Last Sunday was a special day for me. I took my first real mountain bike ride at the Lunch Loops with my husband 586 days after injuring my knee in an accident. The Crash happened in October of 2009. I was riding with a group of friends for the weekend in Moab. That summer I had a successful season of DH and Super D racing with the Grassroots Cycles Team, I had just returned from my first trip to Whistler, and was feeling confident and pushing my limits. I had been riding so much that I was starting to feel just the tiniest bit of burnout on my bike and was looking forward to ski season.
Crashing, as anyone who rides knows, is a part of riding. You have crashes, get scratched up, and sometimes get black bruises the size of a dinner plate on your ass, but you usually ride away from them. Having been seriously injured in a climbing accident years before, I was well aware that when you break your body it can’t always be fixed. I had successfully pushed this thought out of my day-to-day thoughts about riding.
After a year and a half of worrying, after one of the top surgeons in the world told me that he’ll try but that there is no guarantee that anything can be done, after many setbacks and some pretty dark days I’m finally back on my bike.
If there is one positive that has come out of this, it’s that I’ve decided that there is no excuse for ever not having fun on your bike******. It is easy to start taking the most important things for granted, like functional joints, living in a place with amazing trails, and having the good fortune to have both a bike and good friends to ride with. We are all lucky to be out there enjoying this sport, and if not winning a race, or not performing as well as you think you should bums you out, then you are doing it for the wrong reasons and missing out on so much.
******© Blake Treadway