Friday, November 09, 2007
I wanted to share with you all my first experience in mountain biking.
Before I get to my experience I wanted to share a few ideas for anyone considering mountain biking for their first time:
1. Ride you new mnt bike around the neighborhood for a week or so before hitting the trails. Jump curbs, run into curbs, throw yourself off the bike into the yard, come to a complete stop and make sure you can clip out of your pedals going backwards.
2. Even if the website of the trails you are going to ride say there are maps available at the site, print your own. I don't have a printer at home but saw they had maps at the site . . . NOT!
3. GO VERY SLOW your first time on the trails.
4. Go after you know many others have hit the trails AND make sure you go on the trails that people STILL USE!!!!! I found loads of thorn bushes hanging over on the trails. I caught all of them before I rode through them and stamped them down at the roots for future riders.
5. Make sure you have your cell phone.
6. Don't go alone your first time.
I had a GREAT time! I love this trail riding thing. I could go all day with that type of excitement. I probably hit the dirt three times, but loved all of the except the last one (see below).
I made a few mistakes. first I didn't know the trails and ended up on the "advanced" trails several times, but I maneuvered through them just fine, mainly because I was going fast (for me) and didn't have time to freak out about some of the descents and climbs or the massive roots, or other fun stuff. I had to walk the bike up one small climb (very small) but that was because I hit a rut and didn't react properly and began rolling backwards and hadn't followed the rule of learning how to clip out in a moment of panic.
I would recommend trail riding for everyone. I am doing it for off season training and to break the monotony, but I can see hoe people focus all of their energy into mountain biking!
Now to the fun part.
As I was on one of the "advance" trail. There were many thord bushes hanging on the trails. MAYBE this is normal and just part of the fun, but I can't handle donating that much blood to the trail dirt, so as I stated I would pull over and stomp the bushes down so that future riders wouldn't hit them.
BUT there was one . . .
I didn't have time to react. I came around a small corner, saw a thorn VINE hanging out that I was heading for and the contact point was MY FACE. I didn't want to damage this precious face so I threw up my left arm to block it. The vine dug in and actually PULLED my arm back.
Problem 1. because of the vine I failed to notice the drop off just after the turn. I hit a rut the bike turned violently to the right and I began to fall over the bike down the small fall off. As I did this the rest of the vine found my left leg and torn into it and my cogs on the big ring of my bike dug into my right ankle.
I stood up at the bottom of this decline and blood was dripping from several spots on my body. I reacted appropriately (after I squealed like a stuck pig while this was happening) by throwing my helmet, cursing, and finally wondering how bad the ankle was since the cogs went in about and inch and a half.
The ride back to the vehicle was awesome, blood all over my baby blue bike, I'm still cursing. It was a blast! Also, Don't pull your sock over a wound to stop the bleeding . . . You eventually have to pull that sock that is now dried to you skin off of the wound, no fun.
Needless to say, I am ready to go again!!!!!!!!!