Biology: a logical and patient creature, evolved progressively for the last 4.5 billion years, often tells us one thing, while our mind (or personal character), a rudimentary collection of experiences and learned “facts” referencing only the years you’ve been on this earth, insists another. After two crashes while learning seat-standers, my body insisted I never wheelie with both feet on the front seat, EVER AGAIN. My mind, on the other hand, is determined to progress in this sport of stunting. Each day of practice became less of a physical sport and more of a mental one. How do “I” (my mind and conscience), convince “myself” (my biology, body, and instincts) to wheelie with both feet on my front seat using a hand brake? A battle of mind and matter, between I and myself.

After my crashes I approached seat-standers by clutching the bike up and parking it on the 12-bar. After mastering this, I could park it, but in no realm could I ride a seat stander wheelie out. After a broken-sub frame the habit of parking had to be put to rest(Score I: 0; myself: 1). My next approach was to slowly clutch it up right to balance point, as to avoid the handbrake, and try to sail along in a passive manner. This resulted in my body violently swaying around (screaming, put it down! Put it down for humanities sake!) throwing me off balance and in effect causing me to put the front wheel down (Score I: 0; myself: 2).

Now after way too much time to acceptable mention, I could park a seat-stander and clutch it up to near balance point, then wiggle until I was so wobbly I was forced to return to 2 wheels. My next tactic was fear. With stunting, scaring myself -gradually in tiny increments I find progression and final conquering of fear. Mentally I approached the wheelie with this pep talk, “If you repeat what you did last time, you’re wasting your time and not progressing. For this wheelie you must and will, scare yourself, 1-2-3 GO!” Once in a wheelie and in the fear zone my mind would slowly talk my body through the events, “Doing a wheelie…going…brake…gas…going.” Then I would say to myself, “Self, you are doing a seat-stander and clearly will live to tell about it.”(Score I:1; myself: 2.)

One night after reaching to point where I was able to clutch it up, rock it back, tap the brake and actually ride far enough to consider writing about, both my mind and body were fouled out. Fouled out by neither mind nor matter, but mechanics! After riding nearly the whole length of the parking lot, my bike ran out of gas, slammed down, flung me over the front and then ran me over. Nice. A bit of fuzzy encouragement from the stunt gods; which left me with ripped clothes and black & blues which might obligate a call to the Guinness Book of Records. (Score I:2; myself:2, Yellow flag tossed in).

The Battle of “That One Time Your Bike Ran You Over”:

With a swagger in my step, soreness in my muscles, and some irritating rash on my back; I was back to the lot and mentally ready to put this battle to sleep. By the end of the weekend I was rolling down the parking lot on idle, harking a win for mind and a triumph over what I like to term “fear” (when in reality it is probably just good common sense, but no one likes a party pooper-wheelies are fun!).

As both the winner and loser of this batter, my mind and body, could, on one level or another, be considered “Leah” I will offer defense for both sides. I appreciate my body’s biological constant reminder of my mortal state; but tend to side with my mind as often the material limits of “impossible” must be pushed to create a new reality with greater options for a life full of choices and a truer pursuit of happiness. I am proud to announce a new option for me in this mortal life is seat-stander wheelies on a full size street bike and this make me extremely happy!

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