07/09/2020 - Head Beaten Black And Blue

Camus' Chatel concussion crash

Following from Cy's confession about not liking Bike Park riding last week (click to here to read if you haven't seen it), here's Brand Ambassador Dave Camus' view from the other side of the fence.....

Sometimes you're the hammer, sometimes you're the nail. Dave Camus made it out to France for two weeks of big-bike shreds but surprisingly it wasn't Corona that put a dent in his plans. Here's the full story behind what makes someone want to ride massive bike-park jumps and what happens on the (rare) occasion when they go seriously wrong.

Forgive the occasional F-bomb, it's quite a tale...

Baybutt: So what's your name?

Dave: Dave Camus.

Baybutt: AKA Ramp King.

Dave: Ramp King. I'm not Ramp King anymore!

Baybutt: Oh mate.

Dave: Occasional ramp king.

Baybutt: So what is it you like riding on your bike? What's your jam?

Dave: Ramps. Everything really, but ramps. That's quite ... I don't know... We'll go to the spots that has the coolest looking jumps and stuff. And maybe we'll hit the tech as well, I kind of ride a bit of everything. But I guess more technical stuff and some big jumps. But my perfect track would be stupid kickers and north shore weird stuff, and then tech roots and steep rock as well. There's a couple of tracks we hit when we went to Europe. We went to La Bresse and they had a track that was super steep and then super technical rocks and big river gaps as well, which was perfect, all of that. I did two or three runs of that to try and dial it in. I feel like it means there's a bit more to it. You've got to get the line right to get in the jump. You can't just get the line right to get the line right's sake. It's like you have a bit of everything.

Baybutt: So the thinking person's jump line.

Dave: Yeah exactly. Like techy. The new stuff at Chatel, all the black runs they've redone are kind of like that. Jumps and tech, a bit of everything. I rode Bike Patrol that day and that was pretty good. It fucking tires me out man, I'm so tired all the time!

Baybutt: So what was your plan this summer then?

Dave: Well the original plan was to go to Canada for two weeks in June, but obviously that all went to shit. And we were going to hit... Me and my mate were going to hire a camper van and do all the North Shore and Squamish spots, and then go Pemberton and do that, but then that all fell through, so we booked two weeks out to do a Europe trip, and go to Morzine. And I've not been to Morzine since I did my season five years ago. So I was like, "We'll go to Morzine, I've not been in ages it'll be good to do all of the stuff and hit it." It was nice to go again... So we booked two weeks off and then it got a little bit sketchy in terms of the quarantine stuff, so we were a little bit like "Shall we go or shall we not?" And then we went, and the plan was to do two weeks, and do well. The first day we La Bresse And then we were going to Châtel and then Les Gets, Pleney, Chamonix. And then after a week or so maybe go down and do La Thuile or Les Arcs. Even though we had downhill bikes we were going do La Thuile. Apparently it's better for trail bikes and the access to the track isn't as easy on a downhill bike. We were going to do it anyway. And then Samoens, I think was the other trail that we were going to go. Obviously we only managed two days.

Dave: So I drove all the way there, for La Bresse. Off the other side of the ferry, so we got there at seven, eight o'clock. And then rode a full day on the Saturday, in La Bresse. So if you ever go into Morzine or that way, it's six hours after the ferry and it's sick ramps and the downhill track's mint there. And there's a couple of downhill tracks that are Revs-esque where they've got big gulleys and steps and stuff. It's sick. It's really good, and worth going to.

Baybutt: And you were feeling all right then?

Dave: Yeah, I had a couple of crashes but we were just kind of nothing these ones. Did a lot, did all the stuff. Did all the jumps that were there, pretty much, the whole line. But hit the downhill track and hit all the stuff on the downhill track including this sketchy... It was maybe four foot rock to drop off but it was super steep in and super steep out. Super weird in. It kind of mellowed out, it lifted out of a lip almost off the rock, and it was just really weird. And did that last run of the day, or last couple of runs of the day.

Baybutt: OK so stoke was high, you were on holiday? Everything was going all right, and you were riding well.

Dave: To be fair, I’ve been riding pretty decent the last few months... I guess jumping off hard tail onto rocket is a big booster, and it just felt like I was proper going well. Obviously it's completely different because you jump it on a full suss and just smashing it all down. The difference in speed was massive just generally. So jumping on a downhill bike and going "Oh it's not that different to my rocket" so I felt pretty comfortable straight away.

