Mountain Biking

Sadly, I do not have a Wordless Wednesday post for you guys today.  This is partly because I am really not doing anything much of interest that doesn’t involve fruit preservation and the like, and you guys have already had your fill of that, I’m sure.  It’s also partly because I’ve been feeling kind of…blaaah lately.  Not all the time–in the mornings when I’m running I feel awesome.  But after that the day just drags on and on and I don’t really feel like I’m getting anything accomplished…blah.  I’m the kind of person who needs structure in her life, and when that isn’t provided for me by a rigorous wake-eat-school-run-homework-eat-cockatiel QT-sleep schedule, I tend to get kind of frayed at the edges.  Part of me looks forward to September 5, when all things scholarly will be officially starting up again, and part of me is still reveling in the profound lack of homework we are all experiencing right now.

You guys have probably figured out by now that when my posts aren’t “Wordless”, they tend to be kind of verbose! 😉

Onto the topic of this post.  Last weekend we loaded up the family’s bikes and headed down to a local forest with lots of trail rides.  I have to admit I was pretty psyched by the prospect–in fact, that was going to be this week’s Wordless Wednesday post.  I got out my camera and took pictures of pumping up the tires, my water bottle, the bike rack, the lifetime supply of granola bars we brought, my breakfast…you know, the essentials. 😉  I soon realized, however, that it would not be feasible to try to take pictures while we were on the ride.  I was too busy gripping the handlebars for dear life.

I wanted to blog about my first time mountain biking because it was such a terrifying unique experience and I like to keep tabs on all the new activities I’m trying out.  I think I would like to go again this weekend…but at the same time, I felt like I was going to die while I was doing it.  Maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad if we didn’t accidentally start out on the “Lost Valley” course or whatever it was and actually tried the beginner route first, but it was still highly…exhilerating, to say the least.

I have a new kind of respect for mountain bikers now.  Before we got to the forest I was picturing mountain biking as being just like road biking, except on a mountain bike and with pretty scenery.

Hooo boy was I wrong.  We pulled up to the campground and I soon realized we were looking at biking along something that looked like this…

Hills all the way.  Giant stumps in the middle of the path.  Your front tire only just barely narrow enough to ride along the path in the first place.  MUD.  Gah, it was scary.

Little bro crashed twice.  I was pretty far ahead of him, so it was both painful and sadistically amusing to listen to his wails, increasing in intensity as he teetered ever closer to whatever he was going to crash into.  He finally felt like he was getting compensated for his “suffering a lot of pain” when I took a picture of his knee “injury” to post on here…

 

Because this blog is so famous.  Obviously.

To give him credit, the picture doesn’t really do it justice.  He did take a bad spill and cut it open, along with some bruising.  But nothing too serious.  Heck, my knee would have looked worse than that if I hadn’t walked my bike 7/8 of the course.  I’m not a wimp.  I just feared for my life.

When we finally realized we were on the wrong course (actually, it wasn’t a realization so much as an older, wiser, experienced man taking pity on us, pulling over and suggesting kindly that we backtrack and try the beginner trail.  To our incredulous, “Weren’t we on that one already?”. I believe in the goodness of people again!) and made it back to the campground, Dad and I took off sans-bro-and-mom to take a spin on the beginner trail.  I appreciated this one heartily.  Lots of uphill, which I liked because I had to work at it and I felt secure.  But coming back on the downhill scared the crap out of me.  I love thrill rides and the like because I know there’s no danger of me actually dying…mountain biking doesn’t have that same secure feeling for me, especially when squeezing my handbrake as hard as I can and still hurtling over the dirt at mach speed.

I think we’re giving it another go soon though.  I’m a bit nervous but I like a challenge. 😉  I’ll let you guys know how it works out!  In the meantime, I must do something productive with my summer…does blogging count? 😉

Are there any experienced mountain bikers out there who could volunteer some tips about getting over the “I’m dying, I’m dying, and now there’s a root in my path and it’s going to send me flying over the handlebars” phobia?

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