Sunday, October 21, 2012

and I get tossed again

I went out for a ride this morning, not really feeling it. Actually cranky was really the best way to describe how I was feeling. I just was not into anything, my head hurt, my lungs were tight, my mood was irritable at best and I felt like I was being tossed out of the house with my bike against my will. It is a pretty nice day out there, I will give you that, but all I wanted to do was sleep in, which also seemed to escape me. I have been restless since 3AM. Kenny dropped me at the trailhead on his way to the grocery store. It wasn't more than 10 minutes into my ride that I realized I had ridden through one of my usual get off my bike and panic points without thinking about it. I am beginning to think that leaf cover is a great psychological buffer. Today, however, I learned how they also hide a multitude of things that I NEED to be aware of such as sticks that jump up and bite your back wheel, root outcroppings that require some technical finesse, and then there is the rock garden that sits on the bed of scree, more realistically it is a washout drainage area that has everything from small pebbles to boulders that are shin height and not secure in any sense of the word. Yep, I found my front wheel wedged, my momentum stopped, my bike twisted and my leg still attached to it because the mud in the cleat had managed to cement it to the pedal. The worst part about this tossing that had me falling into the same stuff that hung me up in the first place was my mood, I was even more ornery now. Damn that hurt and yes it already left a mark. I pulled my whiney ass up out of the rubble and dusted myself off, took a few steps to make sure I could and got back on the bike. It really was pretty and quite honestly not such a bad way to spend an hour. I took the wrong turn and found myself all turned around in a pretty technical cluster-f#%K in places. There was the drop-off that almost had me in a really green smelly swamp because of wet roots in the turn right at the end of it and the numerous obscured logs that were hiding under leaves, one was big enough to have to J-hop. Then there was another damn skinnie across a deeper mud puddle that then one I have issues with. Thankfully, I owned most of that one and only got my foot wet at the end. From the looks of it the last guy was not so lucky. How did this crank fest end? I cut my ride 2 miles short and had Kenny pick me up where the trail crossed the road. He was on his way home from the store and it was on the way. My brain was too fried from the unexpected to manage the technical stuff I knew was ahead. Now? I'm cleaned up, looking for something for lunch, very sore in places,tired enough that I may nap before ice, and not so cranky anymore.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I'm gonna ride my bike now...

A perfect day to be tossed off that bloody skinnie again deep into that mud puddle only this time it ate me up and cut my ride to 30 min (I was kinda cold, stretched and muddy) In the end though I was all smiles! I know that one day this fat chick will beat that skinnie (no harm in trying anyway)!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Leaf cover

I decided to go out for a ride this afternoon at 3:30 but by the time I got all the nonsense out of the way my afternoon was whittled away to one hour before it would be dark enough to need lights. Yes I had them, but gathering gear seemed for some reason to be part of my problem. Eventually I left that note. I wasn't at Ninham, or Brewster Woods, or even Graham Park in Yorktown. By the time I got all my crap together I was in the woods along the power lines. At first I was dismayed at that but then when I realized that the leaf cover was hiding all those obstacles from me so that I could ride over them instead of contemplate them I found myself doing loops so I could do tricks. I managed a bunch of small drops and one medium sized one, a bunch of rock wall crossings, a few rock gardens, a few root tangles, loads of logs and a few skinnies including one that threw me knee deep into a puddle with lots of thick mud at the bottom. I rode home cursing the meager 30lbs I had in my tires when I got out of the woods but I was smiling, wheezing, and fully satisfied. Tomorrow? I hit the ice!

Monday, October 8, 2012

getting technical

I have had my Gary Fischer 29"mountain bike for two years now. I got it because I was getting bored on the road. I used to love riding in the woods but as I age I haven't been finding the courage to go over some of those technical obstacles and that has meant that I haven't progressed as far as I would like to, that is, until now. This weekend Kenny was away and I spent part of it visiting with Alison and my mom. Alison found this really great group of women to ride with and has been riding quite a bit in the past year. We went out for a ride the other day. I think the fact that she is an elementary school teacher makes her more patient than most. We both had a bunch of WAHOO moments and a blast in the 90 minutes we shared. What changed? Well, there is determination to own myself again. The there was this ride in Huntington State Park a few weeks ago that where there were 4 women my age and two guys willing to both teach and spot. I didn't ace that ride but it left a definite impression on me, enough to make me not bail on anything other than the super-technical stuff with Alison. I still couldn't j-hop really large logs, ride really long boardwalk type skinnies (to my credit they were soaked through and covered with leaves in places), or ride root and rock gardens. I tried almost everything, including some drop offs. There were so many WAHOO moments that I was stoked. What does that mean? Well today I rode in Graham Knolls Park. I decided that I would try everything, bike more that I got off, and if I got off I would at least retry the obstacle. It was like those workouts where you realize you are in shape. I managed every log (even j-hopping a few), I tried a few skinnies on purpose, I went over a bunch of rock gardens without hesitation, rock walls were a piece of cake and I left that park feeling accomplished despite my snail's pace. It has been a busy weekend riding and skating. This week will see the same. My muscles as so sore but I find myself renewed and excited about working out. I can't wait to ride with the girls again next Sunday!