Eric completely loses his shit over mountain biking. This kid wants to do it ALL THE TIME. EVERY DAY! When we moved to Ohio, he drowned his sorrows in guide books, sought out all the mountain bike trails in the state and rode all of them.
I first went mountain biking with Eric when we lived in Rhode Island. I bombed trails and jumped logs and even did some backflips those first few times. I was a natural, and I wasn’t scared. Soon after those first few times, though, I lost my balls and started to fall A LOT. I fell on my knees over and over because I couldn’t get my clipped-in feet unclipped fast enough. I started to ride a lot more slowly and mountain bike rides became a series of slow motion falls for me. I didn’t want to go riding with Eric.
Well, last winter, Eric, Ashley and I went up to Michigan for a ride. It was snowing. Snowmobiking was born.
Something about riding in snow – I guess it was hard to see the roots, rocks and tiger pits. It was a lot easier to just go with it, which seems to be key for this sport. It was fun as hell.
Fast forward to this weekend. The same characters… and a good 70 degree temp difference.
We met Ashley on the Potawatomi Trail at Pinckney State Recreation Area in Michigan, sorta near Ann Arbor. It was 17 miles but it took a long time. We had a few derailleur casualties.
Luckily we brought a bike mechanic with us. And he has been stocking up at derailleurhanger.com. If you find yourself on this website, it’s not by accident I’m sure. I’m pretty bummed I didn’t come up with that name for this blog. RATS.
The highlight was a cool hand pump in the middle of the trail that yielded icy cold delicious life saving water! We took turns getting our skulls split open by the cold water. Headache be damned – this probably saved us from heat exhaustion!
The trail wasn’t very technical, which I appreciated. It was definitely Noob-worthy. I had a great time and didn’t fall (which made me feel really dorky in my knee/shin protectors that I didn’t need). There was a few mid-ride meltdowns in which I really wanted the sweaty hell to be over, but Ashley and Eric were there for me.
Ashley: “You’re doing good! We can do this! (insert other positive comments)”
Eric: “Don’t be such a bitch. Just shut your gob and pedal! (insert other chiding comments)”
I got a well-timed flat near the end of the ride. I can’t say I was sad about it. And, despite spending an entire day listening to his wife whine, Eric was still happy as a clam.
During the ride, two really awesome mountain bike chicks blazed by us. I lamented that I wasn’t one of THEM and Eric said that they were just us with 100 more rides behind them.
99 more to go.