Baybutt: So after La Bresse you went to Morzine.

Dave: We went to Châtel so we drove all the way through Switzerland to lake Geneva. We swam in lake Geneva just as the sun was setting, and then drove the last hour and a half to Châtel. And we got there at eleven o'clock at night. We slept in the carpark. In the morning, I went to go and find the toilets, and looked at the slopes style line, which started and finished in the carpark, basically. And I was like "I'll go and have at that" because it looked pretty gnarly.

Dave: It was probably one of the bigger jumps that I would have done and one of the biggest step downs I guess. There was a couple of weird kickers into it that looked a bit odd, and then a wooden wall ride shark fin, and then into a big step down. And then a tiny roller, and then a big, probably forty foot Long and low. With quite a small take off, so it looked like it was going to kick you a little bit, I was a bit like "I don't know about that." That was the only bit that was a bit weird. But the step down was sweet so, anyway. We had a full day riding and went and did Air Voltage again, no problem. No issues.

Baybutt: Did you look at stuff on the way down?

Dave: We stopped and looked because everyone else had not done it... Quite a few people had not done it before, so we stopped and looked at all of them but I only looked at them just because I hadn't been there in five years. I think I probably could have ridden through the whole line first go.

Baybutt: How many were you in your crew?

Dave: Six I think, seven? I think most people hit that. We went and did that maybe third or fourth run. Just did a few other bits. We did all the black runs on Châtel. Did pretty much all the kickers and stuff on the whole black runs and then did black shore. We pretty much did everything on Châtel bike park, and then...

Dave: I tried the triple as well, I forgot about that. I did it when I was in Morzine, and when they first opened it, it was a big triple that you can do on one of tracks and they'd just opened it that day. And when we went and pulled that... Me and Russ trying it for this video, and Russ just could not get it. And I had a stupidly hard shock in my Sunday because it was a random bike that I'd bought half way through the season. It had the wrong shock and I couldn't get the shock out to change the shock, change the spring. So I had a super hard back end so I could just pop that triple. This time I was like "Fuck it, I'll try it again." So I had one in run in for it, and I was like "Yeah, I reckon it's on," and fucking cased it so hard!! It was a big pull.

Dave: Yeah we did everything and we were feeling pretty good and then me and my brother went for a couple of runs. We did the river gap trail to finish this day off. Ended up at the bottom, we were like "Shall we go and have a look?" "All right, okay." We watched a few people hit these jumps and one guy honestly, it was so sketchy, and he was getting through them. And I was like "Well it can't be that bad... Well if some people are doing it and nearly dying on it and they're shit, it can't be that hard. It is well within our capability of doing that. No problem at all." We were looking at it and we walked up to it and watched a few people do it, and then I was like "Fuck it, I'm not going to sit here... I hate sitting and looking at jumps, I'd rather just get on and do it." So pushed off. And my brother was stood on the landing and a big long and low. And I was like fuck it I'm just going to drop in, just dropped in.

Dave: So I was planning on doing the big long and low and then diverting off onto a... it was almost like a cheese wedge into a twenty five foot gap, which seemed fine. If you got that one, you would easily make the next one, and then an eight foot tall slope style kicker with maybe a twenty foot gap, so not huge, big but not insane. So I knew if I got over the long and low it would be on.

Baybutt: You've gone for the B line?

Dave: Yeah, yeah. I wasn't keen to do the biggest line, it looked proper insane and way out of my depth but the right hand line was like "Yeah I think I've got that. Fuck it, I'll do it..." I've even got a couple of cranks, and if I've got a couple of cranks, the step down was big but it wasn't like one of them where the speed would be miles out so I was like "I'll do the whale tail and see what the speed's like." I don't think you need to be going super fast. You never need to go as fast as you think off a step down. I came off the whale tail, all right, hit the step down and got it absolutely perfect and was like "Job's on." No problem at all. I was running into the long and low, and the last thing I remember was maybe a six or eight foot before the lip, thinking "I don't know if I've got enough speed here." Not nowhere near, but not quite enough to get it nice. So I was like ... I must have thought, I don't remember, but in the video you can see that I push through the lip a little bit just to get a bit more length on it. I don't know whether that helped or hindered me. I think it maybe hindered. I think if I'd have pulled... I don't know if I'd have pulled up, whether I'd have come even shorter, or whether I would have not... I don't know.

