Those of you who know me know I’m not a jumper. But I’ve been practicing. It all started with the Yeti—the most playful bike I’ve ever ridden. Things just kind of grew from there. Don’t get me wrong: we’re not talking big air, but these days I’ll throw in a few lift-offs, with maybe a hint of mid-air style.
So that was my mindset as I was riding Feeder Line yesterday. Feeder Line clockwise has that little kicker at the end, a short, steep ramp that tends to throw my rear wheel up and cause really sketchy nose-down landings. But not this time. I’ve been practicing. Feeder Line kicker, I’ve got your number.
So I did the climb, and as I was descending I was telling myself, keep your weight back at the jump. Preload and pull up. I always aim for the left side of the ramp to avoid that big flat rock on the right, so I was anticipating a small tail whip. (I know, it’s me, and that’s crazy talk, but that’s that the plan.) I round the last corner with lots of speed, sight down the kicker, and that’s when I saw a deer standing right in my landing zone! Slam on the brakes, roll the kicker! The deer jumped into the woods and did this springy boing-boing thing till there was time and distance between us.
It was a big doe and she turned to face me as I marveled at her. I reached for my phone to take a picture, but she took a step away, so I froze. Finally, I snorted, smiled and wiped my face. I bid her adieu, and she waved back with her ears, like the Queen of Feeder Line.