Welcome fellow Mountain Biker to a Bristol and South West based blog containing local routes, rides and reviews. Brought to you by locals to the area with additional publishings from further afoot. Hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Head films

Not cling or snuff........but head films. Or rather helmet, .....see where this is going, helmet films yeah, with a camera. That's right a helmet cam.
I've gone and bought a helmet cam. To enjoy those lovely rolling jaunts over and over and over again. No really, imagine. You have just finished a wopping, epic, arm numbing, eye watering ride with a big funk off smile on your face. GREAT. Now the memory of that ride will stick with you forever, etched into your grey matter. But. Now this is the fun bit. With my trusty cam I can enjoy the same ride with the same buzz, and buzz myself whenever I wan't to by watching the footage again.
It's not just the ride my friends as you know, it's the package as a whole:
>The trail and how oneself rode it.
> The scenery. Because when you reach speeds on a downhill say of 30-40 milesperblurryhour, you know it's there and with the corner of your eye you have a glance now and then but never get to see it in all it's glory.
>And finally, the soundtrack. A couple of people have said to me, you should listen to music when you ride. Yes I get it but I don't want it. The way I move over the terrain and the sound of when stones ping out from under the tyres, how the wind blows through the trees and landing off drops and jumps, CLUNK. From start to finish an epic natural soundtrack unique to the individual.
Anyway should turn up in a week or to. Try to sort out if I can post them on the blog for all to enjoy. Can't wait for the weekend. Come on you fiends, ride your machines!!! no really. Dust it off, fill your lungs and expand your faces.


Oh yes, it was a long time coming. I cant really believe I actually thought I was a good enough rider to avoid serious injury. I suppose my first warning shot was a few months previously when I binned it on a quick, off-camber hairpin and disappeared into the bracken with my bike landing on top of me.

I guess its all down to confidence- over confidence as it turned out. A fearlessness that turned to complacency. A cockiness that bought me a broken arm down at Swinley Forest.
The worst part? it wasn't even that difficult a section! I've ridden more testing pieces of trail at Afan, Cwmcarn, the Mendips and even locally around Leigh Woods and Ashton Court. Honestly, I was going too fast on a trail I had never ridden 'Tally-ho chaps! Follow me!! Thwack!BASH!' -it was a rookie error full of bravado and little else. A lapse of concentration? a rut? a root? maybe. A missed line, a messy tumble... So, having used my arm and head to slow my fall I suffered a radial fracture, a cracked helmet and some serious whiplash. The memory still makes me cringe.

Moving on, when i first drafted this I was off the bike with another 5 or 6 weeks until i could look at a bike again. So now, I've bought some body armour and have many good rides under my belt. My confidence is growing and Im more able to push myself within my limits. This started off as a kind of 'Wear a helmet' type gush, but its now, oh i don't know, maybe a 'Pay attention' rant... no, more of a ' Let the local go first' essay!

All I can think about is how much time was wasted whilst I wasn't on the bike.
Keep 'em peeled.

by Mr Angell