Today I went out with someone I hadn’t been with in 4 years. We had a date at Bluff Creek. It was a little awkward, since we’ve seen each other a lot over the years, but never for longer than just a passing glance. A quick nod as I walked by. Sometimes a lingering look or a gentle touch, but never anything meaningful.
But today we reconnected…and it felt wonderful.
Don’t worry, my husband knew all about it.
Today I took Big Red out for our first ride together in 4 years. Yes, it’s been 4 long years since we’ve ridden together. We hadn’t spoken since the last time we were out together and he got all pissy and threw me off like a bucking bronco and left me tattered and bruised.
I put him in the bike room as punishment and then was too afraid to get back on him. Too afraid to get hurt again. And so he sat. And sat. And sat (and that’s really no way for a bike to live).
So he’s been sitting alone, untouched all these years, and I finally decided to sell him to a triathlon friend. Before I let him go, I thought that I should give him one last ride before he left me forever. I wanted to know for certain that I didn’t want him around anymore… and I got my answer. I found out that I really miss him and our time together on the trail. We rolled over roots and rocks and smooth trail for 30 minutes, just giggling and laughing (and bracing and clenching and bumping into a tree once).
Truth be told, I can blame this ALL on Jill Homer. Jill has written two amazing books about her incredible mountain bike adventures. I read them recently and have been itching to see if maybe (just maybe) I wouldn’t want to ride my mtn bike again and have some fun in the dirt. I know I’ll never be as wicked adventurous as her, but I wanted to see if I could try.
So I’ve been reading about mtn biking skills and how to ride. I put some of them to practice today, such as: looking 20 feet ahead of me instead of right in front of my tire at that thing I don’t want to hit (but always do), resisting the urge to brake and instead using my weight to slow down, not steering but using body weight shifts to move the bike, and keeping my elbows bent and relaxed with my body in “ready” position. That seemed to help a lot.
Bluff Creek trails are really pretty. Really rooty in spots (which always throws me off), but quiet and nice and shaded.
I rode with him for 30 minutes, and am going to get some skill help from a friend on Wednesday to help me feel just a little more comfortable out there. I can’t wait until our next ride.
Welcome back to the rotation, Big Red!