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"So this section gets pretty steep," my friend Geronimo cautions before we go plunging down a power line off of Puma Shoes For Men one of the myriad trails in Jim Thorpe, PA, where a small band of us were out for an exploratory ride of sorts Saturday morning.

Puma Shoes For Men

Puma Shoes For Men

ridiculously technical and potentially disastrous, I dismount without a second thought. One tricky section sends me over my bars, giving me my Jim Thorpe wipe out of the day (it's nearly inevitable to hit the ground at least once there). All of them I wish I could just rail like the guys I'm followingthough to be fair, they hit the ground once or twice, as well.

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He shook his head the way he always does when I'm not making sense to him. "I'm glad you're having fun," he said, and the conversation moved on. But it's replayed in my head a few times since.

"Dammit," I think. "I'm going to be over my head."

With every chance you take, there's an acceptance that you'll potentially fail. Small Puma Shoes Black Colour

Puma Shoes For Men

Puma Shoes For Men

"No," I counter. "You can do this. Put your weight back and let the bike roll."

I drop my saddle, take a deep breath, and after a slight pause, follow the chain of riders down the hill. I see Topher about 10 yards ahead of me negotiating a steep, sketchy turn.

And so the ride goes. There are scary sections I take a shot at and clean, which shoots giddy success adrenaline through my veins. Others, so Puma Gold Toe Sneakers

Mountain Bikes Crashes Technical Trails

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After four hours, we emerge from the trail, each of us with a little blood dripping from various cuts, scratches, and scrapes. As I survey my own damage from the day a scraped nose, two skinned knees, and some random bruises emerging on my legs, I think of a remark my dad made over dinner a few weeks ago.

a few pictures from a cross race of me all smiles seconds after wiping out in a sketchy corner.

chances, small failures. I've hit the ground enough to know my risk reward ratio out there. If it's going to hurt too much, it's not worth it. But that doesn't make giving into the fear of falling any easier. Because each time I feel like I've cheated myself out of the chance for an even greater reward.

Puma Shoes For Men

Puma Shoes For Men

"How steep?" I ask, trying (likely in vain) to sound casual.

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And I do. And for a moment I think I'm going to make it. But then the rocks start shifting and rolling under my tires and frankly, I'm scared that I'm going to cartwheel down the hill. I stop and get off, frustrated with myself for walking it. But unwilling to roll the dice on my skill.

Puma Shoes For Men

"The falling itself isn't always fun though sometimes it's so ridiculous it kind of is," I replied. "But the challenge sure is. As is succeeding. But you can't succeed if you don't try."

His raised eyebrows and slight shoulder shrug is all the answer I need. It's going to get vertical.

"I can't see how falling is fun," he declared as I showed him Puma Grey Shoes

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