On the road to recovery I’ve been riding a lot with Scott.
Scott is a newbie, a recent convert to mountain biking who’s proved to be a perfect partner for catching up on six weeks of enforced rest thanks to that injury that happened way back when.
Scott’s been riding my old ShitBike™, a bike built from all the parts that no one else wanted; a bike built to use as a butty shop bike, ride quality not important, just a tool for nipping to the shops.
It’s deeply unfashionable by today’s standards; it’s got v-brakes, narrow bars, a 100mm stem, 1×9 gearing made up of what was available in the parts bin; it’s a 29er with a 26in carbon fork, steep angles and tyres I wouldn’t trust to steer me in a straight line.
But the great thing is that Scott just rides it, he doesn’t know/care about its failings because it serves the purpose of getting out and riding. And that’s what matters to Scott; getting out and riding.
No need to check if he’s got the right tyres, if it’s the ‘one bike for everything’, or any other part of the stuff that seemingly makes up a large percentage of our online conversations around bikes and mountain biking.
He just saddles up and rides, no matter what the weather. He laughs at the inevitable newbie crashes without blaming it on the wrong tyre choice or other component failure. And we ride whatever; we’ve ridden when all my ride buddies have cried off because of the weather or trail conditions. I’ve come back from Valley rides with mates just to squeeze in one more ride with him.
Scott’s still at that point where the all consuming fire of mountain bike love isn’t extinguished by a bit of torrential rainfall, hail or high wind. He wants to ride because it’s all new to him and he just can’t get enough. He’s got a hunger to ride and to learn how to ride. Each week stretches him a little bit more as we introduce new challenges to the loop we’ve been riding, but he soaks it all up, embraces it and advances a little bit more.
He’s gone from a guy who rides for fitness to someone who gets it, who shares the love of off road riding, who can’t wait to be out riding again. (We’re probably going to get him a better bike at some point).
So this week’s message is a simple one.
Find a newbie and take them out. They’ll benefit from your input and experience, you’ll benefit from their enthusiasm. Seems like a good deal to me.