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Still Not a Real Mountain Biker

I’ve been told you’re not a real mountain biker. Until you wreck.

And despite my desperate need to be included.

My every instinct. When mountain biking. Or lifing. Is to not wreck.

So, I spent Sunday running Hay Rock.

I didn’t want to. I didn’t not want to.

I’ve spent all of break with this internal battle. Between wanting to run all the mountains. And wanting to lay around and read all the books.

And Ghost just sent me Obama’s Favorite Books of 2021 list. And I’ve only read one and a half of them. So, now I need another month off. To catch up…

But Rogue and Fall Risk told me I needed to go to the mountain Sunday.

Wait. That doesn’t sound right.

Rogue told me I needed to go to the mountain Sunday.

And she was right.

It was beautiful.

Because if you go a little past Hay Rock. You can be completely alone.

I love completely alone.

There is the thought that I shouldn’t be trail running. Completely alone. On leaf covered, rocky trails.

Which is why. When I passed the group of ten.

And one of them yelled, “She’s a runner! Out of her way! She’s moving!”

My only response was, well, let’s not oversell it.

I was not “moving.”

I was tip toeing.

And trying not to fall.

Because instinct.

So when GBFF…WHTBS asked me yesterday. How I felt about falling. On the mountain bike.

I didn’t have a solid response.

Because my body kind of rolled its eyes and mumbled, “This bitch.”

She’s already in pretty much constant pain. From the shit I make her do.

My left ankle has been in pain for actual years.

My swayless hips are one bike mounting away from just locking right on out of socket. For good.

My right knee just shoots pain. And becomes decidedly unbendy. For a solid day. After every run.

“Sure. What’s another injury.”

Because you’re not a real mountain biker. Until you’ve wrecked.

I need to be a real mountain biker.

I am not a real mountain biker.

Unless we count just falling the fuck over. As I try to get started.

Because that’s what I do.

I have zero control over that bike. Until the forward motion starts.

And even then it’s sketchy. At best.

Which is why. When we saw the horses on trail. I didn’t even consider just stopping. And walking the bike past them.


My out of control ass just wobbled past. In what could in no way be described as a straight line. Just scaring the fuck out of them. And the dogs. And probably the people. Who were probably thinking, “this dumbass.”

No no. That’s fair.

GBFF almost got kicked. By one of the horses.

Which I assume would have made him a real equestrian. Or whatever.

Apparently that’s how that shit works.

So when we got to the five mile point. On Happy Valley. He gave me options.

I really hate options.

But I picked the one that did not involve turning back around and riding past the horses again.

And it happened to be a real trail.

No idea which trail.

I can’t be trusted to read trail signs when I’m running.

I sure as fuck ain’t reading them when I’m maintaining a tenuous grasp on mountain biking.

And even though I have a strict no stopping rule on a bike.

When we got to the first water crossing.

I stopped.

And walked that bitch right on across.

No need to finalize my mountain biker status this far from the car.

So obviously. Since I’m a creature of habit. With survival instincts. When we got to the second water crossing. I did the same.

The whole time I’m thinking, fuck. I can’t ever ride with 100 Miler. No way she lets me walk the water crossings.

“I really thought you’d ride through that one.”

I’m not sure why.

“Since it’s only your second time on the bike, I’ll let it go. But if you’re not riding through that by your fifth ride, we need to have a talk.”

Dude, you can talk all you want. You can’t fight survival instincts.

And really, maybe I don’t want to be a “real mountain biker.” I’m a trail runner. I become a mountain biker and it might confuse people.

Once we finished that trail. We got on another trail.

And did you know that it is possible to stub your toe. While mountain biking…?

It is.

And that shit hurts.

A fair amount worse than when you’re running.

Momentum and shit.

But stubbing your toe is apparently not enough. To solidify membership. As a mountain biker.

Got back down to Happy Valley.

And there were the damn horses again.

Fuck it. I no longer care if people see me struggle to get on the bike. And moving again.

And my toe hurts.

I can’t risk a horse kicking my ass into the side of the mountain being my entry. Into real mountain biker status.

Though it would make for a good story.

Once I woke up from the coma.

Anyway. We finished.

And there was pizza.

And beer.

And my sitzes only hurt a little bit today.

I think next time. I’ll find a pile of leaves. To just flop myself over into. So we can stop finding trails to make me wreck.

My luck. There’ll be a nice sharp rock hiding underneath. To impale myself on.

But at least I’ll be a real mountain biker.

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Just reading and writing and running and looking for my happy place.

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