Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A night of firsts

As I mentioned yesterday, our good friend, Jair, successfully bought his first real mountain bike yesterday! He went with a Trek mountain hardtail 29-er – I believe it’s one of the 6 series bikes. It fits him really well, and he loves the 29 inch wheels! They just roll right over stuff.

So, right from the bike shop, Jair came over to our house to go for a ride. Since it was already 6:30, we decided to ride down to the Plaster Creek trails near our house for an introductory ride.

First of all, Jair is a natural! He immediately started exploring the capabilities of his bike and trying every obstacle in front of him. Jair and the hubby teamed up to encourage me, too, as we stopped and practiced log pyramids and steep drops over and over. The energy of the group was great, and I rode obstacles that I’ve never done before on any trail!

We had so much fun that we were out until dark. I look forward to a summer of riding with our new recruit.

I’m also excited because Jair has wanted to get in better shape. He’s the one who owns the P90X system and has been doing it with the hubby and me. But when he runs or does the P90X workouts, he gets overheated really easily. So we thought that Jair would enjoy mountain biking as a form of exercise for several reasons. The variety of terrain would hold his attention and prevent boredom. The constant room for technical improvement would appeal to his analytical personality. And the flow of air while riding at speed would help keep his body at a manageable temperature. It seems like we’ve found a good fit so far!

This is the first person I’ve truly had a hand in introducing to the sport of mountain biking. And it feels good to help someone find a form of exercise that fits them well. If Jair really takes to riding this summer, I think he’ll see an increase in his fitness and be very encouraged!

And now back to doing new obstacles for the first time… I’m so proud of myself. I was terrified to ride over log piles for the first time. They totally look like little walls of wooden death. But I watched the guys do it, and I knew it was possible. That moment just before your tire actually hits the first log…oh my gosh! Scary! I took me several run ups before I just committed to giving it a try. The first time, I stalled at the top of the pile. But on the next try, I was over and down the other side! Woo! After that, I rode all the other log pyramids in the park without hesitation. It just takes a little speed and a little lift of the front tire.

The same went for a steep downhill drop. I’ve done lots of downhills before, but this hill looked particularly intimidating. However it was short, and I knew that all I had to do was shift my butt behind my saddle and let gravity do the work. With my friends cheering me on, I mustered the courage and rode the hill like a pro.

Now I’m ready to hit the log piles and steep hills on other trails, too! I love that about mountain biking. Once you’ve tried a skill for the first time, it’s not so scary anymore and you can do it anywhere.

Last night was a great night of firsts!

It’s going to be a tough summer – choosing between marathon training runs and mountain bike rides. What a hard life, huh? LOL :)

Mountain Biking
11.8 miles
Plaster Creek Trails

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