|Amazingly, my brain still works well enough to create my |
great homemade jargon. Or, maybe I can't realize it stinks!
|Toe Tap - unless no one saw it, in which case I nailed it!|
Forced dismount: this is worse than a toe tap but nothing awful. The starting point is that you got tossed from your bike. But you land on the ground with only feet and possibly hands touching. If any other body part, such as a rear end, shoulder, back, or head hit the ground then it’s a wipeout. But feet? That means you were just forced to get off the bike. It’s like a TV time-out in basketball: no one’s worse off, just a mandatory break in the action. One easy litmus test: if there’s a cracked helmet, head wound, and a stick stuck inside your shorts and in the crack of your arse that needs to be pulled out and leaves a scar then it’s not classified as a forced dismount!
|I didn't want to quit and risked |
a Superman or, even worse, a Field Goal.
Superman: this is a particular kind of forced dismount. Sure, you get ejected from the bike and land on your feet. But with this one, you get launched, Superman-style, with arms out, like you’re flying. Well, actually, you are briefly flying, but you luckily land safely. The appropriate response is to stand proudly, chest puffed out, declaring to the forest, “gimme your tallest building. I can jump that, too!”
Field Goal: again, this is a subset of something else. Unfortunately, this is the end-o in its purist form. Sure, you go over the handlebars, ass over teakettle. But if a kicker for your favorite football team nails it, with an announcer proclaiming, “the ball is up, it’s straight, plenty of leg, and it perfectly splits the uprights!” then it would perfectly describe my body going between the imaginary uprights from the handlebars. Just to recap, Forced Dismounts and Superman = good. End-os and Field Goals = bad.
|Sparrow Trail, where I learned to emote. Not |
a fun moment to be in touch with my feelings!
Emoting: mountain biking is a male-dominated sport, probably because women have evolved a greater desire to not be idiotic. Nevertheless, as males, we’re often emotionally stunted, we don’t use our words enough, and feeling words make us particularly uncomfortable. Evolution has compelled me to suffer these same traits along with my X-Y chromosome brethren. Emoting is when a wipeout forces you to express yourself. Fittingly, this term came to exist the day after a woman pointed out my tendency to not share feelings. The next day, I was asserting my dominance over the woods, descending through a nasty rock garden. Suddenly I went airborne, parallel to the ground, and crashed onto those same rocks still wrapped around my bike. And in that moment of impact, when I grunted and yelled and futilely tried to get back up like Rocky, who may get knocked down but won’t stay down, a thought worked past all of that pain: if that same woman were here, she’d say “Aww, you’re sharing your feelings! Well done!” And so a term was born, as was a big bruise.
|You finish a stunt, you gotta celebrate. |
Nothin' to see here ya lookey-loos!
Nothin’ to see here ya lookey-loos: not every term has to revolve around a crash. It’s an easy source. But sometimes you have those moments where you’re out of control and have to fight to regain balance. Or you’re intensely focused in a dangerous spot, committed to it but still ready to poopie in the pantalones. Or, hypothetically, you master an area that you’ve never been able to do, and get off the bike to do the JayJay’s Awesome dance, only to realize the single other person in the whole stupid park happens to be a few yards away, silently watching. Whatever the source, having that embarrassing moment is when this term fits like a glove.
Role Reversal, also known as Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy: here’s the way nature intended things to work: I get on the bike, ride the trails, get off the bike, put it in my truck, and go home. Sometimes life plays out differently: I get on the bike, ride the trails, get thrown off the bike, it stays upright, then it rides over me before it falls. Yes, it’s true. I’ve had tire marks on my back. Not my proudest moments.
|Biggest rock that ever pinballed me.|
Pinballing: Sometimes you’re the pinball wizard. Sometimes you’re just the pinball. However, the good news is that I’ve learned a helpful tip on surviving bouncing off of a series of boulders. If you have a Camelbak or some sort of fairly full water bladder on your back then it provides a cushion to help absorb blows to that side of your torso. Alas, wearing another one on the front may help but you look like a moron. Body armor might help. But no matter the details, pinballs still take a beating.
|I still get stuffed here about half the time.|
Stuffed: no, not stuffed as in me being the Thanksgiving stuffing and boulders being the turkey. Rather, stuffed as in football runningbacks. Modifying the John Madden color commentary, “wow, Pat, let’s diagnose that play! Jay Bell goes for the power drive. You got big ol’ rocks here, fallen trees there, and he says, ‘hey, I don’t care. I got a big head of steam.’ So he just drops the shoulders, pedals hard, and hopes for the best. (Of course Madden is going nuts with the telestrator at this point.) Poor fella was almost off to the races. Then, Granite Boy and Tree Trunk said ‘hold up, speed freak.’ They pinch his tire, stop him dead in his tracks, and BAM! Nature stuffed him!” Pat Summerall then adds melodramatically, ”he’ll be feeling that in the morning, particularly since the handlebar stem hit him where the padding ends!”
Spin Class: last but not least is one with no pain involved. In fact, if it happens, the best response is to wear an enormous smile and scream gleefully. Usually, this comes up after bouncing through a section and being a little surprised you’re still safe and sound. Maybe you then cruise a little bit or then have a hill to climb. Whenever it is, it’s what you do once you find you’re still on the bike but the chain has slipped off and you’ve got no pedal power. When you discover this, you see how far you can last, and you spin the pedals as fast as possible – preferably screaming, “whee! Whopee!” Maybe then you change to a Mexican accent, a la Blazing Saddles: “Bike chains? We don’t need no stinkin’ bike chains!” Or add in the militant Spin Instructor: “Come on! No tomorrows! Give it all you got!”
|If it weren't hard, it wouldn't be worth doing!|
Bottom line is, enjoy the ride while it lasts. It won’t always be fun, but the bad times make the good times better. If you can come out of it with a smile and a story then you can choose to call it a success.
See you on the trails,
Jay Bell, AKA RockHopper