Saturday, January 10, 2009

Riding the bikes out of the Genser Trailhead

Yesterday was a big day for us. We signed up for the SW Trekking mtb session. The ride was the Starr Pass trail off the Genser trail head. Those of you who have been paying attention will immediately recognize that as the trail that just scares the living snot out of me when I contemplate riding it. Our trail master was Brent, who was an excellent instructor, psychiatrist, and rider. He has the knack of pushing hard enough to get me to do something, but recognizing when I just can't. The pronoun here is "I" because Jim was much more competent than me and rode off without us. At the end, I was in neurotransmitter deficit due to fear, the kind of fear where your knees are bouncing up and down. But I think I rode about 3/4 of it going out and about 1/2 coming back. It's very tiring riding, plus I think terror saps one's strength.
But here we are at the top, at the 4 way intersection. We are very happy, I am very surprised to be there.

This is the most technical part of the ride. It's very steep with loose dirt, big rocks and you have to turn while climbing. Brent showed Jim the line to take when coming down through it. Here is Jim going into the second switch back which I think is the worst of the two.

Here is Jim contemplating his mortality.

Here is Jim about to learn a major mtb lesson; which is if you've unclipped one foot, get the other one out, too. 10 seconds later he fell over. He has a raspberry on his butt and some scraped skin on the leg, but he was not seriously impaired. Unfortunately, I had put the camera away and missed the shot.

It was a fun day. Brent gave us two exercises to work on at home; riding really slowly on a straight line and learn to do a track stand. We are better at the first than the second. Brent is able to just ride up to you and stop, and hop the bike back and forth.

We have discovered that there is an amazing amount of mtb instructional material on the web.
If you go here, click on the "video clips" tab at the top, there's much information to be had.

I like this picture of Jim, it amuses me when he wears multiple glasses.

While we were out yesterday, a slug of RVs came in. Looks like the migration has begun in earnest. None of them look like bicycle riders, quelle dommage. So far we have not seen very many of the people we rode with last year.

Today the wind is blowing the dog off the chain as a front moves through. So I think we'll hike. The barometer is rising in the Great Pacific North West, so maybe it will QUIT RAINING soon so you can dry out.

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