Thursday, July 16, 2009

Accessory damage

Mountain biking is probably the most laid back sort of cycling sport. It is the rare time when showing up to a ride wearing cut-off shorts and a t-shirt isn't frowned upon, when rest breaks are encouraged, or asking to turn around to do a hill again isn't a totally asinine request. Skill and confidence are far more important than equipment and accessories when blasting down rocky descents, hopping 0ver logs, and winding through twisting forest single track.

Mountain biking, like a hippie cousin, is also the most mystical and metaphysical of bicycle sports. Oftentimes the trails leave things with you. Overwhelming exhaustion, cuts and bruises are common parting gifts. Usually the trails leave you invigorated, determined, and totally stoked on shredding more gnar tomorrow; and perhaps even a transcendental sense of peace coupled with feelings of oneness and communion with nature stay with you on the journey home.

Usually though, mountain biking leaves dirt, mud, twigs, sand, detritus, and horse droppings with you, on you, and in you. Each earthy morsel travels its own special journey to end up lodged in your chain, grips, shorts, down your shirt, in your eyes and between your teeth. The dirt permeates every open fiber, sticks to every moist surface, and sandblasts chunks of skin off- depending how you land in it. Dirt is an enduring accessory.

Dirt pants however, only last as long as your next shower.

Happy riding.