Saturday, August 04, 2007

Let’s face it

A little carnage is what makes mountain biking so exciting. It's not as if we want to crash, but knowing we might adds spice to tricky moves or high-speed turns and descents. And when we really think about it, most of us have to admit we secretly enjoy knowing people think we’re either brave or crazy for riding singletrack that they wouldn’t hike.

And, like the guy in today’s photo, let’s face it: Once we know our friends are OK, we usually get a laugh out of their falls. Hell, it’s probably because we know they’re OK. Laughter is often a sign of the hysterical relief one feels after nearly getting creamed.

If we manage to get a photo of the crash and our friend comes out … well, less than permanently crippled, then everyone wins. That’s why I’m sometimes accused of setting up to shoot a picture in a spot where someone could easily take a header. The way I see it, if you’re gonna fall, you might as well do it when we have a chance to save the evidence, ya know? You’d think friends would understand and try to cooperate once in awhile. But noooooooo.

My friend Ken crashed and burned a few days ago. Separated his shoulder, destroyed his helmet, the whole bit. But not on the trail. He did it a block from my house while riding over so we could carpool to the trailhead.

Now he’s out a helmet and a fat ER bill, he's facing surgery, and he doesn’t even have a gnarly photo or a wild story to tell. Well, OK, he can make up a good story.

“Yeah, uh, I was shooting down this steep descent when I bunny-hopped a big log and this moose … no, uh, this bear ran right in front of me …”

Heal up, Ken. The season is short.


Eero said...

Am I a bad person because I laughed at this photo?

I especially like the guy in the red bandana hunching his shoulders with the impact....

Have you shown it to the unfortunate cyclist?


Tim said...

Yes, Eero, you're a cold, heartless ... oh, wait. I laughed too. (After I cringed and whimpered.)

I also noticed the hunched shoulders. Maybe that guy was reacting to the horrifying sound of a frame snapping. If you look closely, you can see that the guy's bike had broken in half.

Bet he had tread marks on his face for a week.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure glad the guy is wearing a helmet, though a face mask might have been more appropriate! OUCH!