I’ve started doing some mountain biking recently. I did it some last year, and I’m getting a little bit more into it this year. Still haven’t done much, but it’s great fun, and really good exercise.
(Sorry for the blurry photos, it was a bit overcast and dim, which made it hard to get good shots)
Mostly I just go out with Sarah and her brother, Michael. We like to go to a place called The Gorge close to home. It’s a really nice trail system with lots of uphill, downhill, easy trails, hard trails, rocks, roots, and a skills park at the bottom of the hill. It basically has something for everyone, and it’s a really popular spot for mountain biking.
Tonight we went with a biking group. We went on a trail that was probably not very challenging, but it was much more challenging than what I’m used to! Going downhill over rough sections is one thing, but going uphill is a whole different beast, and we did plenty of both.
However, we persevered and made it through the trails. It was a lot of fun, and none of us got hurt. On the downhill sections near the end, I really felt like I was getting the hang of it. I’ve improved a lot so far, even though the season has really just begun.
Michael usually lets me use his brand new bike (the bright orange one). It’s really nice. It has dual suspension (which is really handy for going over roots and rocks) and a “dropper post”, which I’m really enjoying. The dropper post lets you adjust your seat height on the fly while you’re riding.
When I first heard about dropper posts, I figured they seemed far too advanced for me. But having used it a bit now, it’s actually really handy. When going uphill, having your seat nice and high helps you to pedal most efficiently, and it actually makes a big difference. When going downhill, it’s really important to shift your weight around, and especially to bring it back over the rear tire to avoid going over the handlebars. Pushing the seat down gets it out of your way so you can shift around freely.
So it was a fun ride tonight! I’m exhausted, my muscles are going to be sore tomorrow, and I have a few bruises here and there. But it was all well worth it, and I’ll definitely do it again soon! (Once I recover…)