Sunday, August 5, 2012

Dirtbag Offroad


time- 2:04
distance- 6.5mi

Yeah, I rode for two hours and only went six miles. How?
Mountain biking.
Dirtbag went mountain biking and lived to blog the tale.
Yesterday I got a text from Diesel asking if I wanted to go mountain biking. I have been interested, it seems like good cross training. And I'm borrowing the Grey's old mountain bike so I have what I need. Figured why not? I asked if they would go easy on me and he assured me they would. Not so much because they are nice for me, but because Diesel was bringing another friend who isn't a cyclist at all. So I switched the pedals out on the mountain bike for my clips, tightened some loose cables so it shifts better, and readied myself. I only had one question: "What does one wear mountain biking?"
Diesel, as usual, was very helpful. "A pink tutu."
I didn't want to muss my tutu so I wore some old riding gear, which was a good choice.
Mighty Steed!

I changed a component all by myself, like a growed-up!
 I got to the trailhead at 7:30am and joined the rest of the group. Diesel and his friend Fore, the Grey, and Crazy UltraMarathon Runner Guy (still working on a better name) and his friend, a 19 year old from the mainland on island visiting whom I yclept Boy Wonder. All experienced off road riders save for Fore and myself.
And the first thing that happens is as soon as Crazy UltraMarathon Runner Guy sees my bike, which is the Grey's old bike, he starts laughing. Apparently my ride, not so great. And I kind of knew that. They all have fancy mountain bikes with nice shocks and frame suspension and knobby tires and gears that shift when you ask them to. My biggest concern was the hybrid tires I had. Any loose dirt and I was going to be fighting a downhill battle (get it?).
Look at all the grip!
Of course, the first thing I did once we started was skid out and fall down. Because that's what you do. Get it out of the way first. Should have walked down the hill. Forgot that brakes will lock and locked brakes will skid and skidding is bad. So crash boom. Get up, dust off, get laughed at, get on with it.
I never went fast and never felt completely comfortable, but I did relax and enjoy myself after a while. The bike isn't really built for technical trails and we kept to the baby trails, mostly in deference to Fore. They would have been more than happy to drag me up and down the mountain, I'm sure. Yay for not being the slowest for once. Not that I'm making fun of Fore, it takes some guts to come out and do this when your normal exercise is golf and sitting around. Good on him. But it did mean there was a lot of ride, hear a curse and crunch behind us, wait, repeat. He kept getting up though. He quickly learned that "easy day" means something very different for us than for normal people. Easy is a fluid concept.
At one point CUMRG, Boy Wonder, the Grey, and myself went one way and Diesel took Fore on a less technical trail to the same place. Then I got dropped. Getting dropped on unfamiliar trails is very different than getting dropped on the road. Trails branch and turn and up in the mountains after a few hundred yards your voice or bell doesn't carry anymore. So I spent some time pretty sure I was riding in the right direction. Practiced my tracking skills I learned from the TV and the Hollywood. "Hmmm, these needles look to have been disturbed recently. And that appears to be fresh bike tread marks. Urine...still warm. They went this way."
I did eventually find them and we ended up at a bunker overlooking the North Shore, which is an amazing view. I've been there before on trail runs but it never fails to impress. After a short break we split up again, CUMRG and Boy Wonder going one way and the rest of us another. CUMRG said his way "wasn't too hard or technical," which to me means, "you'll probably crash and die." See the above fluidity of "easy day".
Yesterday I fixed the gearing on my Mighty Steed so that it would shift into the littlest ring, that way I could spin up steep parts. Of course today my fix was unfixed. It was a faux fix. So I spent a lot of time trying to knock the chain down and failing and struggling/walking up hill. I also crashed a few more times. The Mighty Steed only has about an inch of play in the front shock, which really isn't great for roots of any size. The guys who clear these trails do a great job replanting trees along the sides, and I helped them by crashing into a few. I also suddenly forgot how to clip in without looking. There was many a time where I would be riding along fighting with my right pedal to just get in there damnit! Finally started supporting myself on a tree, clipping both feet in, then pushing off. I also manually pushed my chain down onto the small ring. Fifteen minutes before we were down. Which still helped, because the last little bit was a heck of a climb. Or, as the others put it, "a short little bounce up an easy hill." Right then.
You know what made that little bounce even easier? Diesel coming up from behind me and grabbing my shirt, pulling himself past while I struggled to not go backwards down the hill onto my ass. At least he did it to the Grey too, and the Grey actually got knocked off the trail a little and had to stop. I count that as a win.
It was a lot of fun and it'll get easier. I was given an old pair of knobby tires so I'll switch those out sometime before the next time we go out. That should help some. And we stopped at Storto's in Haleiwa afterwards for some of the best sandwiches on the island. Score.
Also, ran yesterday. 2.3 miles, still taking it easy and hoping I'm healed. Foam roller today. Please don't have familiar pains tomorrow.
Also also, found my ANT+! Yay! Now I can upload all the workouts! So here is today's ride. In fact, I'm so happy I'm going to put it below too.

1 comment:

  1. Glad that trail of pee I left helped you find your way! A really good tracker would have been able to tell what I had for dinner the night before. I'll be sure to quiz you next time out.