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Lessons in mountain biking

Posted Nov 06 2008 11:41pm

Recently, I finally hit some real mountain biking trails. I feel that I have been missing out on something truly great. I completely get it. Already I have accomplished things on the bike that I never thought possible. It seems that whatever appears on the trail in front of me, I will get past it. Every log, every rock, every root I (for lack of a better technical term) boofed, I laughed out loud. For every root or rock, I (for lack of a better technical term) ‘foobed’, I had a great smile on my face. I am loving it. In just a few trips, I have learned a lot.

Clearance is only as high as your lowest pedal (which can be quite low).

Wheels have more than one master: you and the terrain.

You can go too slow.

You can go too fast (well, that's what I hear, but I haven't really tested it yet)

Biking can be a full body workout.

It is an amazing feeling to have your every fiber totally focused on not dying.

Adrenaline is not having a car whiz by you on a hill with a blind curve, it is picking your way down a steep, rocky slope and letting go of the brake.

Camelbaks can keep water cold for hours.

I love that surviving the down hills can feel like just as big an accomplishment as conquering the up hills.

Taking up something physical was absolutely the best thing to do. I have literally felt anger melt away.

What goes down, must come up.

Getting over the fear, trusting myself, and to a greater extent, the bike, is just awesome.

I talk to myself a lot when I am working hard.

In mountain biking, you don't have the time to sit back and check out the other guys stuff. You pass in a blur, exchanging a quick greeting, or a knowing nod, that yeah, this is tough. In kayaking you can hold entire conversations in passing, while discovering the brand and model of their boat, paddle, pfd, even their water bottle choice. In biking all I see is that they have a bike, maybe a helmet, and they are going a lot faster than I am.

Bike shorts are great...which leads me to the spandex.

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