When I was younger and a bit crazier, I loved going on photo shoots with my mountain bike. If there was ever a chance to get involved in a video shoot, I would rearrange any schedule to make it happen.
It didn’t change my riding and I was adamant when it came to riding over my head. If I couldn’t do it when no one was looking, there was no need for “Kodak courage.” But it was really cool to get a photo in a magazine, or squeak into a video here and there.
Then, when I hit 40, my luck changed. We were filming for the Ride Guide when, on a pretty basic drop, I got off line by a foot or two and lost a battle with a tree. Trees don’t move very well and the impact left me with nine broken ribs, one punctured lung, and a 10 day vacation in the hospital. Luckily it was near the end of the day and the shoot was almost finished, so the director was pleased with the results, despite my mishap.
This past weekend, I took my kids camping and we went and found a great beginner mountain bike loop. It was about five km of hard-pack trails with loads of rolling sections, smooth berms, and some flowy downhill.
After the first loop Rhyley decided to head back to the campsite, but Regan was keen to chase the older boys for one more DH.
I pulled out my phone to film him. Like any proud dad, I was imagining this footage being shown after his first world cup win way off in the future.
Right then, Regan hit a shiny little rock and washed out his front wheel. He slammed into the ground with enough force to make me cringe, and then I missed running his arm over by less than an inch as he slid down the trail on his face.
He ended up being fine. Apparently you bounce a lot better at four than you do at 40, and thankfully, his full-face helmet had some new scratches, but his face was perfect.
We brushed him off, did a short pep talk, and jumped back on the bikes for more ripping.
Maybe it was an odd coincidence, but I put the phone away at that point … just in case.