Dave: The issue is, I think that the lip's quite short so I watched a few videos of people hitting it after I'd hit it, and there was one guy that hit it at the same... Was towing someone it, he cleared it so easily and the guy before him broke his leg on it. And the difference in speed, even though they were coming in the same speed, the difference in length that they got was a two or three foot difference, just because one person popped slightly more.

Dave: Because the lip was so short, whether you popped it or whether you didn't made a big difference as to how long you went. Whereas you go on A Line or Crab Apple or whatever and the lips are so long that it doesn't make that much difference to... Your input doesn't make that much difference. Whereas on that it did. And maybe I should have been more aware of that and gone a bit faster to compensate but... Like I said, I pushed through but I didn't hit it as neutral as I should have done. So anyway, I went off the lip, I get a little bit off balance and as I land I bounced… well I hit, my chain guide. It was ruined, bent, totally bent. Maybe came up, I don't know a foot short, per se. Not more, I think on any other jump you would have just ridden it out but because it was so long and I was going so fast.

Dave: I hit it and just bounced straight over the bars, straight away. And instead of getting my arms out, I just went so far, I must have gone straight over, and just landed straight on my head. Or gone over onto my back and then cracked my head. Whiplashed my head into the floor. I don't really know, there isn't really a video of it to see.

Baybutt: But other than the head you walked away relatively unscathed.

Dave: Oh yeah, my back was a little bit scratched. I genuinely woke up the next day in hospital and was like "Where's the injury? Where's the big hole in my arm or hole in my knee or hole in my hands where I've got my hands out?" And there was nothing. So there was no big gash in my back, which I expected. I was like "I'm going to have something where I've hit the floor really hard with some part..." Even when...You know when you fall really hard and you scrape all your hip or... And there was nothing. My back was a bit cut up but not bad at all...

Baybutt: If that had happened, just no head injury, you would have ridden the next day.

Dave: Oh yeah 100% But I would have hit something else that wasn't my head and then I probably would've... So like I said, some kid did it the next day and did the same thing but probably another half a foot, a foot shorter, and broke his leg on impact because it just landed with one foot off, trying to bail out. And just full bottom out, and full broke is leg. And then that Harry Schofield kid who's real sick, he's like ten. And he sent it, and he did the same thing. He sent it in the wet to be fair, but he sent it, cased and literally rode down the landing on his front wheel.

Dave: It seemed like it was pretty unpredictable. I've seen a lot of videos of people it trying it and nearly killing themselves on it. I don't know, I think if I'd seen more of those videos before I probably wouldn't have... I didn't see many videos of people hitting that first kicker, I think probably because it's so sketchy that people don't actually do much over it so they don't want to film it.

Baybutt: It's a setup to the other stuff but it's a difficult set up.

Dave: Yeah almost, but it's just a weird set up.

Baybutt: So what happened after that? I know you must have heard the story from somebody else because you weren't awake

Dave: So I went over the bars and landed on my head. And then my GoPro pinged off my elbow. Some guy he went into the carpark and picked it up. So it was interesting because I sent it to my occupational health guy who was chatting to me about that I'd seen the footage. He said “oh that's quite good because it means you can process it a lot better, and see this is what you should have done, this is what you shouldn't have done”. And I said that was good because I know that it wasn't... it was my fault, I didn't go fast enough but I did everything right to try and save it. And I think if I'd have bounced slightly less I would have held it, or gone another six inch, I would have been sweet and ridden it out. It would have been gnarly, and that would have gone right, reality check let's back it off a bit.

Dave: So the GoPro kept rolling for another twenty minutes. You can hear my brother shouting for an ambulance and stuff, and then talking in French and trying to get an ambulance there and stuff. So apparently when I crashed, I went all stiff. My arms went stiff. Apparently that's a thing when you get knocked out. My brother was like "He's having a seizure." I wasn't, that's just what happens. There was another doctor in the carpark riding, and he came up. Apparently, I was out for a minute and a half, two minutes. Fully, fully out. And then woke up. I don't remember waking up. Apparently I was like "Where am I? What did I crash on?" And my brother was like "You crashed on the slope style line." And I replied "What slope style line, there's isn't one." Totally no idea where I was, or what I'd crashed on or whatever. I knew I was in Morzine but that’s it...

