I’ve been mulling and mulling and mulling some more on just how to articulate the experience of mountain biking.  As Ryan constantly reminds me, I’m a fishie, so these land-lover adventures don’t come too naturally for me as I work towards an amphibian progression.

Certainly mountain biking is exhilarating, certainly all my commentary on it will come from fresh beginner adrenaline, so if any one with more experience would like to comment on my thoughts, I’m game to hear it.

In my first couple of rides there are two things I’ve found to be paradoxically true:  mountain biking is about going incredibly fast and going incredibly slow; it is about knowing what you can control and working without control.

Uphill/downhill/packed dirt/loose dirt/mud/gravel/roots/wind/branches/other humans.  You can see why my mind is getting all turned around.

Most of all though mountain biking is fun.

The first go around the course at Kettle Moraine was a bit bumpy both on the course and with internal struggles.  Learning that you have to work with out the complete control factor is difficult for me. For Ryan, working with out control is a lot easier (and he used to be an accountant, go figure!) and I think really enjoyable for him (maybe that’s why there is a “used to be” in the prior parenthesizes).

As I grow older I’m learning to enjoy the challenge of the unpredictable more and can smile through it versus gnashing my teeth in frustration.  So when my front wheel clears an obstacle, say a rock, but my back wheel rubs against it and tries to fish tail out from under me I really do try to smile as I counter balance.  On the second go around I let the speed of the bike build on the down hill.  (Yes, I already know that part of the down hill course, but baby steps…speed lends an unpredictability factor for me so I’m working on part of it all.  And YES! going fast can be really fun.)  Also on the second go around I found that sometimes it is just better to go over a rock versus trying to avoid it.

Final lesson, there is no shame in having to push your bike up the hill.  You gotta start somewhere.

Now if only KM were a bit closer it’s too far to get a ride in before work.  Luckily there are some other trails closer that will have to be inspected.

So I hope for you and your the joy of smiling through your challenges.