Ever have that feeling that you've perhaps, just maybe, might have bitten off more than you can chew. This unique sense of dread and impending doom comes only in those particular instances when you find yourself facing what seems at the moment, to be a utterly hopless situation. Like when you are flying down a trail, but it's been raining and you are pushing the limits of what bike and rider can safely navigate in such conditions, and then it happens, you round a corner only to discover that all the traction you once had in your favorite tires has been replaced by a slick, gooey coating of fresh mud which has adhered to the tires like a spoonful of peanut butter to the roof of your mouth. In that instant you know you are headed for trouble, in an flash of an eye you think a dozen thoughts like, what could I have done differently?, Should I have eased up on the speed?, how can I limit the damage?, do I throw myself from the speeding train now or ride it out?
For risk takers this is an all too common feeling. I think I'm relatively conservative on my bike, but I do like to ride some downhills on the edge of my ability level. However, I more often find myself with this feeling of dread in regards to other decisions I make, such as this year's challege of organizing and promoting a bike race. Sure the motive was good, it seems well organized, I've put in lots of time and energy as have other friends, but one week away and I can't help but think, this is going to be bad. I had such high expectations and worked so hard to get to this point, but I tend to worry about outcomes when the tires seem to be slipping and I'm not sure if I can hold the line.
Oddly enough in many of these instances, things don't go so bad, the certain crash doesn't occur, but instead you somehow are able to regain control, get your feet down, and come to a stop without going over the bars. Sure you heart rate spikes a bit and you take it a bit easy for the next little while, but the crisis has been averted and you have survived.
I enjoy the thrill of new challenges, great downhills and doing something that benefits others, but often wonder to myself, does anyone else care about this, is it worth the risk? the effort?, the time?, the energy? Perhaps it doesn't really matter as long as no matter what happens, I get back on my bike and keep riding, which is exactly what I'll do.