Issue 143 Last Word: Clothing Optional

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Should Hannah be allowed to make equipment choices, or is the outcome inevitable? Words Hannah I have been here before. That time it resulted in a flight through the air long enough to contemplate my poor equipment choices (bikini, sandals and baseball cap) before landing in babyhead rocks, and was followed by six weeks of being unable to bend my knee. I am not going to make that mistake again – or maybe I already have, though this time I have at least got shorts and vest over the top of the bikini.  I’m not supposed to be mountain biking. I’m supposed to be having a post-breakfast pootle around a small hill to see a beach while the tent dries. It’s supposed to be the kind of bike ride that doesn’t need equipment. So as I stare down at the descent below me that looks like that slate quarry Gee Atherton flew down, my knees tremble a little. I decide to make good choices. I decide to walk down. Kevin is more used to riding wild stuff than me – he’s ridden Green River, the freeride destination in Utah, many times before – so the loose, gravelly near-vertical descent that opens up before us isn’t quite so intimidating for him. He decides it will be easier to ride than walk, and heads off down the hill in a controlled skid. The steepness of the gradient is underlined as part-way down he disappears from view. It’s only a short descent, yet...

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