Mountain Bike is the funnest thing ever. And I am fortunate enough to live close to some really great mountain bike trails. My favorite riding grounds are Carolina North Forest and Lake Crabtree County Park.
When I am riding trails I feel like a little kid playing in the woods. Part of the fun is that I am learning new skills - trying to figure out how to navigate obstacles on trails. It’s a great family activity, too.
The downside is that I am having so much fun that I forget that I am 51 years old, and perhaps take too many risks. I don’t take huge risks like doing jumps that put me airborne. No way. But I do take small risks like trying to hop over a log, or descending tricky or steep section of trail. Taking risks means that I sometimes wipe out and get injured.
Here are some photos of some recent mountain bike adventures.
All packed up to go
Ouchie: Here is what happened when I got lost in the woods for two hours. I was tired, running out of daylight hours and so was trying to ride fast. It takes a great deal of mental energy to navigate trails and physical stamina to ride fast. And when that all begins to wane, the risk of taking a spill increases. This wipe-out happened when my front tire hit a rock, which knocked my steering wheel into a small tree. That was just enough to knock me off my bike. I’m not even sure what my leg hit – my chainring perhaps?? While this was just a flesh wound, it still hurt alot, and I still had to ride 45 minutes to find my way back out! I had a big knot in the muscle of my shin that lasted a few weeks. I had to stop running to let it heal.
Lessons: don’t push daylight hours, and get a big bright head light.
Rock Garden mishap: Here’s another little spill I took when trying to navigate a tricky rock garden on the Crow Branch Overlook trail at Carolina North Forest. This one bruised up my elbow for a few weeks. I get a little better each time I ride this tricky trail, so these little spills are worth it because I learn from my mistakes.
Super funsies: Here was a fun outing with my daughter, Mary Beth. We rode at Carolina North Forest which is really close to her apartment and my house. yay bike!
She spotted this curvey bridge on the Neverland Inner Loop that I had never seen. Super dooper funsies. I’ll never grow up!
Big Ouchie: My latest ride was going really great. I was nailing all the obstacles like a pro. Until I tried to bunny hop over a log – instead of my usual log roll move – and failed miserably. I landed hard on my tailbone and got the wind knocked out of me. I lay in the leaves for a few minutes, then I had to ride back out – yikes! My lower back hurt alot on the climbs, so I ended up getting off alot and walking. When I got back to my car, I noticed my nose hurt. I guess when my head smacked the dirt, it caused my helmet to push my glasses into my nose. I had a nasty bruise on my nose all week as if someone had punched me. And my tailbone still hurts.
This was the worst fall I’ve had so far. I think my mistake was hitting my brakes when I realized that my chainring was smacking into the log. I probably should have tried to go with the flow and grind over it. But hitting the brakes made me stop suddenly and I tipped over.
Lesson: don’t freak out and hit breaks.
Also, 29r tires would help me get over those logs easier
This sport has a definite negative impact on my triathlon training. But it’s so fun. But I don’t like being injured…