Friday, 23 May 2008

To air is human, to land, divine

Mulebar loves to read inspirational books and essays. They help shape visions and remind us why we do the sports we love.
The following text is unashamedly taken from 'notes from the field', a collection of adventure stories commissioned by Patagonia.

The Fall
Dave Bean

GROWING UP, everyone takes something of their childhood with them, as if to stave off that inevitable loss of innocence. I took my bicycle on the road out of adolescence toward adulthood. Falling down a slickrock desert cliff stopped me from thinking like a teenager. I was thirty-two.

I bike the eighteen-inch-wide section of the Poison Spider Trail called the Catwalk, a fantastically dangerous route with a sandstone cliff falling away hundreds of feet on one side. Entering the Catwalk I actually believe my balance to be highly evolved.

Before this day I thought mountain bikes were manifest destiny. Once, racing friends down a two-track, I looked back to gauge my lead and when I faced forward again I stared at a Jeep's front grille. I slid my bike sideways beneath the Jeep, kicking free at the last moment.

On the Catwalk I feel the pressure of my right pedal against an object, a skull-size rock that levers my machine, my feet still clipped in. I'm going over and already it's too late to turn against it. In that gaping moment of lost balance I become keenly observant. I see that the cliff slopes at a sixty-degree pitch—all shale, sand, and loose stone—before the rock cuts back on itself in a fatal vertical face. I was brought up to believe that each of us controls our own destiny, but as I go over, the wind whistles through my ears like a hawk scream and I know I've been handed a line.

My body hurls sideward through space. My life refuses to flash before my eyes like a music video; the one I love never appears in a vision; and I don't forgive my seventh-grade English teacher for making me feel hopeless. Three seconds feel like an eternity. I think of how little I understand about mountain bikes, gravity, or the surreal edge of the desert, and how, out of everyone I know, I least deserve to die.

In the air I try to grab my bike. It is worth almost one thousand dollars. The thing about falling is that I can watch myself as I go, even upside-down turning flips. By this time I'm tumbling closer and closer to that fatal drop. Beyond it is nothing but air. I can't seem to arrest myself. Then suddenly I catch. My bike flips to the cliff edge and stops. The front wheel spins free over the abyss.

For a while my wife bugged me to get a new rear wheel because of a flat spot that goes thump da thump. But I like the bumpy feel when I occasionally bike. It reminds me of how arrogant and selfish I was to imagine that I might cheat gravity, the desert, or adulthood.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Tour de France Challenge

MuleBar is proud to be supplying Mule, Martyn Jones, on his adventure to complete the route of the Tour de France this July. Martyn is raising money for the British Heart Foundation and the Association of Young people with ME.

He'll actually be riding ahead of the Pro's, and hoping to be caught up in the media storm that envelopes the race every year. The fact that Martyn has ME makes this challenge even the more impressive.

Martyn has left his job so he can prepare as best he can in every way for this race so please visit his site.

Recent PR:
This French Life

Monday, 19 May 2008

Mule Bar Set2Rise interview

1225 am Team Mule Bar rider-change. Biffa coming in, Jimmy going out and Damian on the camera.


Salisbury Plain at 6am, with a sunrise, is a beautiful place to be especially if you've been in the saddle for the majority of them....
SPAM and Charge Bikes hosted their first 12 hour enduro on the 17th/18th May. Solo entrants or teams of 2, 3 or 4 competed around a 8mile lap from 6pm 'til 6am.
The lap was a well thought out with enough singletrack to keep everyone grinning and enough fire-roads for respite.
We put out a team of three coming in 8th place in category. The placing would have been higher albeit for a snapped seat-pin 1/4 way round Biffa's lap.
Look out for next year's Set2Rise; it's a real challenge and if it's half as well organised as we experienced, a joy to compete in. Just remember your battery-charger.....