Baybutt: Did you know your name?

Dave: I didn't know I old I was but that was because... My brother said that, he was like "You didn't know how old you were." But then on the GoPro someone asked him how old I am and he goes "28, oh no 29." And I do the same response later on. I'd obviously heard him and then that had been implanted in my head... I never know anyway, I always think I'm 28 when I'm not.

Baybutt: 29.

Dave: 29.

Baybutt: There you go.

Dave: So he was stressing, and then the doctor was there. There was a doctor there who helped him get my helmet off. And obviously they thought I'd broke my back because I hit my back and hit my head. So they were a bit like...

Baybutt: I can't believe they took your helmet off.

Dave: Yeah because it was restricting my airway. So the way it had gone. So he pulled the little tabs out and took the helmet off. But I was fine. Genuinely fine.

Baybutt: So you were conscious, although you can't remember any of it.

Dave: Don't remember anything. Ambulance came, put me on spine board. They were like can you move your arms, move your arms. Moving my fingers like that. Oh can you move your legs? And started kicking like fuck trying to get out of this spine board they've strapped me to. There was another guy who'd crashed over on the mountain and he'd had a heli out. So there was a heli right there so they were like "Well let's put him in the heli. Get him to hospital, he might have broken his back."

Dave: So the only thing I remember was going "Yeah, I think I'm going slow here." The next thing I vaguely remember was being in the heli. I remember hearing the rotor blades, and being like "Shit this is going to cost me a fucking fortune." So I was in the heli thinking "Shit this is pretty serious" And I guess I vaguely remember being in the spine board or not being able to lay down, but that was almost dreaming. And then the next thing I kind of remember, being in hospital. And then kind of vaguely, vaguely remember having a CT scan, but I don't really... they did a full body scan actually but I don't really remember that. I kind of half remember it, again like it was a dream, like it wasn't real.

Dave: And then the main thing I remember is waking up at half eleven, half midnight in hospital and being like "Shit it's half midnight." And I kind of knew I was in hospital but I was just like "It's half midnight and I'm not asleep, why am I not asleep, chilling? I'm going to be knackered after all this, whatever's happened." And obviously I knew what had happened but it was just coming round to it. And then my brother was there the whole time and then they took me to Annecy hospital so it was an hour and a half each way. So my brother drove our van to come pick me up. To come and meet me after the heli, and then drop me off. And then came the next day.

Baybutt: So he drove there and back?

Dave: He drove back to camp, I don't know what time but half eleven-ish. And then drove back the next day, at probably twelve, one o'clock when I was due to be discharged. I felt rough as fuck. So rough that day. I think they gave me a little bit of bread, two bits of baguette. That's all I had in the morning. Then a cup of tea. And I felt fucking odd. And I slept most of the day, and then woke up again at probably two o'clock. I felt a bit more normal.

I was in hospital 24 hours pretty much. And we're just wait to see... apparently, I remember them telling me that the CT scan and stuff was fine, normal. And I was like "All right, sweet." My brother came at two o'clock, and we were like "All right let's try and get out of here." I'm all right, I don't need to be in here anymore, I'd be better to just get out of here. And I had a drip on me, and heart monitor things. I'd ripped them all off because I'm fine, I don't need them. So I took them all off. But I think you know, I do anyway, especially when you've hit your head or had an accident, you know if you're all right or not.

Baybutt: Had you hit your head before?

Dave: So I've hit my head twice before. Once in work. I dropped a piece of turbo on my hand, it fell out of a vice ... Well I didn't drop it, it fell out of a vice and I went to catch it. And it weights about ten kilos this turbine housing, it's a big bit of cast iron, maybe thirty centimetres across. Diameter maybe ten centimetres, hollow thing. It dropped out the vice and fell on my hand and crushed my finger. And I thought I'd properly fucked my finger because it was really heavy. It probably only dropped half a foot but it was a lot to drop half a foot onto your hand, and I looked at my finger and was like "It's fucked." And then fainted. And I hit my head... I was looking to miss the vice and the bench, and I just went straight back and hit my head. I wasn't knocked out for very long, maybe ten seconds. Not long at all really. And I woke up, and I felt pretty odd. But all right.

