Fresh Blood

NathanHey everyone, Nathan here, Singletrack’s new resident student / tax dodger. Courtesy of the STW crew, I have the privilege of completing a 7 / 8 month university placement here, where I’ll be writing for the magazine and website.

I’m relatively new to the mountain bike world, having had my first taste of off-road, adrenaline pumped trails just over a year ago. It resulted in some burning muscles, several bouts of dizziness and vomiting plus the added bonus of a trip to A+E after a little overexertion on a section of jumps.

Yet for some inexplicable reason, I still ride bikes now.

I believe that any sensible person would probably have looked at the consequences of this first outing and decided that it definitely wasn’t a hobby worth pursuing so I’m now starting to wonder if my sanity is questionable, because I’ve been hooked since.

I wouldn’t class myself as a skilled rider. I love to go fast and I can cope with the odd drop off or obstacle, but anything more complicated and I usually concede defeat.

Nor am I a bike nut. Up until my first ride I viewed a mountain bike as a different shaped road bike – how my eyes have been opened!

And my intimate knowledge of the functioning parts on a bike fails to astound – I still struggle to tell my bottom bracket from my rear mech and my feeble attempts at bike repair usually result in me inflicting more damage than was already there!

I also struggle to understand why when something new comes out, most of us involved in this world feel compelled to buy it and upgrade our bikes, even though they ride fine the way they are. Then, when we come to sell our bikes we’re happy to get less than half what we paid for it!

Yet I’ve still found it acceptable to spend FAR too much money buying bikes in the last year, even though I’m not skilled at riding them, I don’t know how to fix them and I have only a vague idea how they work.

What I’ve realised is that this probably makes me fit into this niche world perfectly.

Oooh, and the most important thing of all, I have a beard……