I'm not a mountain biker. Yes, I have a mountain bike. It's a Trek that used to belong to a rental fleet (Sitka Bike and Hike) that I acquired for $150 before I could ride a bike at all. (In case you haven't hung around this blog very long, I taught myself how to ride a bike last year. I was one of the Adults Who Never Learned to Ride a Bike, the few, the ashamed).
Anyway, I have worked my way up to 18 miles on dirt and gravel, but lurking out there is the mystical singletrack, you know, the kind you rode when you were eight. The granddaddy of them all is the Redmont trail, which I am clearly not ready for. But maybe, I thought, I was ready for the state park.
To real bike riders, this would be nothing, a well-packed trail with no obstacles, and mostly flat (I stayed off the steep stuff). To me, this was an exciting adventure into a world that had been closed to me for decades. Gingerly I rode along, admonishing J to stay far away. If you could have heard my thoughts, this is what you would have heard:
"Okay. Okay. I can do this. Gosh this is narrow. Uh-oh! Turn! Turn! TURN! Okay. Be calm. Around the pond. This is fun. AAAAAH Rocks! Narrow! Rocks! Gonna crash! Can't do it! Have to walk! Damn, J saw me walking. Oh well, he married me. Too late now, buddy! Okay. Get on the bike. Brake! Brake! All right. Here we go. Obstacle! Old guy fishing! Don't take him out! Okay. Safely past. Back on the more open part. Fun! Oops-Gate! Brake! Danger! Bail!"
If you think back to a time when you accomplished something you never thought you could, you will know how I felt once the tires hit pavement. Yes, it was short and somewhat pathetic. No, I'm not ready for Redmont. But I did it, I rode singletrack!