I got into mountain biking in a bit of a funny way. My few first tries were an absolute disaster. The first time, I was coaching snowboarding on a summer camp in Les 2 Alpes, and decided to take a jump bike to the very top of the mountain and try and ride down. Naturally, it was terrifying and didn’t pan out very well – after a massive crash I wound up in hospital having a pin inserted in my wrist to hold it together. I have no idea why I thought it would turn out any other way – I was so naïve. Actually, I was so stupid!
The second time, I rented a (shit) hard tail for what was billed as a lovely weekend of guided riding and delicious food in Wales that turned out to be nothing but. Our guide was seemingly oblivious to how little fun it was to ride a mountain bike agonizingly slowly through thick, foot deep muddy bogs for hours and hours. To say it was a slog is a massive understatement and I came away thinking that mountain biking was crap.
Never having had a good experience of the sport, when I moved to Devon I thought I might as well return the hardtail my sponsor Charge Bikes had kindly loaned me and I said as much to my friend Kye, who couldn’t quite believe I’d never had fun on one. He thought I was totally bonkers to move to Devon and get rid of it, and determined to change my mind, he took Dave and I to Haldon Forest for the first of what turned out to be many, many rides, sparking a new and passionate love affair with off-road riding.
Since then, I’ve learnt to ride berms, rock gardens, drops, jumps and steeps and I’ve progressed from the blues to the blacks and conquered a fear of gap jumps. I’ve entered my first gravity enduro, and Downhill races, ridden in the Alps (without breaking anything!), in Wales and in many places in the UK. My passion for mountain biking has totally exploded; in fact it’s threatening to take over from all the other kinds of cycling I enjoy. So it turns out I do love mountain biking, I just don’t like grinding my way through knee-high sludge or winding up in hospital! If only I’d found that out a little earlier!
Keep riding! Be #Strongher
Photo's by Dave Noakes
About Juliet Elliott
Juliet is a crazy professional cyclist who likes cats. Her biggest dream in life is to never have to work, so she can spend all her time having fun! Juliet is an ambassador and blogger of Strongher and her favourite quote is: ‘Ýou never get faster, you just get stronger.’
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