Saturday, January 5, 2013

Stare Climbing & Cross Training

I've lived in Richmond for 12 years.


And today was the first day that I really REALIZED that this James River Park System everyone is so excited about, is something to be excited about. Not sure if I should be embarrassed about this or not.

I'm going to stick with, "or not", cos embarrassment lends itself to awkwardness, and I'm too bada** today to be awkward.

Yep. It was like that.
not a terrible view...
I've always been an outdoor girl, but I'm not a hiker. I rode horses & ran road races, but neither of those things brought me to the JRPS. I ran past the park system parking lots. I ran near the parks themselves. I ran beside little strips of brown trails cut into the grass, without any knowledge or understanding that I was looking at single track.

So the thing is, if you get a mountain bike as sexy as my Kona AND are galactically badass AND ride it on trails in RVA with Gentlemen of the Roads Trails #GoTTrails, eventually you're going to have to go play in the JRPS.

PLAY is so seriously the RIGHT WORD.

That was a
way to spend almost 2 hours of my life.

I mean, it was a pleasant way to pass the morning, if you like riding a mountain bike over a fallen tree log/jump the size of a small pony!

ok ok... albeit a small sleeping pony... but why worry about semantics now? It was a pony sized jump. And it only took me 2 tries... the first one, yeah, well there may be a slight bruise... AND did I mention it ONLY took me TWO tries!

And after that, I tackled some rocks, a ditch, a few trips through the skills park, and some other silliness, and I wasn't too terribly timid. I did a lot of it. I 90% rode and 10% walked my bike through the sticky spots. Sticky spots are narrow and slick or too steep and I was in the wrong gear and couldn't get to the top... I mean, it could have happened that way.

TGL called back, "Just Keep Going and Don't Look Down!"

That's What She Said we echo'd from behind.

Considering I've been mtb on *this* bike for only a few rides, and only been mtb for a few weeks longer than that, I was pretty stoked about how I was doing.
I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'

And then...

TGL had a brilliant plan to carry our bikes up a flight of stairs to get to the Buttermilk Trail. Kona isn't particularly heavy or anything, but the stairs never ended. -->

Our instructions for large portions of the Buttermilk Trail included TGL's wisdom:
"Shift your weight back, lean forward, and Don't Look Down".
That's what She Said we echo'd from the rear.

At one point though, I got stuck. I stood there on my bike, frozen in space, staring at a treacherous looking descent, and I couldn't move. Like a deer in headlights I watched as the others took the hill. TGL took on the role of the professor, but even then, I just couldn't do it. Maybe next time. I was having a cleat issue/clip issue, which dissolved my waning confidence in the moment, but I can't blame the equipment.

I blame the lack of experience. And the only way to get experience at this, is to do epic shit...

Well, seriously though, I think in order to really enjoy mtb I need to learn to let go and just be. There's a level of self trust that has to happen in tandem. I'm not very good at being in the moment, I'm an over thinker by nature, but sometimes mtb gets me as close to just being as... moving on.

The buttermilk trail was mad crazy FUN. Obviously someone with a LOT more technology than me made that video. 

This isn't me, but
this IS SO what I did today.
From there we rode elsewhere and it's very very possible that I RODE MY BIKE DOWN A FLIGHT OF STAIRS TODAY...
my new wise feme mtb hero, who's name is too cool for words aka Fear-dra, yelled out, "It's just a flight of stairs GBA GF, you can do it!"
TGL called, "Just go for it, keep your eye on the finish line and don't look down"
That's what She Said I echo'd as I rode my bike down a short flight of stairs....

and this too.
Our ride ended with a race against the clock, bolting at top MTB speed (so, not relatively fast, but loads more fun than road riding because there was mud flying EVERYWHERE) back via the Fire Roads to drop me at the sucktastic beige minivan so I could go to my 13 year old's birthday party on time...

BEST DAY EVER on a bike.

I like this Cross Training so much that it's starting to interfere with my running... er, and training... um.

~Savor the Ride~

1 comment:

Pam said...

You're such a badass.