yesterday I went mountain biking again. that makes twice in one year.
watch out world: I might be on my way to becoming a convert . . .
I still stand by my statements after mountain biking the mid-mountain trail last year: I am too old for this, and too female. I am the slowest one on the trail, and I practically wear out a set of brake pads with each ride.
three or four times yesterday these thoughts moved through my mind: what in the world am I doing here? what made me think I could do this?
riding up (key word, up) dry creek, I hit a sharp turn that flowed into a steep grade, and I couldn't do it. off my bike I went, and up I started walking, pulling my bike alongside me. I could hear voices coming up the trail not too far behind, so I pulled off to the side when there was a small space so the upcoming bikers could pass me. the first guy made the turn and kept pedaling up, but the second guy couldn't do it, and had to dismount as I had.
we commiserated for a moment, and he commented on how hard it is to get going again on a steep hill.
that's a skill I haven't yet mastered, I said.
ha. I haven't even passed Steep Hill Starts 101, let alone graduated or worked toward my masters.
all of that just to lead you into a discussion of another skill I haven't yet mastered: the art of assessment. of assessing oneself.
I am not always right.
example: last saturday I woke up slowly, achingly, a little stuffy and not eager to do much of anything. this lasted through coffee and reading, through housework, and through my entire decision-making process around To Ride or Not To Ride.
it was one of those times I thought I might be better off staying off the bike. resting. letting my body recover from whatever was bugging it.
but I wasn't sure.
do I push through it and go ride?
or do I pamper myself and stay home, maybe sit on the sofa and eat bon-bons?
I had thoughts of riding up to brighton: was that too much? or would it be okay? or should I plan a tamer ride?
how do you know what's best?
because the weather was so perfect, I decided to ride; I compromised and planned to only go up big mountain instead of the more aggressive brighton climb.
and I had one of the best darn rides of the season.
I felt good, I felt strong, I felt powerful, and I set a new Personal Record.
of course, it could have been the awesome tailwind and the caffeinated shot bloks . . .
I'm left to wonder, still, how one knows what is best for one. push? rest? push gently? eat bon-bons?
I'm sure I will master Understanding One's Body about the same time I master Steep Hill Starts.
in other words, I'm not holding my breath.