Adventure vs Risk
noun : A synthetic material that can be moulded into shape when soft.
verb: 1. Easily shaped or moulded. 2. Offering scope for creativity. 3. Exhibiting adaptability to change or variety in the environment.
noun: 1. An unusual and exciting or daring experience. 2. Excitement associated with danger or the taking of risks. 3. A reckless or potentially hazardous action or enterprise.
verb: 1. Engage in daring or risky activity. 2. Put (one’s money or life) at risk.
Adventure seems to be a popular word at the moment. It is used to sell us everything from cars to coffee to bikes. Possibly it’s because true adventure is lacking in our modern, highly-scheduled lives; something lost yet remembered deep in our chromosomes, silently calling to us from our Neanderthal past. I have heard it postulated that the thrill of mountain biking appeals to our ancient hunter gatherer roots. That it fills that gap in our souls which once drove us to chase down deer and hunt mammoths. Now we find that the post-ride beer with friends serves as a substitute for the fire in a cave mouth, alive with the smell of roasting venison. While it sounds like considerable bullshit to me, I know in part it’s true. There is a DNA born drive for adventure, for an escape from routine, that I feel deep inside and which builds the more it is denied.
As mountain bike guides part of our job is to tame adventure. To shape it and then provide it, in a safe package, to guests. Trips appear very adventurous, and they are, but we have assessed all of the risks and have mitigated them, stacking layers of alternatives to ensure we always optimise the safest options for our groups. We have practiced our trips with friends and repeated them until we are as certain as possible of the success of each and every ride. It must be like that of course; anything else would be irresponsible. We offer perceived risk that in reality is highly controlled.