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Just Send It? - Tyres and Soles
There’s a certain smell to mountain biking that anyone who’s spent time shuttling or doing uplifts will recognise – it’s not just the waft of seldom washed jerseys or too many sweaty boys, it’s the stink of testosterone. You’ll probably recognise it. It’s usually in the form of harmless “banter”, but peppered in there will be phrases like “harden up”, “just eat a bag of concrete”, or “if you’re not falling you’re not riding”. From the outside, these “just send it” comments sound harmless, but the message they imply is actually pretty screwed up. If you’re an experienced mountain biker and comfortable with features and obstacles, it’s hard to remember what it was like when mountain biking was new and potentially scary. Human memory is strange, so once we’re good at something we forget what it was like not to be good at it. Worse, most of us aren’t actually able to describe or explain exactly how we ride something*. Learning requires many hours of repetition within our “skill zone”. So, learning to ride a mountain bike involves a lot of bike time riding trails that might, to experienced riders, seem tame. Consequently, when we give instructional advice, we aren’t …