Thursday, September 1, 2011

Feeling puny.

So you know when you ride your local trails and you start to feel strong on them. And you start to feel like, oh this is so easy, I bet I can ride anything. Well I started to feel that way. And last week, I got to venture away from my familiar stomping grounds to ride at another trail location. Not too far away from me, but far enough that the terrain was significantly different. Lots of rocks, tight switchbacks and most of all lots of climbing. To put things in perspective, I had just the week before done a marathon ride of my own local trails linking them all together for a 4+ hour ride which covered 42 miles of trails at an average speed of 9.5+ mph. Clearly, I have reached invincible status with numbers like that right? Wrong! Cue today. Cut to new trail never ridden before with a group of 5 strong guys and myself.  Right off the bat, it started with the climbing. And the rocks. And the switchbacks. Within 20 minutes , I was climbing up a steep switchback climb and I literally had to stop, dismount my bike and catch my breath. What the???!!!

I watched as the three guys behind me slowly and steadily pedaled up and around my out of breath sorry self.  Clearly, I was out of my league here. The rocks I can do, the switchbacks I can do, climbing I can do, but put those all together in the same spot, and I am like a fish out of water. I managed to finish the trail with the others without incident. I don’t think my average speed was greater than 7.5mph the whole ride though. But, I know for a fact that my heart rate was off the charts. I can safely say that number was the only one that was higher in all the stats I could have logged today than on any of my other recent rides.

Talk about feeling puny. But  to me, that’s a good thing to  feel occasionally because it reminds you that A) there is still more to learn and B) that if you want to continue to grow as a mountain biker, your ego must be knocked down a bit from time to time and C) one man’s mountain is another man’s hill.

So I will be back to that trail. But, next time, I will go in to it with a lot more respect. Because, while I can feel strong on my home trails, ones like these make me remember what it’s all about once again.

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