“I can’t really explain
how big the smile that appeared
on that kid’s face was.”
Sometimes things go the way you want, sometimes they don’t. “Just be sure to notice the collateral beauty” someone said in a film few years ago. This was the first thought i got when i tried to write down the feelings i got last week while shooting something for the Kona Ambassadors project alongside Alex Luise. I drove two hours to Alex’s place to shoot something interesting for the Time Machine theme. Nothing special, i discovered that someone else already got that idea before, but we were trying to push that idea to a bigger level.
It was a very hot day, even thought summer it’s almost ove, and i was trying to ride around on my Operator in a T-Rex inflatable costume. After the first couple of shots we realized that what we were trying to do was a lot harder then we expected. I was really struggling to ride my bike with that big ballon around my body. I really couldn’t see anything and i barely made a couple of steep section in the middle of an old cave. I was getting tired and disappointed and we really didn’t produced some decent material. Then we saw two young teenagers ride into the cave aboard their two front suspended bikes. They started watching us, then one of them started riding around the area, doing little jumps and lines on the lower and easiest part of the zone. After a couple of questions and a little talk with them, me and Alex started to give some tips about riding. They told us that they pedalled for like 10km to get to this area, just for riding some rollers and a 1.5 meter long jump.
As soon as we understood how much these kids were staring at my full suspended DH bike, i decided to fully transform myself into an MTB coach. I started with teach them how to jump more and how to keep the body position on the steeper sections, and they started to get involved more and more. There was a little drop that one of the kids was pretty scared to do, so i let him ride my bike so he could do the jump while feeling safer. He pushed back the roll in, got on my bike, couple of pedal strokes to get enough speed and he finally jumped!
I can’t really explain how big the smile that appeared on that kid’s face was. But i can guarantee that was the same exact smile that i had more than 10 years ago, when i did my first jump while riding in my backyard. That simple and true smile reminded me when i used to build some skecthy ramps in the back of my house with some spare pieces of wood.
Now, the only thing that i really wanted to do that afternoon was helping those kids to push their limits and teaching them how to ride better. And again, that was a Time Machine moment for me, but i honestly realised it at the end of the day.
I let the kids ride my bike for all the time they stayed with me and Alex, and as soon as they got more and more confident we started teaching them how to ride some really steep parts. There was especially this kid named Augusto that was fully focused on what i was telling him. At the beginning he was scared to do even the easiest drop of the area. At the end of the day he did all the rideable sections, even this super steep section he’s been looking at since the first day he got to that place! I can’t really explain how unexpected that day turned out to be for Augusto, i’ll just let you scroll trough Alex’ photostory.
Well, if i have to be honest, i think that we both didn’t expect to end the day like that, all with a smile on our faces and with a good story to tell. That’s what mountain biking is all about, having good times on a bike and pushing our own limits while smiling. Doesn’t matter if trying a Suicide No Hander on a 14 meter long jump or riding for the first time down a little steep section on your hardtail, it all ends up feeling new emotions and creating awesome memories. Nothing else matters in those moments. Just you, your bike and a trail!
RIPRODUZIONE RISERVATA ©