“The mountains are calling and I must go” ~John Muir
Normally Saturday’s I spend with my Alanta Track Club family at training (we’re reaching the end of In Training For Peachtree 10k). Sometimes though I can tell when my husband really wants to do something. Considering I’m starting a full time PhD program in August, moving to part time at my job, and training for Ironman all at the same time, I’m trying to be a little more cognizant of my time spent with him. He started mountain biking last year and I reluctantly followed because it allowed us to do something together. I’ve always been intrigued by mountain biking but it feels a bit like riding a roller coaster without a seatbelt, and it’s not attached to the track. I want to have fun but I also don’t want to get injured to the point I can’t run or train for Ironman. That would require way too much Xanax.
I haven’t been on the mountain bike since last October. This spring we’ve spent a lot more time on the road training for Bike Ride Across Georiga (BRAG) and, of course, I need the road miles for Ironman. You can read my BibRave review of BRAG and I plan to write more about it here in the next week (in short, it was awesome!). I could tell after all that, that Adam was really itching to get back to the mountains. With Father’s Day this weekend, it was a good opportunity to get to Chattanooga (where my in-laws live) and get some mountain miles, like a good wife. 🙂
I was nervous starting out, but with the shade of trees and a cooler breeze, riding in the woods proved a lot more pleasant than baking on a run in the Atlanta streets. I set out to get a good workout and not get hurt. But mostly, I told myself to just have fun. Let the bike flow and stop worrying for once. Coming off BRAG, I already felt strong and much more comfortable in the saddle. Moving that feeling to the woods felt a lot easier than it had in the past. I think for the first time since I’ve tried the sport I felt like I was “really doing it.” My lines and corner handling was much more confident and, as I set out to do, I had fun! I found myself hollering down some hills and pump tracks like a good little dirt girl. It was beautiful in how little the details really mattered. With mountain biking, riding the breaks in fear can often lead to more crashes. You really do have to just let go. The bike will take you where you need to go.