Confession: I’ve totally been neglecting my weight lifting for mountain biking because, given the choice between working out in a gym and being outside on local singletrack, outside wins every time. Also, I know my ride-after-work days are numbered so I want to get in as much of it as possible. ALSO, I signed up for another stupid race because I can’t seem to quit them. This race is a short-course deal being held in the park where I ride all the time, so it should be interesting, if nothing else. I know the trails intimately, but they’re also running a cyclocross race at the same time so the terrain will be more mixed (meaning, more pavement than I’m used to.)
I’m always excited to race on trails where I frequently ride because there are very few unknowns- I ride this loop a few times a week in both directions and I know it like my own back yard. However, there’s a new-ish bridge in the park with shallow stairs on one end and, while I can ride down them, I’d always been too chicken to try riding up. But, with the race looming, I thought maybe I should get over it. This is what I’m talking about:
Photo credit: http://rotj.wordpress.com/
I am kind of a wimp when it comes to trying new obstacles and I’m especially leery of anything man-made (which I know doesn’t make sense.) Like, riding over a giant log or pile of rocks? Not a problem. Riding across a narrow cement bridge ten feet above a shallow creek? Oh, hell no:
(I did eventually learn to ride this but I’ll never learn to love it.)
So, last Thursday I went for a ride with my husband and when we got to the stairs I asked him to spot me. I rode back up the hill, turned my bike around and let it go. I flew down the hill and up the stairs, BOOM, just like that. I did unclip one foot at the top just in case but I didn’t need to. The second time I tried it I made it clean without unclipping. And I’ve made a point of riding up the stairs every time since then, even if I’m going in the other direction. I wanted to make sure it isn’t a fluke, don’t you know.
If you don’t mountain bike (or ha, even if you do) this may not seem like that big a deal but I felt like a freaking rock star after I made it up those stairs. And I think that’s part of why I love it so much. There is just something really amazing about doing something that makes you uncomfortable, or something that actually scares you, and coming out the other side feeling like you rule the world. I highly recommend it.