I am a pretty cautious mountain biker but recently worked up enough skills/courage/mojo to become a regular on an advanced intermediate trail here on the north side of Brisbane (Kombi at Ironbark for those who know the area).
For some reason ‘doing Kombi’ made me feel like a mountain biker. I do know there is no real criteria for a ‘real mountain biker’ but Kombi had all the ingredients I thought a mountain biker needed – a gruelling climb followed by a long downhill, snaking down the side of the mountain. I loved it!
But one morning a few months ago something changed. I don’t know what happened but I baulked at just about every berm! I stopped and walked, grinding to a halt on silly little things… The planets had fallen out of alignment! I had lost my mojo! I was a mess. I continued down the mountain, stopping and walking the whole way. My bike gang buddy Tania met me somewhere along the trail, she was worried I had crashed.
I told her what happened, that my mojo had disappeared. She was sympathetic and said all the right things. She tried to get to the bottom of it for me – was there something going on ‘off the bike’ that was putting me off? At home or work? Nup. She suggested we session the next few corners together, just go back to basics, but my head was a mess, I was embarrassed, and late for work. So we pedalled slowly back to our cars and said our goodbyes.
So, what did I do to get my mojo back? First of all, I went home and cried like a big baby. I said the usual… ‘Who am I fooling? I’m not a mountain biker!’, ‘I should just quit’ blah blah blah.
All at the same time I wanted to:
a) never ride again.
b) tackle Kombi again ASAP to shake this curse!
c) treat myself gently and get back to basics.
After my small pity party, I ditched the idea of never riding again *yay*. I also spoke with coaches from my She Rides course. They reassured me that this sort of thing happens. They said I had probably just stopped looking ahead, or something like that (hmmm….they know me too well).
Two weeks later my bike gang helped me search for my missing mojo at Daisy Hill, another favourite Brisbane trail park. When I baulked at the rock garden on ‘Tunnel of love’ (that I had done a million times before) I stopped and did it again. I looked forward, stayed low, and what did I find? There was a little bit of my mojo waiting for me under a rock! Fickle little mojo! It took three tries, but I made it through that rock garden! A few more baulks along the trails, a few more sessions. Look forward! Look forward! More mojo appeared!
But what about Kombi? I knew the last of my mojo was hiding somewhere on the side of that hill, so I returned a few weeks after the initial ‘mojo incident’. I was so nervous, and took it slowly. The berms were awkward, but I got around them. It wasn’t pretty, but I was back! Winter has dampened my bike gang’s enthusiasm for before-rise Kombi adventures, but we still manage it every week or two, and it is a highlight of my week. The climb, the sunrise, the downhill. My mojo safely tucked in, and not taken for granted. Look ahead!