CYCLING CULTURE
#BIKEFAIL – Embracing Real Riding Experiences
Every ride you have you have ever been on has…
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Every ride you have you have ever been on has been the most epic adventure ever, right? No flats, no mechanicals, and you are always surrounded by the most beautiful backdrops and a perfect sunset.

Let’s be honest, bike fails happen. Often. So, why are we distilling our social media posts to only show the best shots? Why do we work so hard trying to get that perfect picture at just the right angle so we can get as many likes as possible? I think a lot can be learned from posting the pictures that show us failing. Those are the moments that make us better cyclists, and there are a lot more of those moments than those few perfect ones we tend to post.

I was taught from an early age that making mistakes is part of the learning process. We didn’t all hit the roads as part of a perfect paceline in our first group ride or shred the gnarliest of trails on day 1 of riding our mountain bike. No, we fell over trying to unclip at the stoplight or we got left behind on the downhill as more experienced riders went flying by.

I asked riding friends about this and a few were happy to share their not so perfect experiences on their bikes.

When you drive out to Colorado from California and your friends plan a bike ride up and over two mountain passes, you may struggle, but you’ll never regret it. -Abigaile W.
You watch your three friends fail the creek crossing at Potato Mountain…you’ve got this. -Kelly P.
Your first cross experience. You are terrified, you fall, you get passed by the youth riders, but you manage to finish and not get pulled early. -Lisa L.
I was told California was all about Palm trees, beaches, and sunny days. -Randy B.
Riding Porcupine Rim circa 1998. I didn’t ever clean that section that day even after a few attempts, including this wonderful ‘Superman’. I’ve cleaned it a couple times since, but it’s always good to remember where we’ve come from when we’re introducing others to our magical world of riding. -Joshua L.

If you are willing to check your ego just a bit, a lot can be learned from sharing the pictures that show us failing. Those are the moments that make us better cyclists, and there are a lot more of those moments than those few perfect ones we tend to post. There will be falls, fails, and downright disastrous moments. You never know, posting these moments just might help someone else learn from your failures, or at least get a bit of a laugh from those who have been there before. Let’s embrace those not so perfect rides more and celebrate them. We’re still out there riding for the fun.

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