Dave: The other time I hit my head was at Best Wood I did this hip line and it had a stupid overhanging tree over one of the jumps and I caught my head on it in the air, and it... I can't remember if it knocked me off or not, I don't remember, I don't think it did, and then that proper rattled my head. But I don't think I had concussion, it rattled my head a bit.

Dave: But anyway, I had two days feeling weird after the knock out. And then I though "Once I come back from this, obviously I've hit my head, I've got concussion, yeah it's bad but I'll heal like I did then, but for maybe a bit longer."

Dave: When I came out of hospital, honestly I felt so faint. I got to the exit of A&E and I sat on the bay. And I said to my brother "I need to sit down or I'm going to faint otherwise." Sat down, and then one of the nurse came up to me and was like "Are you coming or going?" I was like "I'm going, I don't want to be here anymore.”

Baybutt: Is that how you got yourself out?

Yeah, I knew I had to get home, and I didn't want to be where I was. I was in the back of my van and it was all right until about two o'clock then it was absolutely red hot. It was thirty degrees every day when we there so the back of the van was sweltering at two, three o'clock in the afternoon. So I was like "I can't sleep in here, it's not comfortable, I just want to be home, but out of it." I had in my head that I was going to drive back but I knew that the quarantine was coming in, so this was a Wednesday I think. Yeah I'd done it on the Monday, and I had two days, Tuesday, Wednesday. Felt vaguely all right on Wednesday afternoon, and I was like "I'll drive my van ten minutes down the road." We were going for a little swim. So I drove ten minutes down the road, and I was like "I feel all right but I feel like I'll probably drive at least a bit more than that and I'd be okay."

Dave: So the next day I woke up at eight, half eight, and I set off, and I was like "Right I'm just going to see how far I go and when I start to feel weird..." And fully anticipated me to feel tired or weird, and I just didn't, I felt all right, so I just kept driving. I kept going and going and going. And I stopped for fuel, I think, and I did twelve hours to get to the ferry.

Baybutt: Bloody hell, that's so sketch.

Dave: Yeah I know it's sketchy. But yeah, drove twelve hours to the ferry. Got to the ferry about half eight. Stopped for Maccy's on the way. And I re-booked my ferry when I was at Maccy's at one o'clock maybe. Did that, got to the ferry port, BBC news flashed up, France going into quarantine as of Saturday morning. I was like "Oh my God." Just made it. All the stress I would have had to get here on time has just gone away, solved. So I pretty much got on the first ferry out of there, which was decent but it was delayed until... I was meant to leave at nine pm, so obviously I've been awake for twelve hours doing this. They were like "It's two hours delayed." I was like "For fuck's sake." So I got on the ferry at half past midnight.

Dave: So I got into the UK at two am, and then drove twenty minutes and slept in my van. I woke up the next day at eleven, so I'd had how ever many hours sleep it was. I woke up the next day and was just fucking terrible. Drove back to Sheffield, and it was like five hours, it should have been three hours but it was five hours because of traffic and shit.

Baybutt: Were you straight to the doctors then?

Dave: No. Well I felt all right. But obviously I felt... when I set off I felt okay to drive, maybe I wasn't but okay enough. And I got home that night at six o'clock, and I just felt totally wiped. It pretty much wiped me up for the next four days, I was fucking done. Yeah really odd. I said to my manager I'd be back in on the Monday, and was just like "Don't know how the fuck I'll do that."

Baybutt: And they were cool with you not being back in on Monday?

Dave: Oh yeah it was fine. I pretty much the first day I felt normal, well, from the accident on the Monday, it was the following Thursday that I felt normal enough to do anything vaguely normal like go on a walk or do something. I was literally was just in bed or just watching TV or watch TV and sleep in a bed. For a week. Not feeling particularly bad, just a bit off, and then really tired. So I got pretty bored of TV. And Thursday I started doing stuff. Because when I when I saw you, walked up to Bolehill. Honestly walking up to Bolehill was like walking up Mount Everest, it was fucking horrendous, just to get to the top of Bolehill. I got to the top of Bolehill and was just fucked. And got back down and pretty much went straight to bed when I got it. It just absolutely fucked me.

Dave: And that's the weird thing, you expect to feel a bit odd but I think the fatigue of doing anything really hits you. It was really weird. It's like nothing else, it's not like "I feel really tired I'm not going to do that." It's like, you feel all right and then you set out and by the time you've got to where you're going ,you're just feeling fucked, really out of it. I did the same yesterday, the day before, I went to Stanage, walked up from Redmire to the top of Stanage, felt fucking odd at Stanage Pole and walked back down.

