Every time I post a picture or video of myself hitting a drop — even a small one — I get comments and messages asking me “HOW DO I HIT DROPS PLZ HALP?” This has led me to believe that we as mountain bikers have an unhealthy obsession with drops. Nobody asks me how to hit corners or ride rough rocks although these things are equally important and I am most certainly better qualified to dispense advice in these realms. But nope, it’s always, always drops. So, to settle the question once and for all, here is a basic progression, based on my recent struggle with the Super 8 drop on Amasaback trail in Moab.
1. See a drop on social media and decide, based purely on photo evidence, that you should be able to do it.
2. Find said drop in real life and realize that unfortunately it now looks a lot bigger than it did in the photo. Damnit, why does this always happen?
3. Analyze all the possible negative outcomes. It’s a pretty big drop, so there are a lot of these. Allow some time for this step.
4. Roll in 10+ times.
5. Follow your husband/wife/riding partner in, balk at the last minute, accuse them of going “way too slow and trying to kill you” even though they landed the drop perfectly at the given speed.
6. If female, cry. If male, throw expensive bike parts into a pile of rocks. (Recognize that gender is a spectrum, so feel free to mix and match!)
7. Repeat steps 4-6.
8. Have a complete meltdown and consider throwing yourself off a cliff. Realize that you would then be throwing yourself off a cliff because you refused to throw yourself off a cliff in the first place. Get suitably confused and have an existential crisis.
9. Go home and pout for two days.
10. Return to the drop a second time and waste another 45 minutes replaying steps 3-8.
11. Finally give up.
12. Realize no one cares whether you hit the drop or not. Except for you. You care.
13. Return on a day with no expectations and no cameras, and tell yourself you can only have a post-ride Milt’s malt if you send it.
14. Send it.
15. Go get your damn milkshake.
16. Post a photo on social media so this cycle can begin for someone else!