When you take into account all the variables that go into a successful shoot - from trail conditions to weather to traffic jams to recalcitrant kit to simple lack of inspiration and on and on - it sometimes seems pretty amazing that I come back with anything usable at all. But that's what I do - come back with the goods, time after time. It's what I'm paid for, and I'll do everything in my power to make it happen.
But for all the vicissitudes and uncertainties associated with weather and all the rest, one thing I've been relatively luck with over the past 13-odd years is crashes. Or rather, a relative lack of them.
Until recently. Y'see, in the past couple of months I - or rather, riders on my shoots - have successfully destroyed one range-topping, all-singing bells-and-whistles carbon frame... and one front wheel. And when I say 'destroyed', I'm not dressing things up. Here, for example, is the frame that emerged rather the worse for wear after a lowish speed over-bars bailout:
The front wheel suffered a broadly similar fate, in remarkably similar circumstances.
Rider injuries on my watch so far have been, thankfully, considerably less severe. But I can't help chuckling inwardly at some of the risk assessment paperwork that's been shunted my way recently (largely, it would seem, to appease the legal bods and insurers). Mountain biking hazardous? Why yes (though arguably less hazardous, statistically, than crossing the road or, indeed, getting out of bed). But surely that's one of the reasons we all do it.
Or am I missing something?