I did it. Took the old mountain bike out for a snow ride yesterday. What fun! I had a blast. It had been a very long time since I’d ridden my trusty mountain bike. 2005 I think was the last time. This was when I dabbled in some mountain bike racing. Maybe it should have been called mountain bike crashing…
I’d be fine in training. Could clean the tricky stuff and get over most obstacles and trails, etc. But during a race? Nope. I became a crash fest. It became apparent that once in the “red zone” I couldn’t make smart decisions. This meant I was taking crazy lines, too aggressive lines, and just generally tripping all over myself. After one too many crashes, bent rear derailleurs, broken disk brakes, scrapes, bruises, and much frustration – I put that bike in the garage.
Well, it is time. Time to get the bike out. To get out on the trails and face my demons. Time to put myself in that “red zone” and train my body and brain to react and respond appropriately. I know this will help a great deal with my cyclo-cross racing. In fact, I’m wondering if these old mountain biking demons are hidden deep down in my psyche and are causing me to be overly cautious on my ‘cross bike. Just a thought. Regardless, I’m committed to those fat tires and getting out there and pushing my limits.
What I would really like is to be able to transition from my mountain bike to my ‘cross bike on the mountain bike trails. This would be awesome. This would be a real indicator of my improvement – technical skills, confidence, and pedaling smarts. We’ll see if it can be done.
But don’t worry. This doesn’t mean that I won’t be out on my road bike this summer. I’ll be there. Doing the occasional road race or criterium. I’ll be out at the Tuesday night training crits. And I’ll be there for the long weekend rides to Merrickville. I’ll just be spending some time on my mountain bike as well. Oh and I’ll be riding my ‘cross bike too. Uhm, it looks like I’ve got a busy spring and summer ahead of me. Perfect! I’ll also be squeezing in a regular yoga practice to help keep my muscles long, lean and flexible.
I can’t hardly wait.