Mountain Biking: Full Restriction

Note: this is an April Fools joke that was originally posted April 1, 2011.

So I got a bit of bad news from my health insurance company today: I’m officially banned from riding my mountain bike. Apparently all the claims mudhunny and I have made over the past few years – stitches, broken bones, pulled muscles – have cost the company a fortune. They raised our rates twice in 2010 and at this point they can’t legally charge us any more so it’s either drop us or make us sign a statement saying we won’t ride mountain bikes anymore.

My first reaction was to say screw it – we don’t need health insurance – but then I started adding up the medical bills in my head and realized going without would cost us an arm and a leg (pun intended). Then I thought we’ll just sign the statement and be super careful whenever we ride. Sure, that takes some of the fun out of mountain biking but I suppose that’s the price we have to pay.

So I signed the form and just before putting it into the envelope I glanced at some of the fine print and read this:

[name redacted] reserves the right to monitor the actions of the covered party through any legal means including, but not limited to, covert observation, social network data collection, and/or third party interviews. (emphasis mine)

WTF! Seriously? Apparently these guys aren’t messing around. Unfortunately we really need this coverage so there’s not much I can do about it (we’ve shopped around and other insurers have similar policies, especially given our past mountain bike injuries).

So, from this point on I won’t be able to write about mountain biking, post photos or videos on singletracks, or even attend MTB-related events for fear the insurance investigators will cancel my policy. I guess I can’t complain – it’s been a fun 17 years on the bike and running for the last 12 years has been amazing. I’ll still continue to work on the site but I won’t be able to blog or ride trails anymore. As such, we’ve also come up with a new slogan for the site: for mountain bikers, by a (former) mountain biker. I think it’s sorta catchy (and way better than my first idea – for mountain bikers, by a couch potato).

Hopefully this is just a temporary setback and after two years of good behavior we can find a new health insurance provider. I’m already stoked for April 1, 2013!

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