was the stupidest fall ever but it counts. I was coming to a halt (because I reached one of the spots I mentioned above where the whole trail was covered in deadly nature for those that want to do the extreme AND BE STUPID) and since I never got the hang of getting down the bike (you can’t touch the floor in a bike so you are suppose to get down through the pedals and whatever) I just jumped to one side. The bike kept going up a little hill on the side of the trail, me foot didn’t reach the ground first. I fell and the bike fell on top of me. And I laughed.
I compensated the lameness I displayed at the beginning of this activity with plain stubbornness. When it was time to choose whether to a) go back through trail 1, the one we used to go up to the forest b) go back through trail 2, featuring one deadly hill or c) go back through trail 3, featuring two deadly hills: for the surprise of my guide, the friend that not only took me there but let me use one of his bikes and his equipment, I chose b. He was certain that I would want to get the heck out of there as fast as I could, which was option a, but I thought there couldn’t be anything worst than that trail that I almost died in, I didn’t had anything to loose, at least I would be seeing something different and most importantly: damn it if I was not going to complete at least two trails.
I do admit that, as my friend pointed out; I can do hiking, diving, rappelling, rock climbing, aikido and probably many other things that I have yet to try, BUT mountain biking is not on the list.
I thought I might get upset about that, since I was exited about it; the idea being that I really want to ride a motor cross bike and this was one step closer, but truth is… it’s fine. It’s ok, because I TRIED. I got tired and I kept going. I was scared a couple of times and I kept going. I realized that it was too much for me and I kept going until I did it. So it’s fine.
And I might even do it again for money… or a boy… or maybe for my friends, it’s just not on my list of ‘things I like to do‘ and more on the list of ‘things I hate so much’.
So what if I only get to ride motor cross behind someone else one day. If I get lucky, I might get to hold on to a cute guy. 😉