Jon and I took a short trail ride today. Jon just started riding trails this year. He rides them on his LHT or on an RB-T. Both road-shaped bikes.
In the last 6 months or so since I've started riding with Jon, I've seen his technical ability improve 1000-fold. I've also seen him fall over and wreck a lot.
When it comes to becoming a better rider for trail-dirt technical riding, I think some wrecks are a sign that you are improving. Or will improve. Because you tend to wreck when you are pushing your personal boundaries. That's just a theory. And I don't necessarily think the inverse is true: if you don't wreck, it doesn't mean you're not improving.
I wreck all the time, so this theory suits me.
But the worse wrecks I've seen have been following the best technical riders that I ride with.
Specifically: I watched Ben Tobin explode over his bars and wreck a couple years ago. He puked, then beat his wheel back into a true-enough state. I've only been riding with Glen for about 3 years. But I've watched him wreck at least 3 times. In each one, I was amazed that he popped right back up and kept going. These guys are always pushing themselves and don't back down from tricky spots.
So after Jon and I finished climbing the HD trails, where he fell over once or twice, I laid this theory on him. I probably carried on more than I needed to, as I am wont to do.
On our way home, as I attempted a bunny hop, I wrecked. (Didn't knock my head!) Jon was right on my back wheel. He said it looked like I was banking into a turn when I attempted the bunny hop. That's not a good practice. I'm not sure what the hell I was doing.
Anyway, he's right on my wheel and in one-half of one-half of one second he has to decide: bail and hurt himself, run me over, or run my bike over. Of course he rolled over my bike. I rolled -- taking a bit of skin off my knee and testing the durability of the back of my new Ibex fancy jacket (which held up like a champ, of course).
The only damage was a bent derailleur hanger on my new Legolas. No big whoop. I should get a punch card from Glen for fixing bent derailleur hangers. Fix 10 -- 11th one free kind of thing.
Well, there's also a bit of scraped-up'ed-ness on my super fancy XTR derailleur. ouch. That won't buff out. Next time, just run me over Jon. They don't make XTR's like that anymore.
5 hours ago