Recently, I’ve noticed more friends sharing ah-inspiring pictures from their mountain bike rides. And I do mean ah-inspiring. As in, “Ah, shit! Why did I have to see that?”
My friend Carrie in Wyoming recently got on Facebook and posted this picture of her boyfriend’s fresh stitches, and you can thank me for not posting the photo of the cut before it was sewn up. Seriously. It may not look that big, but I think you could have screamed into that deep crevasse and heard an echo. I mean, you could have dropped shit in there and lost it.
He went riding again the next weekend and did a faceplant, fracturing his orbital socket. Carrie got good pics of that, too, which bolstered my respect for her in a way that I found a little disturbing.
Earlier this summer, one of my nephews posted photos of a buddy’s forearm, which got slashed open so wide that it looked like the Grand Canyon of Gore. I couldn’t stand to look at it. So I went back to it several times and averted my eyes. When I showed the picture to my wife and one of her fellow nurses, they curiously moved their faces closer to the screen and calmly said, “Yup. That looks like bone all right.”
Not that many years ago, you could go on a group ride and there wouldn’t be a camera in anyone’s pack. Today, you get three or more riders and it’s likely that at least one will be carrying a digital point-and-shoot. (If I’m in the group, you can pretty much count on it.)
On the upside, you’ll sometimes end up with a photo that makes you look good. On the downside, your crashes—and the resulting carnage—might be shared with the world. Or at least your little social-network sliver of it.
Ride carefully. Try to keep your insides from showing.
But if they do make an appearance, could you turn toward the good light and hold still? This will take only a second ...