Monday, September 15, 2008

An Eye Opener

After almost two months without a true Mountain bike ride, I had zero expectations going into this weekend. Would it be possible to actually “ride myself into fitness” as the great Palmetto Solo had once typed?

After close to 60 miles of pure gravel and singletrack this weekend, I can almost say this is true.

Let it be known that it has been approximately two years since I have had any sort of suspension on my bike. Currently I have the blue Monkey set up with a triple stack (gears) and an 80mm Reba. In all honesty, I feel as though I have converted to a downhill bike and I feel sorry for that little fork. I imagine her life will be short but I will do my best to prolong it.

Saturday was a day to test myself, the wrist and my new Mountain Machine to the fullest. A good route had been planned by Cook and I jumped on for part of the ride. Ascending the trails was not awful but I am not in shape, yet. My first real test in descending had me grinning ear to ear and I as soon as I made the first switchback, I realized that it all came back to me just as though I were riding a bike. . . wait a second.

There was a point in the past, where I thought that my descending was not affected by a rigid fork, I was either completely wrong or in total denial. On Saturday, I was able to blast through anything the trail threw at me and with no wrist pain whatsoever (I am currently wearing a brace while I ride)!! GAME ON!

I must admit that some of the more precarious tree fells had me apprehensive. Pisgah is starting to get wet and slimy again as it should be and the thought of catching myself with the bad wrist has led to many walks across those slippery suckers.

Sunday was to be a long day in the woods of Dupont. A couple not so far away out-of-towners came up and we set out with a good crew for an all day adventure. I was just hoping my legs could take me the approximate 40 miles that I had planned for the day.

Our first loop had a couple highlights including a descent of Burnt Mountain and Big Rock that left the group smiling. It makes me smile every time I ride the big rock garden on Burnt Mountain.

The second half of the day included some super fast rolling terrain along with one rocky descent that left me with my first flat on the new bike. After my second slowest tube change ever, we were off and by the end of the day I was running on empty and luckily I had a friend in the back of the pack with me for motivation.

I was in denial during my absence off of the bike. I denied the fact that I wanted to go fast through the woods. I denied everything I loved about mountain biking. It all came back in a gigantic surge of emotion this weekend. It came back as though I had drunk a gallon of OJ in the ninth hour of hallucinogenic binge into the unknown depths of the psyche. I did as any good hippie would do; I just sat back and let the surge take me over.



My name is Stephen said...

congrats on getting back on the bike, sounds like you had a great weekend.

Robert said...

sorry i missed sunday, saturday took a bit out of me. looking forward to getting back to town for some wednesdays. good to have you back on the bike, and finally ride with you.