Bartlett Wash is an awesome slickrock area near Moab that has a bunch of natural bowls that are a blast to zoom into and out of. Most of the bowls are closed on three sides and the fourth side typically runs out further downhill and either narrows into a chute, or more often, opens up into another bowl with higher and steeper sides. Think of skateboard halfpipes, closed at one end
On my recent trip to Moab, I rode Bartlett and when I pulled up to the first bowl, there was four older guys (in their 40s) hanging out and eating Clif Bars. They looked tired, so I assumed they’d been out a while and surprisingly it looked like two of them weren’t wearing helmets. After I rode the bowl a while I pulled up and chatted, because one of the guys (lets call him Humpty) was riding a sweet brand new C’dale Scalpel. Anyway they asked me if I’d ridden down the chute/run-out of this bowl. I said I had on previous rides, and that I was just about to check it out again. This particular bowl had a pretty mellow run-out, but on the left side there was about a five-foot drop which got lower, running from left to right until there was no longer a drop at all.
I slowly rode down the runout and stayed right, and did about a one-foot drop. I continued to dink around the lower bowl and then climbed back out, up, and around, to try a bigger drop of maybe three feet. Anyway, before my 3rd trip, Humpty, with no helmet, gets up to ride the bowl. Since he’d been watching me ride and since they were there before I arrived, and since the Cardinal Rule of mountain biking is to know the terrain, I assumed he knew what lay before him. . . bad assumption.
Humpty Dumpty Takes a Big Fall
So the guy descends down off the lip of the bowl and heads right for the five-foot drop, locks up his rear brake and goes over the drop with his rear brake locked up and not even trying to pull up the front end or ride the drop. It looked like all the gravity in the universe was equally split between the slickrock below him and his head. There was a tiny explosion of blood on the rocks when his melon impacted. Thank goodness he wasn’t wearing a helmet. Just think how hot and uncomfortable he would have been sitting down there not having a gash in his head and not having a concussion. Just think.
He wound up with a gash on the left side of his head and one heck of a goose egg on his forehead and a nice concussion (you know, where your soft, pudding like brain crashes up against your cranium and gets bruised).
Anyway, seeing the blood dripping off the guy’s face and forming a pool on the rocks got me thinking about mountain biking’s implicit rules/assumptions.
The Implicits of Mountain Biking
• Double Dog Dare.
• Don’t Be a Moron.
• You Are Going to Crash.
• It is Going to be Exhausting.
• Even if it’s not a Race, it’s a Race.
I know there are a bunch more for mt biking, but I’m actually just as interested in Road Cycling’s Implicits. Specifically, is there a rule covering how long you’re supposed draft before you come around and pull? I’m afraid I just tend to wheel suck.