Getting it wrong

There are so many mistakes that I have made as a rider over the years. Silly mistakes… stupid mistake…. costly mistakes. I thought it might be fun to list some of them, there are plenty more, but these are just a few of my favourites!

  • Seeing if it was possible to remove and refit the valve extender from a fitted tub, only to discover that it wasn’t possible to refit, causing me to have to unglue and reglue the tyre to the rim. Those of you who have never used tubs, this is not a fun job and means that the wheel cannot be used for 24hrs.
  • Not listening to what my body tells me – I wretched before the ride. I knew something was wrong during the morning ‘thinking time’ and yet I still got on the bike and did 40 miles off road. I even rode PAST my house about 30 miles in. That bloaty feeling didn’t leave though, and 10 miles from my house I hit the wall. Blood sugar crash, feeling sick, the works. I had to call a cab to take me home, and got him to stop twice on route to be sick. Food poisoning and no nutritian for the whole day had gone in.
  • Day before big race, I decide to drop the forks out of my race bike, only to have the headset disintegrate. I had to phone my bike shop, get them to stay late that day, drive there and have them fit a new one. Not ideal preperation.
  • Johny big potatoes -In Austria I rode past the same guy twice on a big climb.  The second time, he asked me where I had been.  I told him about a technical single-track that I take and often do.  He told me he knew it, but asked how I managed to ride it on my fully rigid bike.  He was riding a full suspension machine and had pads in his backpack.  I was wearing lycra.  I looked at him and said that it was simple, I just don’t crash, and if you don’t crash you don’t need all of that stuff.  I rode off downhill, first corner, fast, graceful.  Second corner, front tyre washes out and I go sliding across the fire road at 30mph.  I smashed myself up quite well, but jumped back on the bike and rode as fast as I could.  There was no way I wanted him to catch me.
  • Not me this one.  –  In Switzerland with a good friend of mine, he was showing me the local trials.  We were riding for a few hours by this point when we got to about 20 steps.  I hopped off and walked down them, but we claimed they were ridable.  This, I didn’t doubt, but I was not in my own country and had to fly the next day.  I didn’t want to risk it.  He set off riding the steps and half way down got it wrong.  He glanced the cliff wall, which put a 5 cm laceration in his calf muscle.  It took us another hour to reach the hospital, but fortunately we had a first aid kit with us.  The cut looked like it had been done with a knife.  At the hospital I was able to show them precisely what had happened.  I had recorded it as a video on my phone (unfortunately long lost).
  • Turning my bike around on a cattle grid.
  • Not listening to what my body tells me, II.  –  Last year in Germany, I simply didn’t drink enough.  It was a hot day, and I felt good riding.  But not enough fluid was consumed and my body shut down once I got home.  I was sick, and curled up on the bathroom floor, shivering and being sick for the next 3 hours.  Not nice.
  • Driving somewhere to go riding, and forgetting my shoes having to turn around and come home.
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