Sunday, December 7, 2014

Surprising Myself

Hill on Middle Mother's Day
(Written around September 18th)
I decided that today would be a good day to test the waters and try a couple spots by myself. There is a chance of rain the next couple days; one can’t waste an opportunity!

My ride didn’t really start out the best and I was a bit unsure if I would actually ride “well” as I felt wobbly and such. I had to session the rock garden on IPT because for whatever reason I was fumbling. 

I had to session the uphill turn on North 40 a few times as well. Having to work on stuff that I’ve started to not really struggle on makes me feel a little nervous for the rest of the ride.

My goal was to ride the Mother’s Day trails and work on the hill up into Rattlesnake. That meant a lot of riding, well; I turned it into a lot of riding. I rode through part of the East Pines and cut into Little Big Horn at GT park. I rode down Fred’s and up Randy’s to Backside and went onto Captain’s and from there-Upper Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day intimidates me in a few areas. You have dips to ride down and up which have a ledge that will literally have you fall down into a small valley (or whatever you want to call it)…I’ve never been a fan of legit “ledges” and I do actually dislike the feeling of “height.” Why do you think I don’t look down over the side of Gunnar as I ride? Anyways….

One tip I didn’t do extremely well on and could’ve gone over sideways, but I was able to secure my footing and save myself from falling. I opted to try the spot again and managed to do it much more fluidly the second time. Alright. Great! I’m riding this without moral support.

A tight hairpin turn later and I’m on Middle Mother’s Day. Hill #1 was accomplished and I could see ahead Hill #2 (the one that I fell off of the first time I was on Mother’s Day and recently accomplished). Travis’ words were in my head “momentum is your friend” and I pedaled as hard as I could. Up and over, ya’ll!
Hill to accomplish on Rattlesnake

I made my way to lower and down Boa and came out on Ice Cave Road. All in all it was a success; now onto my next challenge, riding up Rattlesnake. Problem for me is I had Travis as a beacon so I could find the entrance…this time I didn’t have him ahead of me and it appeared before I was really ready. I still made a go, but I wasn’t stable and got hung up on some roots. Oh well. It took a few attempts for me to get everything aligned right (momentum, speed, control, traction) and I got myself up that hill and continued on my way!

Looking down Lower Backbone
half-way up.
Done!

Travis and I had walked up the lower half of Backbone, but I thought (even tho the hill looked so dang steep) I would give it a shot and see how far I could ride up. Well, I made it probably more than half-way before I spun out on a root. Awesome! I looked down, looked up, and made the decision to walk down to the base and try the hill again. This time reminding myself that I should squat more vs. stand…next thing you know I’m staring at the sign “Lower Randy’s” and feeling really accomplished. 

Not a bad climb and not the most amazing thing ever, but beneficial for leg and lung strength.

I didn’t want to be quite done yet, and I opted to ride up New Backside and ride my way back to where you could ride down Old Randy’s or down Upper Randy’s. I wanted to work on getting around the corners. Then I rode down to Lower Randy’s and out the Luge. Oh man, the Luge was super fun today! At one point I caught a wee bit of air and let out a “whoo!” My legs were tired but I felt great!

I met Travis in our alley as he came home to retrieve the bagels he had left in our fridge. I shared my accomplishments and got a hug. I’ll admit, there are times where I really wish I was out riding with him so I could have encouragement when I feel I need it, but I do love telling him what I was able to accomplish on my own because of his instruction.

It feels really good to be riding trails that I never thought I’d be skilled enough to accomplish. Needless to say, I’ve surprised myself.

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