Chapter 10 - The Jump
Bryan had one foot on the dirt and the other on his pedal ready to push off and go. He looked like he was reviewing what he was supposed to do and where he was supposed to do it at. I saw him looking very seriously and was slowly shaking his head up and down as I think he was talking himself up some as to what he was getting ready to do. I was standing right next to the jump and was watching him with curiosity for about a minute. I then yelled out, “You can do this man. Just keep pedaling like we talked about all the way to right here!” And I pointed to the spot next to me.
And to my surprise, Bryan Morrissey shook his head in a yes manner, took a deep breath and pushed off the dirt and started pedaling with both legs.
And he pedaled and pedaled, harder and harder, just like I had told him to do.
Man, the kid was pedaling faster and harder than I had ever seen him pedal. Weird I thought, but I actually felt proud for a few seconds as he was coming closer and closer and doing exactly what I had told him to do. He started gaining speed and he was moving faster and faster and getting closer and closer. I didn’t say a word. I just stood there smiling and watched him as he was approaching the jump. Wouldn’t it be something if he actually made it across? What if he follows through and makes it over this stupid mud pit. At that moment, I truly wanted him to make the jump.
But, he didn’t...
When Bryan stopped pedaling about ten feet from the start of the jump, I knew what I had thought all along, would now happen. I caught a glimpse of his face as he passed by me. He looked directly into my eyes as I looked back into his. At that moment, I saw as much of a pure terror look a ten year old kid could produce as I ever had. I assumed he realized two things, simultaneously.
The first thing he realized was the fact he was going way too fast to be able to effectively stop himself and his bike. He had done what I had told him, mainly, except he stopped pedaling way before he arrived at the jump. His speed was still fast, but not fast enough to make the jump.
The second thing I am pretty sure he realized was that he knew there was no way he was going to make it across that mud pit at the speed he was going. Those two thoughts were written all across his face as he passed me.
I heard him say “uh oh” in a high pitched voice as he passed by and went up the ramp, at a much slower speed needed to make the jump as had been planned. And then, well then in a blink of an eye, he was airborne.
Man was he airborne! I had moved two large rocks that looked just a like from under the jump where it had been in the middle of the trail. I put the rocks where I now could put the ramp up on top of them to get the ramp as high as possible. There was a little angle in the dirt up towards the jump that made the jump much higher than when it was in the middle of the trail. I hadn’t realized how this angle would cause him to go so high in the air. It was a site to see for sure. It felt like time stopped for a few seconds as soon as he became airborne. I could hear the wheels turning on his bike. I could hear my heart beating and I swore for a split second, I could hear his heart beating as well.
The kid actually looked good way up there in the air. He had perfect form; level except the front wheel was up just a little as you would want when making any type of bicycle jump. I felt myself become a little proud again for just a few seconds. I would have given him a ten for form, but a three for overall speed. He was way, way too slow due to not pedaling to where I had told him to pedal. That in and of itself killed any possibility for his chance of clearing the mud, and in actuality, killed him in the end.
Dumbass should have fucking listened.