Old dogs. New Tricks.

You know how back in the good old days everyone was lumbered with an amusing middle name. Bob “Bogdoor” Smith and Will “GoatFimbler” Jones, that kind of thing. Well maybe it was just my school then, but anyway my friend Andy “The Loon” Hooper is not a man in the first flush of youth nor in possention of a full set of unbroken bones. The two may be connected.

Here he is in happier times. He’ s somewhat vertically challenged but belies his small size by going large, which is why his second nickname “The Crash Test Gnome” resonates so strongly.

He bust a wrist earlier this year which maybe should have peeled some warning bells in a man more aware of his mortality. Instead Andy felt that beginning dirt jumping in his mid 40s would be a more appropriate response. This is a part of the sport generally left to those with low hanging jeans, piss pot helments and acne. Pubety is something they still have to look forward to.

The picture below is at Dalby Forest where Andy managed to clear the “pack” on a number of occasions before stupidly having “one more go

He traded distance for height, left it a little short and straddled the last jump landing his back wheel on the lip. The energy that should have taken him forward, instead pitched him off the bike before planting him face down in the dirt from about seven feet up. Although encased in ankle to forehead body armour, he still re-cracked his wrist, broke a bone in his elbow and tarmac’d his entire left sizes with angry purple bruising. Three weeks on and he’s still limping.

The full face saved his teeth and possibly more as half an hour of his life has disappeared after the accident (although he remembers getting up and pushing the bike to the van). Andy reckons his “going big” days are over and has sold his freeride bike to fund a rather more XC orientated one.

But knowing “The Loon” as I do, I wonder how long it’ll be before he cracks. Hopefully mentally and not physically.

3 thoughts on “Old dogs. New Tricks.

  1. Nuggie

    Since when exactly did a Norco A line become classified as an XC bike?!! Big up to the fella for having a go – he’ll be back πŸ˜‰

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