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The first words that came out of my mouth are not publishable under Canada’s obscenity laws.

The second words were "Whoah," followed by an "Ow!"

I had fallen off my bike. Again.

Having just ridden a few rocky sections of trail I’d had trouble with in the past, and goaded on by a friend with complete faith in my mountain biking abilities, I went for broke on a steep and rocky stretch of gully. And broke I got.

I wasn’t badly hurt, thanks to my trusty helmet and the fact that I somehow missed the more jagged rocks in the area when my front wheel jerked sideways and I flew over the handle bars. As it went, my head smashed into a boulder, and my body dropped onto some rocks.

Aside from a few cuts and scrapes, and a purplish bruise on my forehead reminiscent of Mikhail Gorbachev, I was really pretty much okay to keep on going. Not that I had a choice in the matter – there’s no way off the trail except to keep on riding.

But to use the popular expression of the day, I "put my balls back in my mama’s purse" and took it relatively slow and easy until I was back on Valley Trail.

Without a helmet, I might have emptied the steaming contents of my brain pan all over a chunk of limestone, but mentally I felt pretty good after the crash. I endo-ed on a rocky section and all I had to show for my troubles were a few scabs and bruises. My bike was okay. And I was confident that my sub-conscious would process the whole experience at some cognitive level and correct the flaws in my riding that led to the endo. Live and learn, I say. Get back on that horse. You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. No pain, no gain. Sacrifice your body today and you will be reborn tomorrow.

Clichés aside, riding bikes is all about falling down and getting back up again. I know this because I’ve been falling off bikes my whole life.

In fact, when the training wheels were taken off my first bike, the first thing I did was ride straight into the bumper of a parked car.

One time I was dirt jumping on my BMX and the front tire fell off in mid-air. The forks planted, I flew, and it took a wire brush to get all the gravel out.

Once while riding a 10-speed down the street – look ma, no hands – the grocery bag I was holding got caught in my back wheel. My friend and witness said I slid about five feet on the concrete before grinding to a bloody halt.


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