It was after dinner, and I was ready to go! All my gear was in the front seat, my camelback was full, my cell phone was charged…it was time! It was a beautiful warm day for a fall evening and I just knew there would be people everywhere on the trail. I was not disappointed. Cars lined the parking lot and some had started to line the street as well. I hopped on my bike and reminded myself to be aware of other folks on the land preserve. I met a few joggers as I began, so I made sure my brakes were handy.
About a mile into the course on the single-track section, I was gaining speed and rounding sharp curves when I heard a voice behind me-a cyclist! My focus became not one of speed, but of where to pull over. Finally, I pulled into the weeds and let all three pass, disappointed that I had to stop. So, with protesting legs, and a determination to focus on the course, I continued as I tried to gain speed again. As I flew through some hill and tight curves, another cyclist wanted passage. Drat! There goes my speed again! This happened a few more times as those passing would thank me, and I would sip my water, and respond in kind…. They were probably training for a race, and I was out having fun.
This particular course is a bit sandy, so even though I fishtailed through a couple of pits, I made it through all of them except two. One is a deep pit of loose sand, and one is an uphill climb. I lost speed points on both of those. The roots poking out of the dirt-packed trail caused me to trip a bit too. The downhills littered with rocks caused my light bike to bounce quite a bit but I was able to gain some speed anyway.
Overall, my exertion level peaked and my hair was drenched, my stomach was flopping, and my heartbeat was pounding. It was a good ride and experience. I’m ready for more!