Another milestone in my MTBing adventure. I finally made it out to Gambrill park.
Well ok. The first hour sucked. Then it all got better.
Peter advertised the trip up on MORE. Moderate pace but with my pretty good showing at Rose last week I felt I was up to it. Well, I could have done better.There was Peter, Jason,Dennis (Its been a year since I've ridden with this misplaced Frenchman, you'd think he would have taken the hint), and new to me Mike, John, and shit I can't remember the other guys names.
I was actually a little nervous heading up there. Its been over a year since I've been on any type of trail that had rocks. That was Greenbrier last March and Peter told me Greenbrier is "Gambrill-lite".
I was ready though. Pulled out arm armor that I had only worn once before and made sure to take my until now retired acl knee brace. I ended leaving that off at the trailhead. I put it on and it felt like shit, my leg must have gotten fat. So I left it in the truck.
The first hour was terrible. I remembered that climbing rocks took alot of energy but the reality was worse than I remembered. I was huffing like a freight train. The descents weren't any better. Trying to maneuver around those jagged ass rocks, staying back on the seat and braking were taking way too much energy. My arms were knotting up on the first big decent.
The guy whose place I had taken at the back, shit, I think his name was John, told me he felt the same way his first time out there, but he still came back. Time tends to fade the bad experiences. I was thinking "yeah right, your not ever gonna see my big ass back out here." If I had known how to get back to the trail head my ass would've bailed. I was in way over my head.
Luckily it all changed 2/3's of the way through the ride. I guess I finally started getting used to the rocks. The break seemed to come on a decent where Peter was stationed at a turn taking pictures. It looked scary as shit with some drops, but I was going down pretty good and getting myself to relax. I was feeling good cause I just got over a good sized rock and realized I was gonna clean this. That was until my baggy shorts got caught on the back of my seat and I got stuck hanging off the back. That screwed my body positioning all up and I had to stop.
I was pissed!
I lowered my seat 2" after that and things just clicked. I stopped trying to pick perfect lines through the rocks and used momentum to carry me over all but the largest ones. That 2" drop in seat hieght helped alot. I didn't feel like I was "towering" was above the bike. I was more a part of it.
The MTB gods must have been watching. Things were starting to go good for me so the bastards screwed with my rear derailer. The last 15 minutes of the ride if I took it off the large rear cog, it would skip and jump back and forth. So I made it back going between granny and the middle chainring.
I left there feeling real good. Can't wait to get back there although I should put more time in working anerobic for the hills.