If there was anything I feared as a biker; it was crashing.
But I had not been in the game of mountain biking for too long to be scared about such things, and this was what I always liked to remind myself of as I cycled furiously downhill.
The usual outing today had been a total disaster, Miles, Tammy and I was supposed to have cycled around the lower parts of the Kilfest Mountain which was in the outskirts of Illinois.
“Take it easy Shawn! You’re going too fast, besides it’s nobody’s fault that they didn’t turn up today” Tammy called after me.
I simply ignored her, my hands were wrapped around the handlebars of my bike, and my helmet’s strap was a bit loose.
“He’s so furious” Miles chuckled, they were just right behind me, but all I wanted was just to get back home, I had had enough of their nonsense.
“Shawn, you’ve gotta slow down, you’re not even looking ahead, there could be a boulder or something in your way, you’re gonna trip” Tammy warned again.
“And get squashed like a rotten tomato” Miles added bypassing me, his bike was pretty cool, and I was honestly starting to wonder why I had agreed to come along with the both of them to Kilfest.
Usually, we were supposed to be training for the annual Kilfest Mountain Bikers Competition which came up annually in Illinois, it was like the biggest competition, but I had not been overly interested in it, for one thing; I was really afraid of heights and mountain biking was quite dangerous.
Originally, I was more of a dirt biker, which meant I was more into cross-country bike races and tricks than really dangerous feats, but Miles had somehow convinced me that it would be fun.
“Don’t be such a pussy man. You can do this. Actually, we can do this – think of the money we could make from this competition” Miles said to me only the day before our famous outing to the Kilfest Mountains.
“I don’t really know much about mountain biking Miles; I’m just a good dirt biker, now why would I wanna do something I’m not even great at?” I asked.
Miles chuckled, well; that’s how he is, he chuckles and laughs at everything, “You’ve got the MTB skills, and that’s all that matters, so are you game? We’re talking about twenty thousand dollars cash prize here.”
I paused and thought about it for a few minutes, “Okay Miles, but this had better be true, or I’ll have your head, I’m supposed to be at the bar tomorrow, now I’ll have to skip it, and it better be good”
“Trust me, man,” Miles said smiling, “It’s as good as gold” he winked at me.
“Well, I guess I’m game then” I replied giving him a high five.
“And by the way” he added, “Tammy is coming along, I know you guys have been sort of at loggerheads all summer, could be a time to wind up and settle old scores, don’t you think?”
“You invited her?” I asked rather confused.
“Sure did” he replied coolly, and now I was regretting why I had agreed even to follow him in the first place.
I pedaled furiously and jumped over a rock boulder doing a wheelie unintentionally. I guess Tammy must have seen me do it as she closed in on me.
“Slow the f down Shawn! I’m serious this time, mountain biking is not the same as dirt biking, you don’t get to do wheelies” she blurted out at me, but her voice was only faint in the rushing air which flooded my face.
“Leave me alone! You conspired with Miles to get me down here, did you think I was just gonna forgive you that easily” I shot back at her angrily.
“Leave me out of this dude! I was just doing as I was told” Miles called back to me, he was way ahead of us, but I could see that he was avoiding the rocky parts so well, while I bumped hopelessly into them.
“I just wanted to talk to you again, I’m really sorry Shawn, but you can’t be angry at me forever, now would you please slow down and let’s talk like matured adults” Tammy begged again, I could hear the desperation in her voice, but I wasn’t ready to budge.
“Just leave me alone, and don’t you try to contact me again, what you did was unforgivable” I growled angrily jumping over another particularly large boulder.
“I knew you were gonna say that, but you hurt my feelings, I just hate…” I guess I didn’t even complete those words before my bike’s tire got punctured by a flinted rock.
“Shawn!” I heard Tammy scream loudly but it was already dissolved into the wind, Miles was just ahead but I was sailing through the air like a kite, I landed heavily on the ground and would have kept rolling downhill if not for a tree branch that I managed to grab on to.
“Arrrghhhh!” I shouted, Miles and Tammy got off their bikes and hurried towards me, thanks to the helmet, I had not suffered any cranial fracture, but I had dislocated my leg.
As Tammy wrapped the bandage around my right leg, I could tell that she was crying, “I can’t believe you’re so hardhearted, you actually could’ve died.”
“And it would’ve been better” I muttered stubbornly.
She winced at that statement and cinched the bandage around my leg tightly intentionally, “Oww!” I groaned.
“Well, think about others sometimes and stop being so selfish for a change Shawn,” she said angrily, stood up and mounted her bike before zooming into the night.
Miles and I just watched her go.
“Let’s get you home buddy, that was some mountain experience you had today,” Miles said chuckling and I only glared at him.