Yesterday could have been one of those serendipitous days, but it so happened that ironically, it wasn’t something that I was glad I chanced upon, although indeed, I was quite happy that it did, only that like I said, I did not take advantage of, which if it were to be considered serendipitous, I should have taken.
My biker friends from the Pinoy Mountain Bikers invited me to go with them to watch a mountain bike race up there in Maarat. We would have to go through what they call “the wall” in order to get to the place. I will have to describe this place later in detail in another post.
At about three quarters on the way, my two biker companions decided that we could no longer go up the summit as we were already tired. Each of us had our own handicap to deal with and so it was unanimously decided we go back. What I did not know was they were actually preparing to participate in an mtb jump clinic. I didn’t know that they had signed up for it. So we went down and headed to the place where the event is to take place. There I was informed that there is a two hundred peso registration fee.
I had two choices up to that point: pay the two hundred and participate, or just stay as an onlooker. These were clear to me. I only got a hundred fifty bucks on my pocket though my friends could easily lend me at least fifty to cover it. But I also had with me a camera, and so then I decided not to participate anymore and just become a photographer, though unofficial, and only to photograph my friends.
This event would have served me good. The instructors knew their stuff and frankly I would have found doing a bunny hop quite hard to do and apply in my daily bike commuting. And though jumping and doing some tricks would be useful, I still did not particularly think that I should participate. I am quite large and heavy, (I have been dieting for the last 46 years to no avail), and I thought I may just injure myself doing these stunts. The organizers provided safety gears, like shin guards and stuff and in a couple mishaps, they proved to be a blessing. There were no major incidents, except one rider who failed to assess the jump area before hand and landed on quite a large real estate, and dislocated a bone somewhere in his shoulder. He was immediately brought to a nearby hospital and later, we learned that he is going to be okay. He might have to lie low for a while though. Some were talking about the rush they felt during the downhill run towards the ramp where they were going to jump. Indeed I could see the excitement in their faces as they made the jump and landed safely and stop a few feet away.
For me it was like being an armchair biker again. There I was in the middle of the action, but a few feet away, watching other bikers soar, even for only a fraction of a second and a few inches off the ground. They did bunny hops, jumps, turn right at perhaps 25 kph using what the instructors called a berm, to facilitate an almost 45 degree turn at breakneck speed. One of them said that his heart beat was going really fast and that his adrenalin is so high he just couldn’t quit, even as he saw one fall and dislocate his shoulder
One part of me was saying I should have participated but then the more prudent part was telling me it’s okay not to and that was the best for me. Was it really serendipitous and not at the same time? I was looking forward to another great experience when I came upon this other great one. But then, I chose not to take the chance.
I was there, but did not do it. No, it’s not “sayang”. I enjoyed watching!