Monet Adams battled a mountain of bad luck to get into the start gate this year … and the bad luck just kept coming.
Here’s the story of Monet’s season of shit luck and broken bones.
You could say it was not to be.
A race that was never supposed to happen.
I say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and I ain’t dead yet. I don’t think you can make your own luck, but you can definitely water your own grass.
I often get asked how I manage to have such bad luck, I don’t know, I don’t think I do, I just try spinning lots of plates at the same time. Casualties are inevitable, but lying awkwardly on my side surrounded by paramedics I wasn’t thinking about how unlucky I was, quite the opposite in fact. I was reciting the presidents of America and capitals of the world, to distract myself for my newly angular left arm, all the while realizing how lucky I am, or at least have been, I’ve been riding bikes for 10 years. And at Lourdes World Cup opener I had my first crash big enough to result in a snapped bone and surgery – I think that’s a pretty good run.
The months leading up to Lourdes were challenging, I had a few set backs, but my commitment to my training and riding were snowballing and providing new opportunities. When my Morewood was stolen a few weeks before the Portugese National, Wideopenmag came forward and asked me to test the new Vitus Dominer. That was a silver lining at least.
Got to keep it real, right?
I flew out to Faro at 6am on a Friday morning, rented a sweet car, whizzed up to Sao Bras Alporto and had 6 dusty fun runs and a track walk smashed out by 5PM. The race weekend was super fun, I was buzzing from start to finish and the weather was great. I qualified first with a 5 second gap, and then overcooked it a bit in my final and blew off track half way down. Still 2nd and I had the UCI points I needed. Lourdes World Cup was now on.
Next stop was Ride Portugal and Brian’s tracks were amazing. Every take off and corner has been sculpted to perfection, but its nothing like a bike park, its ALL gnarly. Throughout the week we rode tracks that were exhilarating and a bit terrifying in equal measure, finished by a super last minute photoshoot at 6am before driving 6 hours north to the next national just north of Lisbon.
This race was full of Brits and other World level pros looking for points and last minute tuning opportunities. I was keen to hold it together and ride to third, go home unscathed, points heavy and ready to hit the rest of the season. Myriam Nicol proved her rocket abilities to take the win whilst Manon struggled a little bit with her setup, I rounded off the podium pretty happily and was almost tempted to spank my winnings on a hotel rather than a night at the airport. Good sense won in the end and I slept on the airport floor. Got to keep it real, right?
The van was imminently about to drop its arse on the floor
The next test was the British Downhill Series. My main challenge was just getting there. My van had an MOT and my dad discovered I had snapped the leaf springs and the van was imminently about to drop its arse on the floor. I caught a lift up with Sam Dugon and Jess Greaves. Between the three of us there was no gossip left in the World to be had after that drive!
The midges kindly avoided the uplift queue this year, and the track had the best top section I ever ridden at Ae. I really enjoy a piece of track that you can keep hitting faster and faster, and I was just getting to the point of comfort on my bike. It had taken a little while to get used to a new suspension linkage and a bigger bike and the slight wheel size change up to 650b. I had mastered cornering slightly harder, slightly earlier, and of the ‘no problem’ 650b that made it seem smoother in places.
I was starting to feel about home on my new Vitus Dominer and something I really liked straight away was the length of the back end. On steeper tracks and into corners, you’re naturally weighting the back end and controlling speed, which I found boosted my confidence on the bike. I came away from Ae with a 4th place, a spot on the podium and a medal.
The track looked really challenging, really fast.
The Wednesday before Lourdes approached and everything was so dialed in, I was so OCD about everything being right that I had planned my meals for the full trip and written an exact shopping list so it could be done in it allocated slot of time. I managed to get to Gatwick airport in plenty of time and walked into check in to find my flights had been changed to go via Barcelona. And then to find them delayed. And finally to see them cancelled before my eyes.
With no flights I had to think fast. I got on Facebook and eventually managed to intercept the Dirt Magazine massive and stow away in their van and get on the road. Despite all of the challenges, the stolen bikes and the cancelled flights I made it to Lourdes in time for a track walk… and it looked amazing! The track looked really challenging, really fast.
Then nail it again … faster
Before I knew it I was on the track and it was awesome! First run down I hit ‘The Wall’. On the second run I hit the second road gap. It was definitely a track that paid to section. Look first, see what potential lines there were, choose one, and nail it. Then nail it again … faster.
“When rag dolling had finished I thought I had broken my ribs.”
I was up bright and early the next day for practice. With only two hours I knew I had a lot of things on track to tick off … Not least the first gap that I had been dubious of all weekend. It was a big, mean jump out of a turn with a decent sized gap. I knew I had to just hit it and get it done if I wanted to do well in my qualie run. I followed Chain Reaction’s Elliot Heap in to the jump, trying to match his speed and confidence.
I knew as I took off it was squiffy. I don’t really know what happened only that when I landed I was heading in one direction and my bike was going the other. When rag dolling had finished I thought I had broken my ribs. I reached to touch them and found my arm wasn’t moving as it was told to.
And there I was. Full of morphine and lying awkwardly on my side surrounded by paramedics I wasn’t thinks about how unlucky I was, quite the opposite in fact. I was reciting the presidents of America and capitals of the world, to distract myself for my newly angular left arm. And that was the end of that.
Everything that’s not broken
A couple of months later and I’m making great progress. It’s going to be a while before I’m racing but I’m back riding my bike and after 4 months I’m riding steep trails again.
The recovery was slower than I wanted it to be. I first rode Marc Beaumont’s bike down the street at the Fort William World Cup which felt awesome. I’ve learnt to draw with my other arm and I’m getting back into printing with one (and a bit) arms. I took the time to go to the Fort William World Cup so I didn’t miss out on at least watching the racing. I’ve also been hitting the gym with MTBStrengthFactory and working on everything that’s not broken.
The doctors aren’t saying exactly how long it’ll be – but I’m guessing I’ll be riding properly by the end of the summer and ready to race. Whatever happens I’ll be back and racing in 2016. I just want to get back on my downhill bike, travel, race and I’m more determined than ever.
Wish me luck – what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger right?