Learning How To Ride (Again)

They say you never forget how to ride a bike, however, some of my moves were pretty questionable after five months off the mountain bike.

At least I can still wheelie!

I had good intentions of spending Spring Break doing homework, but that presented a challenge once arriving in Colorado and the trails being soooo close. Just for the record I did actively engage in finding and landing an internship for the summer, that counts as school work, right? It will be in Rapid City, SD, while not in Colorado it was an opportunity that was too good to turn down and at least it’s the hills, plenty of riding, closer to Sully, and a host to a few races that seem like they’ll be pretty fun, but will still head to CO for a handful. It might also help me figure out if I want to continue pursuing a law degree or not.

When I got to Boulder, Sully spent the next morning fixing my cross bike from when I broke off the rear derailleur, he switched out my tires (what girl doesn’t love new shoes?!?) and did something to
the rear wheel that I hadn’t noticed needed fixing. We went for a short ride after that, just to see how everything felt on the bike–I’ve known this now for a while but having a functional rear derailleur really makes the rides more fun! We headed to meet some friend for Happy Hour, which was much needed to acclimate back in to the Boulder Culture.

Squad goals. 

I got on a mountain bike for the first time since last October. The guys at Republic Cycles in Boulder set me up with a sweet Rocky Mountain Instinct, the one do-it-all mountain bike, and it did. I was eternally grateful for the Maxxis tires that came on it, which saved my life a few times from going off the trail. I’ve not only missed riding my mountain bike but the camaraderie of being on the trail, riding with friends, running into other friends, being a rolling carnival is really the best way to describe it. We then went out for tacos and Sully got one with kale on it, I asked if I could try it which I did and then he said, “you didn’t like it did you?” I shook my head no…he stated, “you’ve been away from Boulder for too long and have too much kale immunity.” It’s not the same staple in Vermillion as it is in Boulder.

Power Move!

The next ride we did at Hall Ranch, which I’ve always had a rocky relationship with. Most of it is a rock garden. It’s always challenging as the only way you can get better there is to ride there, nothing else translates to getting in shape for insane power moves and at the same time a finesse that somedays is there and others not. It’s my favorite trail depending on the day and this ride it started out as my least favorite trail. They reworked a few of the little sections which I bobbled over and stepped off, and turned awkwardly, and put a foot down, and sighed…a lot. Sully kept reassuring me that he’d ridden recently with people who didn’t get the same sections, he always so encouraging. I, however, kept blaming the fact that maybe I should ride a mountain bike more than once every 5 months. I somehow managed to make it to my nemesis the “big rock” which I spent 4 months one year working on getting up; now was the real challenge of seeing if any of it had been retained. The first approach I rode my line and managed to get my front wheel on, okay not bad. The second approach I hit the same line as the first and a few grunts and power moves later I was on the top, “Oh my gosh! I made it!!” I went back down and rode it up a few more times just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. Feeling a little more confident in my riding skills we rode to the top, headed over to the loop and then charged back down.

Sully was in a good spot to catch me..and take a photo

 Once again I found Sully waiting for me at the bottom of the rock in a position to catch me if I did tumble over, fortunately it did not happen, and I’m still not sure if he would be able to catch me if I did, but it is a really sweet gesture. I continued on my way not wanting to put a foot down. Minus one turn at the top (the sharp left hand drop, that I never get) I rode the whole way down without stopping or putting a foot out. I felt satisfaction knowing that my downhills skills (mostly the bike) were on par for the occasion.

I then went up to my parents house to spend sometime with them and see some friends, which is always so nice, both seeing my parents and friends. I did some riding around my hometown, which is always so hard because most of my rides I just look up and envision the amazing trail system we could have there, one of these days! I also started back with a coach, which makes dealing with the headwinds so much better in Vermillion. I’m pretty excited with the workouts he has structured for me and seeing where the race season will take me. It’s been nice getting back to that structure, I didn’t realize how much I missed it until it started.

More Trails, Please!

2 thoughts on “Learning How To Ride (Again)

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