Today, I was dropped.
This simple line sounds horrible to anybody outside the mountain biking community, but for anyone who’s ever gotten on a bike before they know the truth. Getting dropped is fantastic. The term getting dropped means that you rode with someone who was faster and/or more skilled than you. In layman’s terms it means ‘you ate their dust.’
And today, it happened to me. My buddy and me paid a visit to some trails here in the Raleigh area to get an early Saturday morning ride in for Easter. This was my first time riding with him, but I knew from earlier conversations that his skills on a bike were well beyond my own and I was looking forward to the challenge of keeping up.
Needless to say, the ride did not disappoint. When the ride first started I did an okay job of keeping up with him. The technical sections of the trail were within my comfort zone, but as our ride and fatigue progressed the technical sections became increasingly difficult. Well, they became increasingly difficult for me as my buddy was able to easily ride over everything. Leaving me far behind.
But, that’s the point of getting dropped. It forces you to find the limits of your comfort zone and then expand it. You don’t want to be seen walking up that climb, so you dig deeper and pedal harder to reach the top that hill. The fear of being dropped causes you ride the brake less on the downhill or through those corners as you chase a dream of keeping up with those in front.
The desire to not be dropped forces you to become a better rider. You start practicing missing skills or improving endurance by adding an extra bike commute into work to increase your time in the saddle. Throughout the week memories of being dropped on the last ride haunt you, making you hunger for the next trip. The next trip where instead of getting dropped, you plan to do the dropping.
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Unfortunately, I didn’t take the GoPro out on this ride so there are no pictures available. Which I think begs the question: Does the ride even count?