Monday, June 1, 2009

First MTB Rides

What do you do when your son is away for a week? If you are like Carolynn and I, you ride. Such silly people we are....Friday we headed up to Smithville to ride with Sara. This was her first time riding off-road. She doesn't have a mountain bike, so Rich Anderson was kind enough to allow her to use his Schwinn Homegrown. When we arrived she had already ridden some and actually got "scared" of the rocky terrain on Lakeside. I can see how this could be if you never rode before.

I can remember Carolynn's first mountain bike ride. It was down at the old "K-mart trails" in West Palm Beach Florida. Year was 1993 I think. She used her new bike that she had won selling insurance. It was actually a nice bike for the day. Heavy as hell, but I thought it was cool looking and had balloon tires that could be used for off-road riding. Carolynn had zero background in cycling before we met and it showed as she bounced off all the "paper" trees that were so common down in that area. I think she hit every tree out there. Those trails were great for the day. Heck, they would be cool to ride now. Needless to say she survived, but a new rig was in order. I built up this nice Trek mountain bike frame that I got from Joey. Mounted a new set of XT shifters and all the new parts that I had lying around (yes I have always been a bike parts whore). One of the next rides was in Tampa, Florida at Wilderness Park. What does she go and do? Crashes in a sandy corner and breaks my brand new XT shifters. She still can not ride sandy trails.....

My first mountain bike ride on single track? Heck, I don't really remember. I must of crashed really hard and hit my head on that day :-). I do remember buying my first mountain bike back around 1985??? Joey and I were working up in Orlando Florida at my dad's warehouse. At the time it was retro-fitted into a nice repair shop for our truck fleet. We decide to get some bikes to help train for motocross. We did not know anything about bikes other than how to break em'. We checked out out the few shops in town and ended up buying some of these new things called "Mountain Bikes". Both were full rigid with old Suntour groupo and had these things called toe clips on the pedals. I got a beautiful bright yellow full steel chromoly Jamis. Joey got this green looking Ross (or maybe it was a Raleigh) bike. This thing was so sad looking. I did not say anything at the time, but I just knew that with the rake of the front fork that it was going to break on the first jump. Sure enough, we hit the local BMX track and while putting in some hot laps Joey snapped his bike. I never laughed so hard in all my life.

Back to Smithville...I decided to give the knee a rest from riding so I opted to just run with them. The first few miles I easily kept up with them on the MTB bikes, but once we hit the 4 mile mark I started to feel the total lack of run training in my program. As I was following them I could hear Carolynn yell some instructions to Sara. It was funny hearing her tell someone else how to ride. I kept my "instructions" to myself. I don't do a good job of conveying my thoughts sometimes and did not want to confuse her. Overall Sara did very well. We just need to get her to relax and flow some. Remember, momentum is your friend and as for the fear inducing rocks, there is a good line through them if you know where to look.

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