Monday, June 11, 2012

This week's bruises brought to you by Jumping Pound Loop

My new endeavour into mountain biking has gotten off to a rather bumpy/fall off the bike kind of start..... I'm now a full fledged member of Spin Sisters Mountain Bike Club.  I'm trying to get in at least one mtn bike ride each week, as I still have my 2 triathlons to do - June 10, Wasa Sprint; June 17, Victoria 1/2 Ironman.

First stop - Spin Sisters "bike skills" clinic.  They did a great job and had a large group of us - 51!  Beautiful sunny morning was spent on the grass at Bowness Park learning some basic skills.  Then off to the other side of the river (Bowmont Park) for uphill and downhill techniques.  OK so far, feeling rather confident....

Afternoon was actually out on the trails.  We're on a steep hill, the trail is only 12" wide at the most, then down to the river (no escape, no trees/bushes to impede falling into the river).  They keep referring to it as "single track", I'm thinking "death track".  Big hill, skinny trail, corners of trail eroding into river = I'm going to die today.  Through many heart rate spikes and adrenaline rushes of fear, I did survive the day.  I was very UNconfident as the afternoon carried on.

Mtn biking is so different than road biking....
Road biking - go faster, go farther; downhill = bigger gear, pedal, go faster, stay as aero as possible to transition up the hill and keep your speed/cadence up.
Mtn biking - pick your line, gearing has to be dead on, look where you want to go - yes, you will magically avoid the rocks and be able to ride over the roots!!  Stay alert, keep your eyes up the trail, so much concentration.

Mtn bike # 2 - Bowmont Park again.  Pretty much same outcome as 1st ride, except I fall off the bike and slide into the thorny bushes. I really need to shave my legs more often, would've been easier to distinguish the thorns from actual hair!  Picking thorns out of leg for rest of week b/c now they're red and oozing a bit - now I can distinguish hair from thorn quite easily!  Contemplating giving this up - scaring the hell out of me, how many bruises can one body take, I'm too old for this S*!t.  Oh wait, INDIA, ride on Spin Sister....

Mtn bike #3 - Fish Creek Park.  I've never actually been here.  OK, I may survive after all.  Only a little bit of the "death track" at the beginning of the ride.  Don't know if I'll ever gain confidence on that.  Then we are in amongst the trees, roots, up/down.  Still falling off bike regularly, but felt so much better this ride.  Still came home with new bruises, but long pants, prevent getting whacked by bushes and no thorns lodged in legs.

Mtn bike #4 - Jumping Pound Loop.  Really enjoyed this ride.  Confidence improving slightly.  Like that there's not much likelihood of getting lost, 1 trail = 1 loop.  Still lots of walking - 10 km in just over 2 hours.  We had a ride leader for this ride and she was great - thanks Michelle.  Since we're the "scooter" group (beginners) we have lots of stops and starts.  This trail had everything, EXCEPT death track, I continued to fall off the bike and collect a new set of bruises.  Even one on my abdomen.  Considering clipless pedals on the mountain bike.....

Mtn bike now at Speed Theory for major tune.  Next stop Wasa.

Ciao, Cindy

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