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Downhill…isn’t always easier!

Posted Aug 22 2013 7:43am

It hurts to grip my steering wheel, or even rub my hands together. My knee is beautifully bruised and my thighs ache. I got out of bed yesterday and kind of wished I was a dude because sitting to pee hurt.

Not exactly what I was expecting to feel the day after downhill biking. When we made last minute plans to go downhill biking at Vail I figured it would be a lot easier than the regular mountain biking I was used to. I mean, we got to ride a life up the mountain then basically coast down.

It felt a lot easier while we were riding but it became painfully obvious that we were using muscles that had been dormant for far too long! Especially our hands…I definitely had a death grip on my brakes!

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Views from the top of Vail Mountain

On Tuesday we headed up to Vail to meet up with some friends visiting from Wisconsin and take on downhill mountain biking for the first time. I was nervous. No one will ever tell you that I excel at mountain biking. Instead, everyone will tell you I’m a complete pansy on the downhill. I can hold my own on the uphill but that is kind of a useless skill when you’re ride a gondola!

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Hank’s Hideaway & Radio Flyer

My favorite run of the day was Radio Flyer, hands down. The trickiest part of that entire run is probably the first 50 feet, beyond that it is 2.3 miles of rolling, flowing, banking swoops. I may not have been very quick – the guys definitely had to wait for me – but I had a lot of fun looping through the trees at my own pace! A huge perk to going during the week is the complete lack of crowds. I think it would have been a lot more stressful on a busy weekend!

By the time we found Radio Flyer we only had time for two runs before the storms rolled in. At 2pm on the dot the thunder started to roll. We only felt a few sprinkles but the hope of getting down in time for one more lift ride up had me hitting Radio Flyer a lot faster the second time – my feet may not have stayed on my pedals but they did stay off the ground! I rode the entire run as quickly as possible and didn’t crash…instead I had a ton of fun on it! Maybe downhill isn’t so bad after all…

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The guys taking the PMT trail across a ski run

Initially we were a little worried about riding at a resort with our bikes. Luckily most of the trails were bearable on our hard tail bike {no rear suspension} but it was also quite obvious how beneficial a full suspension bike. The riders on soft tails seemed to just float along the trails that rattled our teeth. These were also the trails that did a real number on my hands and thighs.

When you ride downhill on a mountain bike you usually stand up on your peddles and lean back to reposition your center of gravity over the rear tire. Your thighs naturally hug the bike saddle, meaning they get a beating. On the plus side, this means your butt gets to avoid bouncing around on a hard saddle. My thighs are tender, but at least sitting in my car doesn’t hurt!

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They all survived a black diamond…I took a green to meet them at the bottom!

It was a whole new experience for us and while we aren’t pricing out new full suspension bikes just yet they are definitely working their way up our “must have” list of gear. Just watching the downhill riders’ bikes absorb the terrors of the terrain made the money required for a soft tail seem justified! Sometime soon we’ll have new bikes, with full suspension…

The post Downhill…isn’t always easier! appeared first on run.around.aroo .

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