22 August, 2014

foolish woman am I

in most things, whether riding bikes or relationships and friendships. But I am honest to a fault and I am too damned sensitive for my own good. Christine is right, I'll leave it at that. Lessons I learn over and over, so I'm not quite getting them yet. End of the day I am grateful for all of it. The joy and pain of love. The joy and pain of effort to achieve things beyond my ability. This is life. Happy to wake each morning and look forward to the next.

19 August, 2014

Snowshoe, Kingdom Trails, and Windrock

The women's Downhill MTB camp was a blast. 54 women, lots of women coaches all IMBA certified and many pro or former pro racers. My group had 7 women and Pat was so patient with us. We did skills drills early Saturday morning, broke for lunch and then hit the trail to practice. We would take one skill and focus on it. Ride the berms, work on cornering. She would go ahead and then stop and watch. We each received individualized feedback. Did this all afternoon and then on Sunday morning. Sunday was all about how to jump and land on table tops. Wish we had some around here I could ride and practice. I highly recommend this camp, even if you have no intention of riding downhill much if at all. Having women be so patience and encouraging for a weekend is a big confidence builder. 

Kingdom Trails was a much difference experience. I flew to Maine and stayed with Disa and her husband. She and I met through a common friend after she moved away from Louisville. It's always amazing to build a good friendship with someone that lives hundreds of miles away. I met all of her friends. The trails we rode at KT were so much fun and challenging. Everything was on Darling Hill. We rode about 20 miles that day. Longest I've ridden in a while. No one was trying to kill it. There were at least 12 of us riding together and we regrouped at trail intersections. Not that we had to regroup really, we all rode pretty much together.  The climbs were built in such a way that they were fun to do. Yes they were challenging, but had enough relief following each switchback that you didn't feel like the climb was as much elevation as it was. One of the trails is called Sidewinder. What a fun fun trail! It's big berms with high sides and deep dips all the way from top to bottom. Here's a photo I grabbed from the mtbproject site.

Sunday morning as we took the bikes off of the cars and got ready to ride the heavens opened up with lots of cold rain. Disa and I decided not to ride and drove back to Maine. I had the most lovely weekend and made new friends. I'm grateful for this and hope I can return sometime.

Windrock. A friend was going to go there to ride this past weekend and posted on the faceplace about it. I said I'd love to go and was willing to camp also. He had 3 buddies from Columbus, OH and Lexington, KY that met us there. This place is not for the faint of heart. It's also not for old women who are out of shape and overweight, meaning me. After a 4 hour drive and a Kroger stop we setup camp. His buddies showed and we took off to ride the XC trails. He was very kind and waited for me. I was not ready for the climbs, but the descents were fast and technical. After riding we grabbed food and took a respite. Then we drove up to the midway point at the downhill trails and walked Middle Finger. I should say I tried walking. Slid down a few of those descents. I have to say this was the gnarliest, most technical place I've been. Steep steep descents with roots and rocks and sharp switchbacks. Sunday we went back to ride. I " walked" most of it. I did ride several places. I also crashed and smacked my face on a rock and cracked the glass on my Garmin also. So happy I didn't lose any of my new teeth or get a black-eye! Funny thing, my friend crashed not 20 feet in front of me. My bike was wrapped around me and it took a few minutes to figure out how to get out of it. We finished the trail ( I walked and rode), then I decided I would be shuttle driver for rest of the day. My buddy had been so kind-hearted to ride with me, show me the place and was very patient. I knew he needed to really get in a good ride though.

I've been very fortunate to have such wonderful experiences this summer. I've met new people, I've learned new skills. I've learned plenty of lessons. I really want to figure out this chronic condition and see how I can minimize the effects it has. I've gained lots and lots of pounds and lost more and more fitness. More pounds makes climbing even more difficult and it's always been my weakest point.

Hoping to get back to riding more as well as real training. Miss the ladies from Monday nites too. All of this rain lately has made for wet trails. 

Until next time... peace