Ever see the movie, "Dr. Strangelove"? At the end, when Slim Pickens is sitting astraddle the A-Bomb and it finally drops free from the B-52 is one of the most iconic images in the movies.
"Yee-haaaw!" he shouts, as he rides the bomb downward, toward total annihilation.
I often saw that scene in my mind when I would ride as stoker on Bill Turner's tandem. I got on the back of that purple Specialized, fully expecting to die, but determined to enjoy my trip to Ground Zero.
I remember one time, as we raced the Buffalo Creek course, that we hit the long downhill section, on Lap 2. I simply closed my eyes and pedaled as hard as I could. I was laughing, long and hard, as we shredded trail at a speed probably close to double what I would have achieved on a single bike by myself. Bill is a much better rider than I, and I had learned early on to just trust him and hold on.
"Yee-haaaw!" I screamed as we descended, worry-free and loving the tandem.