Small is beautiful

No, this is an excuse for the size, or otherwise, of certain manly parts. Although having ridden my little ol’ jump bike on some not really trails at all today, I believe I may be searching the Internet for some bigger ones anyway,

Those of you not on the strongest of medication may have noticed that photo is composed to a skewed horizon. I’d like to say that’s exactly how I planned the shot, and it has much to do with accentuating the angle of the bike, the verticality of the little rock, the bigness of the sky. It’d be an artistic untruth though because iit is the result of an photographic technique known as “desperately trying to fit everything in”.

Size again you see. Maybe it does matter. Certainly did on this wall.

Malverns September 2009 Malverns September 2009

I looked at that in a very manly fashion, while some random XC whippets embarrassed the entire MTB genre by repeatedly riding down a couple of steps in a manner that’d mince you straight onto Strictly Come Dancing. Anyway after a few looks and a run in, I ran out of bottle and went to look for less scary things.

None of which were on offer on the final run of the day. On the upside, it was all downhill which – after much winching up the ol’ DMR on flats and a rear axle pedalling position – was a relief. Also in need of relief was my arse, ruined by a cheap saddle I never expected to sit on much, so standing up on wobbly muscles trumped lowering the throbbing chaffed appendage back onto that torturous perch.

The trail down was barely discernible, dropping steeply between still high bracket and gorse. When it did finally open out to something that might once have been a path, the improvement in visibility was mitigated by the loose yet fat rock garden that created an experience best thought of as a pinball game caught in a washing machine.

The DMR was a lot of fun though. Easy to get the scarred buttocks way over the back wheel, the small frame giving it fantastic maneuverability and the big forks ploughing through when my fear based dithering threatened to pop us into the undergrowth. It’s so unlike the Cove – more brutal, more direct, sharp angles forcing weight over the fork, pushing elbows out and grins higher.

All the parts on it are old or second hand or cheap, the frame cost buttons and it’s entirely the wrong bike for – well – most things really. But it has one feature that cannot be fashioned from fancy metals or accessorised bling. It made me feel about 12 years old again.

And that’s becoming important. More important than supposed progression or fitness or riding in new places. Because it’s become apparent to me that flying gliders on a slope – obsessive and much fun as it is – seems to be a an old mans’ game.

I’m not ready for that yet. I want to be twelve again. Best reason to ride a bike? You becha.

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