Thursday, June 12, 2014

Call Me Bambi--you know, like the stupid Disney character

I can hear it now, "Kinda wobbly isn't she?" Isn't there some sort of saying that if you don't do, ahem, "something" for several years you are considered to be a virgin again?  If this is the case, I had earned my mountain bike virginity multiple times over, and on my ride tonight, with the crew from Revolution Cycles, it showed.  Almost twenty years of not being on a mountain bike for anything other than winter commuting, and even the few times I had actually mountain biked in the past being on the wider trails at Lebanon Hills in Minnesota, showed all too well.

Years ago I had given up on the idea of mountain biking again...ever.  Hell, I lived in Bend, Oregon and only hit a couple trails--instead opting for road rides and skiing.  No way, I thought, I'm sticking to smooth as a babies bottom asphalt.  Then came gravel.  As I mentioned in previous posts, I got talked into the whole gravel scene.  I swore up and down that I would just try it once and then move on.  Um, yeah.  Now, I'm staring down the barrel of a similar gun.  Several friends have talked up mountain biking to me so much and have gently nudged me in it's direction.  My only saving grace was that I didn't have a bike and I wasn't about to buy one.  The trouble, oh, I'm sorry, Trouble with a capital "T" came when a loaner 29er Trek fell into my hands.  No more excuses, thank you very much Steve!

So today, I felt it was as good as any other time to try my hand at this puzzle my friends had handed me.  Revolution does weekly all level rides out to Quarry Ridge not far from my house.  I'd meet the crew on the trail, ride out with them, bang out a couple laps, drink a beer or two and head back.  My friend, Jon, agreed to be my guide or training wheels.  Such a nice guy Jon is.  I thought "no biggie" and really, it wasn't since I was moving at a snails pace around corners, though trees, down drops and on the banks.  The only place I picked up my pace was on the double track heading off the loop.  Did I mention I stuck to the wussy green loop?  Yep, three times.

Thank you Jon!

I thought to myself, "I'm not sure if I'm really going to like this" as I stared down at my white knuckles.  But here's the I rode home, I actually plotted going there alone to practice with no one around me--you know, to take the pressure off.  Damn all of my friends for planting yet another bike seed, but thanks Rev for getting me out there and Steve for trusting me with your baby.

Thanks Steve for the pretty loaner!

Rolling out

Almost there

The only section I could "handle"


  1. Doing the trail enough times to know where every rock, turn, and tree is makes a huge difference. I've realized I'm quite bad at riding a trail I haven't ridden before much like "sight reading" for musicians.

    I think Quarry Ridge is a great place to build skills, and I have no doubt you'll be going much faster in no time. In my opinion the key is to just ride at a speed you feel comfortable, and before you know it that speed has improved quite a bit. Sorry if you aren't looking for unsolicited advice; I'm just excited to see a new bike blog I follow moving in a mountain bike direction.

  2. Thank you! Amazingly enough, kind words like this from my readers helps a lot! Rest assured I'll head back to Quarry again soon--alone and with some friends. Sadly, the bike will have to go back to it's owner in a month or so and my next purchase will have to be a gravel bike. At least I say that now :)

  3. I wanna goooo! I will be a newbie with you! I just need to find a loaner bike sometime, and find a good time to head out when I'm not working all the friggin' time....

    1. YES Sarah! We can be two newbie, tatted up, punk chics flying through the woods hooting and hollering!