Baybutt: And that was it.

Dave: That was it.

Baybutt: Oh mate. So what's it been like two weeks now?

Dave: This is week three on Monday. But I spoke to the occupational health on Monday and Tuesday. They've got a private healthcare thing there at work. And he was like well... Obviously, I went to A&E on week two because I was like "It's two weeks and I still feel a bit odd." And the NHS guidance was after two weeks you shouldn't have any symptoms, you should feel vaguely normal. And I was like "I kind of do but I also kind of don't". So I went and they were like "It's fine, no problem at all. You're all right just take it steady" I said it to occupational health and she was like "You've been out for like two minutes, and you've had a serious brain injury, relatively serious. You're probably on the cusp of it being a major brain injury. You're going to feel weird for at least three weeks, if not longer."

Dave: And I was like "Right that makes a lot more sense. The brain doctors in France basically didn't say anything because they didn't speak any English so we didn't get anything out of them.

Dave: And then I rang the occupational health, and this was Monday this week, so I was two weeks off, and she was like "Yeah don't come in this week." And I was just a bit stressed about work like I want to be back, but I don't feel too awful, but I think it's like you don't feel that awful and you go out and you do something, and you're like "Oh my God, I should not have done that." When I'm doing stuff where I'm not thinking about what I'm doing it's not so bad, but any physical exertion, or any serious mental exertion is really hard.

Baybutt: So you're on a bit of enforced rest now.

Dave: Yeah. I'm doing a bit of DIY stuff that I need to do and when I feel shit I'll just stop. Don't push through it because it'll just get worse after that. But I rang the GP to get a sick note, and explain what had happened. And he was like "We normally just give sick note for a week for a concussion." I was like "Are you fucking for real?" I couldn't even function after a week. I was like "I slept most of the day after a week." It was really weird, I was just like "What are you on about, you just don't know what you're talking about." I couldn't have worked. No way. Maybe if I'd not driven home but even then it wouldn't be ideal. I'm due back in next week on Monday.

Baybutt: Have got a lot planned for getting back to riding or something?

Dave: I'm going away on holiday... it's weird because I was having two weeks off, then two weeks on, and then another two weeks off at work. So I'm going to take them. I won't have my bike anyway. And then when I get back, I'll then start to ride again. And I've got a weekend away planned, at Golfie, the last weekend of September. I'm just going to take it real steady I think, and just see how I'll go. To be honest I hadn't really thought about riding at all. One I've said to myself I'm not, and two, I don't think I could anyway.

Baybutt: The offer of the gravel bike's there if you want it.

Dave: Yeah, probably when I get back from... I'll just see how I am when I get back. I'm just not pushing it. There's no point.

Baybutt: Why do you do it? Why do you like the ramps so much?

Dave: Buzz isn't it? You've got to love the buzz. It feels like you've achieved something. There's a lot of good ones in Europe, and it's just good crack getting everyone through them. I like riding technical downhills, don't get me wrong, and I love that as much as riding jumps but it's nice to be able to ride some ramps.

Baybutt: Is there some instant gratification, because you either make it or you crash and burn.

Dave: Yeah. I think maybe it's easier to find jumps that are a bit out of your comfort zone. Well not out of the comfort zone but on the limit of your ability.

Baybutt: Rather than technical downhills?

Dave: Yeah, I feel like it absolutely has to be pretty gnarly for me to be like "Shit I can't ride this."

Baybutt: Well that's a good assessment, so you like getting up to the limit of your capabilities.

Dave: I wouldn't say the limit.

Baybutt: But closer to it.

Dave: Closer to it, yeah. I ride... I think most of the time I'm riding pretty fast. I'm riding in my ability but I generally ride at the speed I would race at most of the time. I think some people don't and then turn it on for racing, but I ride at probably eighty, ninety percent of my limit most of the time. But I feel like that limit is quite controlled. When I go past that eighty, ninety percent it all gets a bit sketchy and then I can't control it. But I'm just on the cusp of...

Baybutt: But with jumps you feel like you can ride within yourself and just get the scary buzz of the unknown.

Dave: Yeah, I think you get a scary buzz on that sort of thing, when you're doing something a bit gnarly and you get a bit fucked or your body's done with... You get a buzz even if you can clear sweet, if even if you didn't clear it mint, you still get a buzz out of it.

