I was 16 at the time, and was in the best shape ever. I had been consistently training for around 2 years, preparing for my debut in the Argentine Mountain Bike championship. I had had some moderately good results during the summer and was feeling confident looking towards the season opener that was due during Easter weekend, at my backyard, Cerro Catedral.
Less than three weeks before the actual event I hit a Toyota Pick-Up truck while on a descent through the main car road to Cerro Otto. Although I did land heads-on into the passenger seat (shattering the windshield and my bike) all I had was a right hand thumb dislocated. Still, that meant a month with a plaster and an additional 15 days with a splint. So much for my big-leagues mountain bike debut.
So did the winter arrive, and I was too disappointed to start a serious training. Not to mention the pain I had while trying to use the front wheel brake (the one that actually slows you down) while on downhills. Then I moved to Buenos Aires, and the rest is history.
I spent last week at Bariloche. Although I was not on vacation I had enough spare time to take my brother's brand new Specialized bike for a spin. Although I only did 2 miles of uphill I was happy enough by the fact that I didn't stop a single time. And I should mention that it was snowing. You read correctly. Snow in Mid summer, while in Buenos Aires people where suffering 100+ F temperatures I was up in a mountain while snow pilled up around me.
Such a short comeback to my beloved sport served two purposes.
- I am in a lousy shape. A 70 year old crack addict could beat me anytime. This leads to:
- I need to change my lifestyle. (A post on that will follow up shortly.
Another realization was that biking on a hardtail vs. a full suspension changes the sport. I spent half my downhill trying to get a clue on why wasn't I suffering every single pebble and root on the trail. Boy, have this bikes changed in the past 12 years.