Wednesday, April 16, 2008


We got out on the trail today after work. We went to Bennett Park, a new trail in our area, for the first time. It was great weather for riding, low 70s and fair. It was quite windy, but that didn't matter out in the woods. There was actually more to the trail than I originally thought and we ended up being out for about an hour and a half.
The first part of the trail was pretty mild. It was what Chris and a lot of other mountain bikers would call "boring," so I really liked it. There was nothing really gnarly about it, but it was pretty twisty. It reminded me of how poor my bike handling skills are. I'm actually really excited about riding this trail a lot this summer, because I think it will be good practice for me.

I came to the conclusion today that this summer is probably going to be full of hard lessons. Most of my mountain biking lately has been all about learning experiences. I don't think I'm going to end up having a lot of success this year on the bike, but if I stick with it, I think all of the experiences will help make me a better rider in the long run. So, even though I'm going to race Yankee this Sunday and I'm planning to do the other races I have on my schedule, they'll probably end up being more like training rides than actual races for me. Even so, I think they'll build my experience level better than just going out riding.

Honestly, it scared me even more than I was already scared about Yankee to see how much trouble I had today with an "easy" trail. I was slow and my technique was kind of pathetic. I clipped trees with my handlebars more than a couple times. I was also somewhat dismayed to find I couldn't make it up a lot of the small mounds of dirt (too small to even call hills) on the trail. I figured out later that they were so small I was expecting my momentum to carry me over them without pedaling and I wasn't going fast enough for that to work. I was doing things a little better by the end. Still, I was awfully tired when I finished considering the trail I'm going to be racing on Sunday is so much longer.

I did get a chance to try out some fuel during the ride. I ate some Clif Shot Blocks for the first time and those seemed to work out pretty well, though I have to work on my technique of getting them out of my jersey pocket.

All in all, I think it was a pretty successful ride. I had a good time despite being somewhat discouraged and tired at the end. I'm looking forward to riding this trail again.

I am also looking forward to getting on a plane bound for the Conch Republic three weeks from today.

And yes, I was wearing my cool Twin Six jersey again. I'll probably wear it out before the summer is over.


Chris said...

FTR, I didn't find any part of the trail boring. I did, however, get kind of dizzy in the hard woods section.

Anonymous said...

whose this puppy?