This summer, I’ve been doing a lot of mountain biking.
Well, I mean, it’s all relative. But compared to previous years, I’ve been really stepping it up.
I think it all started last year when I volunteered at the local Canada Cup race. I found myself very inspired by the amazing riders, but also started to notice a feeling of “Hey, I could do that!”. Not that I believed that I could compete at a very high level, but I felt that with some effort, I could work up to finishing the course.
Fall and winter hit, and I had a very sedentary winter. I’m not sure why, but I just ended up being very inactive, and I noticed it starting to affect me quite a bit. I was gaining some weight, my cardio was decreasing, and it was affecting my psychology. I wasn’t as able to focus or think through problems, especially on very inactive days.
When spring arrived, I knew that I needed to get back on the bike. I set a goal to get out biking every day that I possibly could. At first, I could barely get around the block in my subdivision without getting winded. But gradually, I started to improve.
Ever since then, I have been getting out on the bike pretty much every day. Some days it’s a quick ride around the subdivision, which doesn’t take very long. Other days, I go out on the trails to practice techniques and segments. And sometimes, I go out on the “rail trail” (a nice gravel path that used to be a railroad track) and do a longer ride to build stamina.
One really nice thing about biking is that it can be quite social. Although I do lots of solo riding, I bike a lot with Sarah, and other friends.
As I got out more and more, my mind was set on competing in the Canada Cup race this season, and so a few weeks before the race, I started practicing the course. When I started, I could barely do a single lap, and I had to take the “B line” (the easy way around) for most features (drops, etc). Gradually, I built my skills and stamina, and could eventually do all three laps without stopping and most of the features on the course.
I’m happy to say that I did complete the race, and did pretty well within my category! Sarah and I had a blast! She raced too, and did very well. Although I didn’t film the actual race, I did put together a quick video of the highlights of a single lap.
But more importantly, I managed to get into a more active lifestyle this summer, because of a challenge I wanted to attempt, and an active hobby that I found fun and rewarding. I’m planning to keep it up, and share as I go. Stay tuned for more biking stories and videos to come!