I am learning to be a mountain biker.
I white knuckle every single switch back, get sweaty palms at the site of the smallest bridges, sweat out every single track (“see the spaces not the trees…see the spaces not the trees…see the…TREE!) and lets not even talk about roots.
I entertain my neighbors after work by doing figure 8’s, riding boards, and trying to manual on the back lawn. I really want to try to bunny hop, but I really need to make sure all of the dog poop is picked up from the winter first.
I am pretty sure everyone thinks I have lost my mind.
I love being on a bike. It makes me feel free and strong and just a little wild. I am a kid again, pigtails flying, excited to see what is around the next bend.
It is great fun learning something new. I feel like I live in the perfect place to hone some skills and build endurance until the awesome trails over in Carrabasset Valley dry up.
What my area lacks for in flowy single track it makes up for in miles and miles of dirt roads that can be explored pretty much year round. There is ample climbing to be had, along with the sweet solitude that I so often crave.
And while solitude is great, having a partner in crime makes things even better.
Friends. Dogs. Bikes.
We started riding on a familiar road, and after 30 minutes or so, I noticed this branch road that I always wondered where it went.
“Hey, want to check this out?”
We made the turn and started riding, grinding our way through the loose gravel. As we came around the bend I saw a series of very steep hills.
“Um. Sorry,” I called behind me.
“For wha- Oh.”
The road would flatten out, and then climb steeply, flatten out, and then climb again. We worked our way through washouts and mud holes, and continued up the hill.
The road ended rather abruptly in this sort of overlook that was pretty cool.
We threw our bikes down in the gravel and ran to the overlook, breathing heavy from the effort, laughing, and taking pictures.
After a while, we hopped back on our bikes and flew down the hills we just climbed, butts hanging back over the seats, negotiating the washouts, smiles pasted on our faces.
Meeting up at the bottom, Beth asked if we should check out “the bridge” (a snowmobile bridge under construction) and I nodded excitedly, “YES! Totally! Let’s check that out!”
We both hopped on our bikes and rode on to the next adventure.
Thanks for reading!