Old Friends, and Exactly How Difficult Is Mountain Biking after 7 Years Abstinence?

I was reading a blog the other day of an old friend. Most bikers have a friend like this… it’s the guy (or gal) that you met at your first race when you entered the beginner category race and saw at every event after that. You raced in the same mud, escaped the same treacherous roots, and waited around for 4 hours after the race for the awards ceremony, joking who would win the water bottle and who would win the wire-bead tire. Time passes. Both move far and wide but occasionally rejoin at bike events and reminisce about simpler times. It’s an undeniable bond.

I was reading my friend’s blog the other day and discovered he is headed my way this fall for a race. It’s about 3000 miles from the races we first started doing as teens and it’s been 2 years since our last meetup. I shot him an email and invited to stay with my GF and I for a day or 2 before the race at the new Wayward Cycling Headquarters. I sadly had to reply that I’m still ‘traveling light’ and only have 1 bike, a road bike. He quickly responded that is fine… because he was bringing 3 bikes and I could use one of the MTB bikes.

Although mountain biking was always my ‘thing’ and I thought road biking was for losers… I haven’t played in the dirt for …[gulp]… 7 years? Is that right? Oh dear! Do I even remember how to ride down steep terrain? Jump off rock outcrops? Fly over wet roots? I almost feel like I should notify the local hospital just before pushing off, so they get a head-start sending a preemptive ambulance.

Oh I should also mention that my friend is pretty skilled and has raced pretty big races you may have heard of… like the Olympics.
Please post MTB tips to achieve Olympic level skills asap! Merci a tous!

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