Mountain Bike Adventures In Lesotho 

21 February 2020 | Never in my wildest dream did I imagine myself mountain biking. I’ve always found it too adventurous, extreme and honestly I was scared that I might fall and hurt myself. So I tried to avoid it at all costs and I succeeded, until a recent incident that changed things dramatically.

Having an older brother who has your back and always challenges you is truly amazing. It is all good and well, until he forces you to do something he believes will be good for you despite your concerns and NOT take no for an answer. Big bro asserted his authority and told me we should meet at 5:30am on Friday morning. His instructions were brief and concise, “I’ll see you at 5:30am in your cycling gear” and no further information was communicated.

So I left the house at 5am in order to cover the 4kms to the junction where we were to meet. The weather conditions weren’t bad, except the mist that covered the beautiful city and the busyness of the streets. I was very anxious cycling to the junction and a few minutes later we were well on our way. Strangely, I had no idea of the route we were to use or the distance we would cover. Big bro played his cards close to the chest and did so very well. As a result, I kept an open mind, asked no questions and followed quietly hoping for the best. A few meters later, we made it off the main road and at this point I knew there was no going back; I was ABOUT to go mountain biking.

Semphuroaneng, Maseru Lesotho

The gravel road was bumpy, with many uphills and had a lot of puddles after the rain. I wore my white cycling gear and it was evident that I would come out of this experience looking extremely dirty, but the show had to go on. I struggled with the uphills and almost fell a few times. When things got tough, I got off the bike, pushed it up the hill or carried it down because quitting was not an option. Some parts of the terrain were easier to tackle while other parts were really scary.

Carrying the bike 

I also struggled when trying to brake, because I hadn’t figured it out just yet. I realized that you need to know how to use the braking system well when going down hill or else you run the risk of falling. To my absolute trauma, I accidentally hit the brakes too hard when going downhill, tragically crashed on the ground, amongst the rocks. It all happened so fast and I lost control. This was terrifying! My left arm was hurt and my right knee had a small cut that was bleeding. I got up, pulled myself together and continued with the journey. A few minutes later, I laughed at myself for being an idiot, but also applauded myself for NOT quitting.

Although still a bit shaken after the fall, I realized that I was no longer as scared. I was a lot more relaxed and confident going forward. What changed you might ask? For the longest time I didn’t try mountain biking, because I’ve always been afraid of falling. Well, I ACTUALLY fell and in so doing I faced my fear head on. Did I die? Well, maybe I could have, but I didn’t.

My biggest take away from this experience was rising up after falling and showing up even when I was afraid. There are way too many people like myself who are afraid of showing up and seizing opportunities, because we are scared- scared of falling, failing or being judged. Just like them, I am also still afraid but I’ve decided to make 2020 my year of intent. I’m intentional about doing the things that I’ve always been afraid of doing and taking a chance on myself. I know it will not be easy and I will most likely stumble and fall along the way, but at least I would have tried and failed. What is that one thing you’ve always been afraid of doing? Isn’t it time you got up and did it?

Took of my helmet to pose with big bro

#VisitLesotho #MountainBiking

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