Tuesday, March 24, 2009

How to Dismount a Mountain Bike

Man, Tuesday night I tried my hand at mountain biking for the first time since last Summer. I am hoping to get into some races this year. Also, I hope to improve my handling skills for a more successful season at cyclocross.

Unfortunately I think work has me a bit stressed out. I intended to go out easy and just get a sense of cornering. But then I wanted to keep up with the group — so I kept pushing my skills to my limits (which are low...). I made it through the first two trails at East Fork without difficulty.

But then the last trail is a bit more technical. Rolling out I immediately (like in the first ten feet!) flipped over the handle bars. I was making a sweeping downhill turn as my front wheel went wide and ran into a sapling. I went over the handle bars and my elbow smashed into my ribs as I hit the ground, knocking the wind out of me. Ugh. But I dusted myself off and got back to it.

Then I did it again rolling onto a bridge... This time I found myself lying on the bridge as my bike was clipped into one leg hanging off the side. As I remounted I realized my brake was rubbing against my new wobbly front wheel. I realized I left my tools back at the car. So I kept on.

After riding a few logs well in the first couple trails I thought I was better than I was. This time there was a downed limb hanging just off the ground. I can bunny hop it right? Wrong. This time I hurt my pride.

I became a crab and began to doubt my abilities as a cyclist. "I don't belong here. I am a hack. You have trained so hard for nothing. You're not even a road cyclist. Just go back to riding the bike path. That's all you can hack."

So I officially had a meltdown in front of everyone when they stopped to wait for me. I AM SO SORRY. I need to channel some CHI or ZEN or LOVE. My hopes were dashed back there... But Joe and Kurt and the others eventually dusted off my shattered ego and once on the easier trail I did my best to crush it. THANK YOU HOMIES! I look forward to riding behind you again soon!

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