I Earned that Wreck!


I went to my chiropractor this morning and told him that there is someone in my life that is working against what he is trying to accomplish.

“Who?” he asked

“Me” I said.

I went riding yesterday after work, one of the benefits of going to work at 5:30 am is that I can go home at 2:30, so I did.  When I arrived at home and found that my family was still out, I said “Yes!”  Well not really, but that did mean that I could go on a longer ride without wanting to get back and help out.  I actually want to get home and help out.  Now how I help I believe should be something along the lines of chainsawing, demolition, or construction.  The offer to help clean is not something that I want to hurry home to do, cooking sure, but cleaning definitely not.  Playing baseball with my son or wrestling with my daughter, sure.  Doing laundry or the dishes, well, you get the idea.

Back to my ride.

I put on my new bike shorts and packed my new trail bike tool (I would tell you the name of the product, but I want endorsements before I do that), thank you Father’s Day, and I headed to the trails.  I have a love/hate relationship with my riding app on my phone (again I will not tell you which one, please contact me if you would like me to promote your product.  I have a huge readership that would love to download your free app.  Please don’t ask me to define huge).  I love it because it tells me how far I went and how fast, I hate it because it tells me how little I did and how slow.  But yesterday I had some extra time so I could make that squiggly line that maps how far I went look a lot messier.

The real story here is that I only had one wreck on my ride but I actually earned it, or asked for it depending on your interpretation of events.  Usually my wrecks happen because of one of three factors.  The first is what I call “The Fatigue Factor”.  I have been riding long enough that my body and my mind are not working at optimal levels and I hit a two inch tall root that sends me flopping off my bike.

The second factor is what I call “The Rust Factor”.  The Rust Factor occurs when I try to do the things that I was doing 20 years ago that I assume that I can still do, only to remember that I have not done something like that it 20 years.  This does not assume that the situation is risky, it only assumes that I have acquired a certain amount of rust that makes easy things hard, and hard things impossible.

The third factor I simply call “The Oblivious Factor”, otherwise known as “The Bonehead Factor”, or “The Didn’t-See-That-Coming Factor”.  This lack of foresight is the most embarrassing because it assumes that you weren’t looking past the end of your front wheel and something totally benign sends you careening into a tree.

Yesterday my wreck did not occur because of one of those factors, but a combination of all three that worked in concert with a fourth factor that I like to call “The Whee! Factor”.  The Whee! Factor is when you have a wreck because you wanted to have fun.  This happened when I saw a ramp-shaped rock on the right side of the trail and thought “Wheee!”

What I didn’t account for was “The Oblivious Factor” that informed me in mid-air that the trail jogged to the right on the back side of this wonderful ramp.  Now the Whee! Factor tends to ignore the Fatigue Factor because excitement has a wonderful way of energizing me.  But the Rust Factor kicked me in the butt when I was in mid air and did not correct for the landing well and headed off the bike and off the trail because like I said before the Oblivious Factor had me ignoring the fact that I actually angled my bike off the trail.

So I earned that wreck.  Unlike so many of my wrecks that only account for one or two of those factors, this wreck accounted for all of them.  If I am going to wreck, I want it to be something that I am proud of.  I am proud of this one, I am proud and thankfully not injured.  My son wrecked a few weeks ago and came down the trail smiling with broken helmet and some weeds stuck to his bike.  I was excited to see my son embrace the idea that wrecking doesn’t necessarily need to breed fear, it can challenge us, teach us, and excite us.  But I do enjoy it more when I earn it.


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