This past week I got out my hybrid bike and decided to give it a try on the trails next to my house. Years ago I had ridden it on some flatter trails and loved every single minute of it.
The trails next to my house are made from an old quarry turned into a "nature preserve." There are pine needle covered trails. Trails that all of a sudden turn to sand traps (ie. Sugar sand, ie. Bikers beware). Flat trails, root covered trails and a few hills to keep things interesting.
The 1st night I went out I absolutely had a blast! It was 95*, humid AF (as the kids say) but as I cruised around the single track I could NOT stop smiling. I wrapped up my ride as the sun was setting.
Two nights later I convinced my husband to ride with me. After only 1/2 a lap he deemed that was enough. Put his bike away and headed for the showers. Sigh.
I couldn't understand why he wasnt as exhilarated as I was??
Last night I asked my son if he wanted to come with me. He's so easy going that I knew he'd say yes. We cruised over to the pit and he set our course with me yelling helpful mom reminders. I'm sure he was eye rolling the whole time.
It was awesome. He led me onto trails I hadn't tried yet. I was worried about being able to keep up, but I managed. After 1 lap it was getting darkish but we had time for one more zip around.
I took off so I could be in the lead. I was riding the outside rim of the pit so we had a little bit more light. Unfortunately there were a lot of sand spots and loose gravel. I was good until I wasnt. I managed to dodge the sand but my tires slipped on the gravel.
Just in case you were wondering I totally screamed like a girl (because I am a girl) as I was going down. The slide of my body - left shoulder, left hip and left shin - was long enough for me to think "that's going to hurt."
When I stopped sliding I sat up and tried to shove my sweaty hair out of my face with my gravel covered hands. Not an easy feat.
I took a quick assessment. Pretty much just brush burn stinging with the exception of my shoulder. My shoulder felt bruised but not horrible. We quickly put the chain back on my bike and finished the lap even though it would've been shorter to go home.
As I was pedaling around I got thinking -- Was the crash something that would stop me from trail riding. I quickly came to the conclusion that I still loved the thrill of the ride.
The best answer I can come up with is that this is how I was raised. My parents threw me on skis at 3 years old. The feeling of flying down a ski mountain is exhilarating and can also be scary. On a dime you can be carving out S turns as fast as can be but the minute you catch a tip all control is lost.
A few years ago my boys and I were skiing later in the day. The ski patrol was having some sort of training on the slope we chose. I was cruising over the moguls when all of a sudden I caught something and crashed into the most epic snowball ever. It was spectacular.
Some people hold back for fear of what might happen. I guess that's not my M.O. I love the thrill of speeding down the mountain, cruising around dirt piles and pouring my heart and sweat into a chest pounding set of crazy intervals.
At some point I may need to "act my age" but not yet.
So what type of runner/athlete are you? A speed demon, a LSD lover or a mutt/hybrid?
BTW: The statement that things always look better in the morning does not apply to road rash.