Monday, December 15, 2008


You may not think you study flow dynamics, but you do. Those who have been riding mountain bikes since the days before front OR rear suspension (or even linear pull brakes, for that matter) learned to ride rocks, steeps and chutes with an amazing amount of fluidity. The first mountain bike ride I ever went on was a 25 mile out and back on San Juan Trail in the Ortega Mountains. It was then (and still is) one of the top ten trails in the country. Rough and rugged, skinny and fast, it has everything. It also has the ability to make you an expert rider in a single trip. Luckily I was with a member of the legendary Laguna RADS mountain bike club, and the guy taught me one thing that saved my life. " Be like water."

Water likes to follow the path of least resistance, and that he did. Riding a fully rigid (that was all there was back then) Fat Chance bike in a pair of flip-flops and a torn set of khaki pants, this guy was amazing to watch as he managed every single gigantic boulder pile and vomit-inducing switch-back with ease. Water. He was water on the bike. Since that day, I hear myself say "be like water" on every inch of trail, all the time. I don't wear i-pod ear buds because it will drown out that life-long mantra that has saved my bacon (mmm...BACON!) countless thousands of times.

When standing on the edge of that drop, or even tearing into that fully-pinned scree field descent at 60 miles an hour....just think about the line that water would take through the section. It's usually the one way out that won't take you'r wheel and make it look like a taco-salad shell, or have you lying on your back asking the dusty sunlight where your bike went....


At 12:26 PM, Blogger Vegas said...

I was trying to flow up San Juan Trail on Sunday and wasn't doing a stellar job of it. It was chilly so I guess my water spirit was a little frozen! I did feel a lot more like H2O coming down Los Pinos, though. And it waited until dark to pour actual water down from the sky, so that was good.


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