Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Apparently fear makes for a great cardio workout

7/28 bike 75 mins of sheer terror at Lake Crabtree on the TORC beginner/intermediate ride

HR avg 162 max 181

I haven't ridden my mountain bike since February on the Tobacco Trail and I haven't been on a real "mountain bike trail" since my first and only time over a year ago on the beginner trail at Harris Lake.   The first time was slightly scary, in part, due to the pogo stick I had for a front fork at the time and my somewhat non-functional derailleurs.  I've made the necessary repairs and improvements to the bike over the last couple months and I was finally ready to ride again!  When we went to Harris Lake over a year ago, it was pretty obvious the wife was much better at this than I am.  I also managed to crash, which didn't help things.

After picking up my newly repaired bike from REI, during my test ride around the backyard I managed to crash, and I probably should have seen this as an omen of things to come.  I was expecting a nice ride on some rolling bridle trails, but what I got was more of a white knuckle single track experience.  We met up with the beginner group and set off in single file, I talked the wife into going in front of me thinking I would have no trouble keeping up and this way I didn't have to worry about her running me over when I crashed, adding insult to injury.  She quickly disappeared into the distance with the lead pack and I was left feeling like I was trapped in an out of control Camry going the wrong way on the freeway at rush hour.  Now, I know the seasoned mountain bikers out there consider the trails at Lake Crabtree to be beginner stuff.  They still scared the crap out of me.  I only truly crashed once, and it was actually in a non-scary portion of the trail due to loose dirt/pine straw, but I had PLENTY of close calls.  How I didn't face plant into a tree I'll never know.  There was one really huge drop into a banked right hander that I walked down, but this was after seeing the wife go flying in rather spectacular fashion.  I would learn later this was due to the guy in front of her and not any lack of skill on her part.  Maybe next Thursday will go better....

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