Chapter 8 - Practice
I went over the plan again. It felt like for the hundredth time as Bryan kept asking me over and over to tell him what to do. I breathed deep and stayed calm and nice and replied,
“Look, Bryan, you got this down.” I said reassuring him. “This is going to be really simple. All you are going to have to do when I say is to start pedaling right here by the pine tree and go straight down the path. Then, start leaning little to the left so you make sure you stay on course, and then aim straight for the ramp.”
“Ok, but do I lean to the left before I get to the place where I go a little to the left or lean in the turn?” Bryan asked as if it was the most important question he had ever asked.
Well at least he is back to annoying me again terribly.
I replied, “You are going to lean in the turn like you do going around a corner but just not as much. It’s simple Bryan. Look, I will do it for you so you can see.”
So I got on my bike and rode the exact course nice and slow. I leaned my bike a little to the left and showed him exactly what to do. He stood there shaking his head up and down obviously understanding now what I had been telling him.
“You see what I am talking about?” I asked.
“Yea, I think so. I just want to make sure I do everything right and not let you down.” He said with somewhat of a needing approval tone.
I replied shaking my head, “You won’t Bryan. How about we ride the exact route at a nice and slow pace together, with you right behind me, so you get the feel for what is going to take place. Get right behind me on your bike, right off my rear wheel and follow me exactly and we will stop right at the beginning of the jump.”
“Ok, I can do that. Let’s do it!” Bryan said now confidently.
So, we did a slow ride through the short approach together from the beginning to right before takeoff at the ramp and everything was fine and understood. Bryan obviously has something in him that wanted to do things right and he showed he could follow orders pretty good when he wanted to and it was obvious that he really wanted to do this right. Bryan was acting older than he actually was which I had never noticed until this moment. I could tell he was nervous so I reminded him that it is just a little mud so no reason to be scared, but it was perfectly normal to be nervous before you do anything that you have never done before.
“Now remember Bryan, pedal as hard as you can but under control all the way right up to this spot” as I pointed to the base of the ramp. “That’s the key Bryan. You don’t stop pedaling until you start up the ramp and then remember, as you leave the ramp, you pull up firmly on the handlebars. Trust me; you will fly right across this stupid mud pit and land way over by the trees where we cleared a landing spot.” I pointed to the spot that was designated as the landing area for success.
“Ok, that sounds good. I feel a lot better that my hands are tied so tight to my grips so my hands won’t come off during the jump.” Bryan continued, “There’s no way I’m going to be able to bring my hands off.”
No, no you aren’t I thought.
“That’s right Bryan, everything is set to go perfectly.” I said proudly.
“Oh, man, I have to go PEE,” Bryan said crossing his legs a little.
“Hold it Bryan, it’s time to jump…”