Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My New Love Affair

He's brawny.
He's exciting.
He's dangerous.
He's got 6 inches of travel!

And he's swept me off my feet.

because sometimes you need something a little new to spice up the relationship.




Back in my racing days, I was never a skilled mountain biker. I was a power climber. I used to actually hope to make it to the tops of climbs with enough of a gap to not lose my position on the downhills.

I sharpened my riding teeth in the gentle hills of Ft Ord. There is not much in the way of challenges in Ft Ord, save the sand. And I can ride me some sand. But throw a rock, root or just about any obstacle in my path and I am as clumsy as a new born colt.

I remember my first out of town race. It was at Deer Park in Utah. There were roots, on an uphill and I was dumbfounded as to how to ride that shit. I walked my bike as rider after rider passed me while riding. It was unbelievable to me that anyone could ride up such nonsense.

Then I went to Master Worlds in Bromont. The course was riddled with huge boulders. The kind you clambor over to get to a nice swimming hole. Surely people didn't ride over these things. But they did. Lots of them. I flew across the continent for the event, and totally wimped out of actually racing it.

All of my rides were with cross country racing types. I was always in the back, trying to keep up. Trying not to be the one everyone waited for. So, when it came to technical bits, I would just dismount and run. Not much to be learned by that.

So it is now, that I am not racing, that I am finally learning how to ride. I am taking the time to ride just for riding's sake. I stop at obstacles and give them a few redos. I take the more difficult line. I lower my saddle to give me some courage. I take a little air out of the tires.

And the funny thing is, slowing down has made me faster.

Well, that and 6 inches of travel and a thru axle.


At 5:01 PM, November 27, 2007, Blogger morgan@hahaha.org said...

Maverick Speedball seatpost with the remote on the handlebar! Best gadget ever. Let's you set your seatpost height with the flick of a lever, wherever you want the seat. So handy for stairs, logs and other situations where your back wheel wants to pass your front wheel.

You should join us for a Thursday night ride sometime.

At 7:07 PM, November 27, 2007, Blogger Kimberly (aka. DrKim) said...

you've inspired me to try mountain biking again...I, too, was never "skilled" in that arena. But I don't have a cool bike like that...so maybe that's my problem!!

At 8:14 PM, November 27, 2007, Blogger lauren said...


i was just thinking of morgan's seatpost thingie when i hopped over here and saw he'd already been here.

that slower means faster thing is intriguing.

and i'd get a babysitter and come out on a thursday night ride and eat chips and drink tall boys out on the trail if you showed up sabine.

At 8:20 PM, November 27, 2007, Blogger teamwelliver said...

Your dawg is sooo much prettier than that picture. that one needs more pink.

can you please not get any faster for a little bit? at least until i get my new puppy dawg!

At 11:32 PM, November 27, 2007, Blogger Mark Davidson said...

Nice ride! You should come up to the Scruz and take it for a spin. We'll show you where you can challenge yourself.

At 8:51 AM, November 28, 2007, Blogger marscat said...

that remote handlebar thing sounds very dangerous.

i can go slow with the best of them on my mtb.

Linda says she's gonna get me a basket.

At 9:12 AM, November 28, 2007, Blogger jen said...

that bike sounds silly fun. i've always wanted one of those. always.

we got the rocks and crazy drop-offs and whathaveyou going on around here. totally full sus sort of territory. if you come to mothballs this year, you might have to bring the dawg for some post-race playin' i'll crash along behind ya.

it's all about going slow to go fast. try the drop, run back up, try it again. over and over. the hiker peeps always think i'm a bit nutty when i do this sort of thing...

At 10:22 AM, November 28, 2007, Blogger Velo Bella said...

morgan we were talking about those seatposts the other day. But there is something about the ceremony of lowering the saddle and raising the fork (I love that part)thats fun.

At 10:29 AM, November 28, 2007, Blogger Velo Bella said...

lauren - I think my nightriding days might be behind me. Maybe I'll see you after the time change.

At 12:24 PM, November 28, 2007, Blogger erein said...

Marscat-I saw a girl on a bike with a basket ride down Mr. Toads Wild Ride in Tahoe. My boyfriend was in full on extreme downhill mode; gear, bike etc...because Mr. Toads is quite a challenge with huge rocks, and roots, and drops. And here comes this happy, go lucky girl toodling down Mr Toads on a mountain bike with wicker basket. Awesome! :)


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