Re-Visiting Mother's Day

(Written September 10th)
It was a grey day with the possibility of rain later in the afternoon and into the next, so what should one do? Ride!

I went out for about an hour and a half before Travis and I would go out for lunch. It had rained a little the night before, but the trails were excellent if not bordering on slightly dry in a couple areas. When I came home I sent Travis a message “We should go out today, even if it’s just for an hour! The trails are excellent.

Much to my happiness, Travis agreed and decided it would be a great day to take out the customized Krampus he built, but to also explore some new trails.

I still get that nervous feeling in my stomach when something “new” is brought up. It was suggested we go explore the Baker Village trails by bike. I remembered when we went on a hike on the trails; overall I wasn’t too intimidated by them.

Riding the trails up in that area didn’t take long at all, however, for a fun downhill you had to ride back up a paved walking trail to get to the top. I’ll admit that the long, sustained climb really pushed my lungs to their limit. It also brings forth some feelings of frustration because I may never be as “good” in that area as I wish I would be. You can’t really change exercise induced asthma, however you can appreciate that you got up a hill a heck of a lot better this day than you would’ve 5 months ago. Small victories count.
We came back to the trail where we rode up on and took the path down the side of the hill down. It was SO fun! Travis noted the smile I had spread across my face ear-to-ear and I felt giddy!
At the top of the walking trail, the Baker Village trails meet here.

We had to figure out what to ride next, and since we were near Ice Cave Road, figured that today would be the day to re-introduce me to the Mother’s Day trails. I rode these trails a few months ago and experienced a tip-over off the side of an incline that I didn’t know how to ride up. Because of this and my nervousness or shall I say, lack of confidence in my abilities, I’ve avoided the Mother’s Day trails. I wanted Travis to take me out and help me overcome my nervousness and help me figure out how the heck to get up that hill.

Travis at the top of the hill on Middle Mother's Day
There are some spots on Boa and Mother’s Day trails that make me nervous. The bank you ride up, being along an edge; I can say I’m not a fan of heights. I managed to make each swoop and found that the trickiest area was a trail section littered with acorns. I had almost made it to the top of a hill before I spun out. I also found myself physically challenged-the Mother’s Day trails have a lot of climbing to them which is a bit more sustained and longer than most other trails I ride. I am well aware that months ago I wouldn’t have been very successful riding these paths. I’m still in awe over how much my body has changed and improved for strength and endurance.

We rode Lower Mother’s Day to a section of Boa that led us to the top of the Dunnings trails. From there we took Upper Mother’s Day to Middle; the hill came up sooner than I anticipated. Travis explained that I needed to attack the hill, a goal-get to the small tree off to the right, once there I’d be fine. I had to psych myself up and remind myself I’m more experienced at riding now than I was. My first attempt was an almost-success, but I fell a little short. It was deduced that I was in too easy of a gear, so I shifted one click down and tried again. Success! No longer did I feel the need to avoid the Mother’s Day trails now, and would be able to start riding them on a more regular basis. (Preferable another time or two with Travis in the lead.)

Looking down the hill
on Middle Mother's Day
After we completed my goal of riding the Mother’s Day trails, I opted to take us on my usual Van Peenen loop. I wanted to show Travis my success with the few spots I’ve been working on during the past week. The Yard Sale hill, rock garden, and the North 40 climb-those were spots I wanted to succeed on and have Travis see how hard I worked.

It’s fun to hear Travis comment about how well I’m doing with mountain biking. He brought up that he was surprised how well I took to mountain biking. A devote paved trail rider prior to riding dirt; it was a riding practice that Travis felt sure I would not fall in love with. Now I’m riding mountain bike trails almost daily. I’m overcoming challenges, testing limits, and re-invigorating my sense of self. 

I'm growing stronger physically and on a mental/emotional level. Travis said he felt that anyone riding with me would feel inspired by what I'm doing. I shrugged, smiled, and said "I try!"