Monday, June 24, 2019

Is it growing on me: mountain bike update

Happy Monday!   Another work week is upon us.  I am totally blown away to realize that this will be the last week of June!   Where has time gone?   This year is flying by!!!!   I am sure some of the fast passage of time is due to the long work days and commutes...and of course we have kept so busy over the weekends...and that has added to the speed of time.

Before I go into the weekend of bike rides, I am proud to announce that we got out two times after work.  Why yes, we rode our bikes twice after work last week.   Not perfect, but a really good start!!!

This past weekend was no different.   We knew we had a few obligations so we planned out our bike rides.  Therefore, Saturday morning rolled around and we were headed out by 9 or so!   We headed to a bike trail that we have been doing pretty much weekly.  We knew that this was only going to be a lighter easy ride because of time constraints.   It was just that.  However, the ride winds us uphill...and then we go up a steep fire road to get to our current favorite trail in that park (ok, ok,’s the main trail we ride in that park...I’m thinking exploration of some more of that parks trail system is in our near future!). Once we get onto the trail we are mostly uphill until we get to the upper parking lot. I have managed to climb the fire road without having to stop to walk.  Just last weekend I managed to navigate that trail without stopping.   BUT, I have always had to take a break between the two sections.   On Saturday I climbed the fire road and I didn’t take my customary break.  I just turned right onto the trail and kept riding.  I rode my heart out and did not stop until I got to the upper parking lot.  I had a momentary thought of taking a ride  around the parking lot and heading back down the trail with no break.  However, I figured that I had already had a major victory....and that a little basking in my glory was in order!     Victory.....Ahhh it sure does feel sweet!

We ran our errands and completed our tasks Saturday afternoon.  My legs were a bit ...well I can’t even say sore.  They weren’t sore but they were tired.

Sunday morning we headed to the Trail Of Tears.  Oh yeah, apparently just conquering it last week was NOT enough. Noooooo, we went back!  (Jason is such a slave driver!  Shhhhh don’t tell him that I said this, but it’s good for me!). It wasn’t exactly easy.   But I had a few victories. 

Never in my life have I been fast enough to ride up on a group of riders.  But on Sunday I did.  We arrived at the trailhead and we saw some bikers heading out.  We took our time getting ready to give them some space and then headed out.   Within a mile I was nipping at their heels. What?   No....we slowed down and killed time and then started riding again.    Once again I was back to nipping at their heels.   It was a totally new experience.   They did leave us after about 3 miles...mostly because we stopped for a bit...but then again, maybe they took a side trail because this is an out and back trek and we never saw them again.  Hmmm.

The second victory?   I did have to walk a few times on the way to the turn around.   I think it was two or three times.  I also did have to walk up two hills at the beginning of the return trip after the turn around.  But about 3-4 miles into the return trip I realized that I had only had to walk twice since we turned around.  I started to think about the near impossible feat (for me).  Could I make it the rest of the way without stopping to walk?   Last week I had walked multiple sections...but I had already rolled those sections.  Could I do it?   I was going to try!   I almost failed twice.  The first time I was ready to give up...but then saw some hikers on the uphill section that I was struggling to climb.   Heck no was I going to walk with people looking!!!!  I somehow found the strength.   The last time was at the very end.   I held it together simply  because I knew how utterly close to the end I was!  And I made it at least 5.5 miles with no walking!

No that’s not to say that we didn’t break.   We stopped once or twice to let a biker go by.  We also stopped at one stream crossing to enjoy the scenery and drink some more water.  It wasn’t perfect...but I can see improvement!  It is still tough, but there are improvements

Sooo. At the turn around Jason asked if I was having fun.   I refused to admit any such thing!!!  (And that’s what I said...I admit nothing!).  It’s hard though...still sooooo incredibly hard.  But the fun times are starting to pop through!  Just don’t tell Jason...because I can’t admit it to him...I’m having too much fun calling him a slave driver or my personal favorite...I call him Hitler!    Don’t feel too bad for him though...I give kisses as I hurl my names at him!    But being honest...I’m finding it more difficult to come up with insults about the trail of tears.   I do refuse to acknowledge the beauty...I just say ‘I can’t tell, there is too much sweat rolling into my eyes’.  He knows the truth though.   And that truth????  It’s kinda...dare I say.... growing on me?