Words: Tahnee Seagrave
Photos: Moonhead Media
It has got to that time of the year where the cold, crisp air of the off-season is no longer refreshing and nearly passing out on the rowing machine every other day becomes severely boring. The withdrawal symptoms from no longer slapping dusty turns are getting... slightly worrying. Vitamin D and bikes are something I genuinely need in my life.
Only recently have I started riding my hardtail (Transition PBJ) more in the skatepark and getting comfortable on it. I’d only hit my first (and only) small set of dirt jumps a couple of months back.
If I’m honest, La Poma hadn’t always appealed to me but I booked a trip anyway. I was definitely stepping out of my comfort zone with this one, and I weirdly liked it. I was chatting to my pal Manon when she mentioned her and Vero were planning on going to La Poma too... complete coincidence! We booked our trip together, all mega excited.
On the first day it didn’t take me too long to get the hang of the small tech line.
I saw Manon eyeing up the big line, so walked over to join her. God knows where my balls came from. Maybe I was missing the regular adrenaline rush I get in the summer while racing. But I just went for it!
Clearing a few, I pushed back up with a huge smile on my face, and my heart racing. Ahhhh I’d missed that so much. 10 mins later, clearly running before I could walk, I went a little slack on one of the jumps and full on nose-cased the landing...
No one ever mentioned that the dirt here may as well be concrete?! Literally, a day earlier I was saying I’d forgotten what it feels like to have a big crash. Turns out the familiar taste of dirt and road rash pain is not something you forget.
This to me is quite funny, because back when my folks were running a chalet in Morzine, every so often I would see someone get hurt on their first day. This wasn’t unusual, because understandably people get so excited and a little ahead of themselves.
By watching, I learnt to take it easy myself, build my speed and confidence up, and not do anything I wasn’t comfortable with. Clearly this knowledge I thought I had suddenly went straight out the window as this two wheel playground unravelled itself beneath my eyes.
The following morning after having spent the evening in the hospital, I ripped off the sh*t they had wrapped my hand in, popped some painkillers and taped my fingers ready to ride.
There’s always this annoying yet most often right little voice in the back of my head telling me I needed to stay fit and healthy for racing, but that sense of achieving something that previously knocked you down and the feeling you get by overcoming your fears, always outweighs the little subconscious made-up fear in the first place. Besides, riding bikes is way to fun to sit out on. (No, we don’t ever learn...)
I can’t quite explain how rad it was to shred with the girls. It was inspiring to see Mandog and Vero try new things, get out of their comfort zones too. We all spurred each other on and gave each other tips.
The boys (Kaos, Kade and Moonhead) were pushing limits and getting rowdy as always but it was comforting to have female company there.
Everyone was encouraging each other, strangers on the first day became friends by the last, and riders were getting stoked on each others riding. The atmosphere was heart warming, to say the least. Priceless.
I remember I looked over my shoulder to see a young girl in the trials area kicking ass, and all the boys cheering her on. I took a second to take it all in. Funny how something as simple as two wheels could bring together so many different people and joy to us all.
There were times I got paranoid about not ‘training’, but at the end of the day if you’re happy and riding your bike, that’s the best training you’re gunna get, and a week later I’m still buzzing off the trip. You just can’t beat it. Do what makes you happy- it’s the best kind of therapy. Mine is two wheels