I’m not sure if that’s true. I didn’t see my life flash before my eyes this morning as I was out of control heading straight on to a 4WD coming in the opposite direction.
All I thought was oh F#$K, I’m screwed. It’s amazing how slow 3 odd seconds can feel. I mean it happened so quick but everything was going slow mo
There wasn’t a cognitive thing I could do.
I was literally along for the ride come what may. It was the Tuesday morning bunch ride here in Noosa and we were nearly finished. The group was splintered into fragments as per usual and I found myself with another friend who was doing the work on the front to bridge the couple hundred meter gap. Noosa-Cooroy Rd is a busy one. After coming down the hill 90+ km/hr we were still hauling along the flatter sections. Greg saw a dislodged cats eye at the last second and didn’t have time to call it. I hit it square on.
Boom. Silence as my handle bars turn straight right and fling me out of the bike lane and flying towards the centre line. My chest is on the handle bars and crotch is on the top tube.
As time seemingly stood still, I thought this will hurt – then I saw the 4WD and thought sh#t.
Back in real time death wobbles.
Slow mo . wow I’m still upright. The first death wobbles, I believe saved me from a head on as they then made my bars go left and hurtling back towards the bike lane.
Slow mo again. On the second set of death wobbles, I somehow got a grip on, and finally regained control of the steed.
Heart rate… MAX. I don’t know how I stayed upright but I’ll give it a shot and I’m grateful, very grateful for these things. My dad bought me a Pee Wee 50 motorbike just before I was 3 (thanks dad). I believe this helped developed skill sets I use today. Speed, cornering, depth perception etc. Then my love for skateboarding (there may have been some missed school days ) which led to going snowboarding and becoming a pro snowboarder. All balance and co-ordination training, day in day out. While snowboarding I did some fun motocross riding and now have been riding road, TT and mountain bikes specifically for 10 years. I’m lucky, I’m co-ordinated and have pretty good balance. But developing these skills over my life time literally saved my life today.
Yeah I could say I got lucky and I did. But when the crap hits the fan and things happen so fast you rely on the reflexes you have developed over the years.
What ever I did to regain control happened automatically. Developing skills are an important life skill. It’s why we had Mack (our 2yo son) on a balance bike not long after walking, it’s why we encourage jumping off things and doing lots of balance stuff.
We just encourage play. In our linear sport we don’t get much chance to develop skills that may keep you upright when it matters. So in your ‘off’ season you might want to try your hand at some mountain biking on single tracks.. Test out your balance and aim to improve it.
Go out and play.
You never know. Again skills are important. The skills I teach my athletes to improve there SBR out of sight won’t save your life but they will make you a better long course athlete. In reality I keep these simple. One overriding skill development in each. These teach you to swim better in open water, ride stronger (and of course faster) and be able to run well without breaking down in the later stages of your race.
Today scared the crap out of me but tomorrow I’ll be back out on the bike .. a lesson in there!
P.S. On a totally random note, tomrrow I’m drawing the Vitamix blender. Last chance to win it by buying my super awesome Ultimate Recovery Shake ebook https://www.trispecific.com/