What a feeling it is to roll out onto the trail on the mountain bike. The big squish tires, the riser bars, the beefy bike – all it gives me a feeling of empowerment. I can conquer the rock gardens, flow around corners, drop down descents, and slide through the berms. All the while with a feeling of freedom wrapping around my soul. I feel free out there on the trails. My brain clears. My feet keep pumping the pedals. I notice my surroundings – the trees, the birds, the miniature frogs, the flowers, the quietness of it all.
This was my day on Monday. Out on the mountain bike soaking up nature cruising along the nicest trails I’ve ever ridden on. Each trail designed to connect, challenge, and build confidence. Bone dry and just wide enough for two wheels, these trails really had me loving my bike. Sure there were sections that had me stumbling, braking too much, coming off my bike, or just sighing deeply – but this is all part of the beauty and challenge of mountain biking.
It is me, the bike, and the trail. I determine what I can and can’t ride. I decide if I’m going to attempt a tricky descent. I decide where my front wheel goes. It is up to me to feel the bike and let go so it can do its job.
Yes, I had a pretty darn good day on Monday. Nothing quite like riding in a well-designed mountain bike centre and with one of the most technically experienced mountain bikers in the area. I was out at the Creative Wheel Centre in Val-des-Monts riding with owner Dominique Larocque. We started out on some “easy” trails and gradually worked our way up the mountain traversing twists, turns, bridges, and rock gardens. We ripped down some awesome descents and then turned around and rode back up – practicing techniques and working on accelerations. Lots of lessons learned on my part. My nerves were tested and got the better of me a couple of times. I tried to stay relaxed and become like “jello” – easier said than done for me.
Just a great day on the bike. The time flew by. I could have stayed out all day. Riding and soaking it all in. Can’t wait to get back out there for more riding and learning. Nothing quite like those big squishy tires bouncing over rocks, roots, and bumps – the big bike taking me on a journey of growth and success.