Baybutt: That's a good way of putting it. Nice.

Dave: Yeah don't know.

Dave: I haven't really thought about riding at all to be honest. And I don't see myself riding... People said "Would you hit..." Within the week of doing it, people are like "Would you hit it again?" I'm like "Yeah I probably would." It is within my capability, but I don't know whether I'd take the risk on that jump again, but I'd definitely go and hit Air Voltage tomorrow if I felt all right.

Baybutt: So it's not put you off, that's all good.

Dave: No, I don't think so. Maybe I'll think a bit more about something that is on my limit. But a lot of things are within that limit so it's like well... I likened it to lockdown a little bit; I rode all the stuff that I'd not ridden before, the easy stuff. All the stuff I would never normally ride. But I was riding all the easy shit at mach ten and I was riding stuff that I'd not ridden before and I was riding fairly quick, and I was making mistakes because I didn't know it and it wasn't in my comfort zone, even though it technically should be, it kind of wasn't because I was riding stuff that was not familiar. And then as soon as I just went fuck it, I'm just going to ride my normal gnarly technical loop that I've ridden a million times, and as soon as I started doing that I was like "This is fine." I'm not thinking about not trying to crash, I'm just thinking about riding.

Dave: And that's what I want to go back when I start riding again is, I'm not going to think about "I shouldn't be doing this because I've got this." It's like I'll ride that, and if I'm going to ride it, if I'm not, I'm not.

Baybutt: So what would you say to somebody who's had a big stack, maybe bumped their head, maybe broken their arm, and how would they... something to get them back to riding or how they approach riding, once they're back from an injury.

Dave: I think it's a mindset anyway. I think a lot of people, and my mum especially is like, "What you're doing is so dangerous, you shouldn't be doing it anymore." My dad had a go at me yesterday, but... "You shouldn't be hitting your head, I'm not looking after you if you hit your head and get disabled or something." I don't go out to do that, and my mindset when I'm riding is not, I'm going to do something that's 120% way out of my comfort zone, or I don't know whether I'm going to make it or not. Everything I do, I know I'm going to make, I'm not going to do something if I don't know I can do it. But I think my brother would always say like "My brother would do something and it'd be sketchy, then I'd just do it and cruise it no problem at all." That'd be the difference, I'd always ride something that's within that comfort zone. I never ride well outside of it so I very rarely have really wild moments. It's normally pretty conscious. I feel in control, so you can ride in that regard the whole time.

Dave: Obviously push yourself at certain points but if you're riding way out of your comfort zone all the time you're going to crash. But if you're riding within your comfort zone and you're calculated and you know what causes you to crash then you're minimising that risk. Ride to minimise risk. Obviously my dad's always saying like "You shouldn't be hitting your head, you shouldn't be hitting your head." I've been riding fifteen years and had one crash that's ended up in hospital. I think that's a pretty good record really. There's not a lot of people who've ridden for that long and then not. I think part of that though is crashing quite a lot at a young age. Doing stupid dirt jumps and just crashing our brains out every day. But not serious crashes, so when I do crash, generally I'm not scared. I'm as in control of the situation as I can be, I'm not like "Right this is happening and I'm fucked." Even coming up to that jump when I did crash, I pushed through trying to make it.

Dave: I think work out where the line is, where you can ride safely but still get the buzz. That's the key bit. Just dialing it back a little bit or dialing it up a little bit just to try and find that limit. Like Ben, my mate Ben rides at like 120% all the time, super quick, super sketchy, will hit anything but it bites him quite a lot. Whereas a few people that ride down here know what's sensible and know what's right.

Baybutt: So you're saying don't stop riding just experiment where your limits are.

Dave: Yeah, yeah.

Baybutt: Ride within yourself to get as close to the limit as you can.

Dave: Yeah. I think it's just experience really. I guess some people are like "I've done a fifteen foot jump so I can do this fifteen foot jump." When it doesn't really work like that.

Baybutt: That's fair enough.

Dave: But it's kind of like not being too cautious as well because you'll never progress, you'll never really get the buzz.

Baybutt: Sweet. Thanks for chatting it through. I don't think we'll put the audio track up it's going to be a right mess of noise.

Dave: Yeah it will be a bit. No podcast for you!