I took the new mountain bike out for it's first ride yesterday. We both got dirty and made it home in one piece, so I'm calling it a successful ride. I will admit that there was some spots where I was doing more hiking w/ a bike than riding, but I'm okay with that just starting out. There are lots of things for me to learn - mountain biking as I'm sure you all know is sooooo different than road riding. Some things in particular that I need to work on:
-Relax. The bike has fat tires and suspension for a reason. Let the bike do the work and find the right path down. I was able to do this in a couple places and it was so much more fun than when I was over thinking every little rock, branch and rut. I just need to be able to do it consistently and not panic.
-I suck at starting in a low gear going uphill. If I put the front derailleur in the middle ring I can do it, but not the small ring. It's a pain though when I have to put a foot down to get off the bike, shift the front, then get back on and get started and shift back to the small ring. I think that's just going to take practice on my part. I might not be starting out with the pedal high enough to give me time to get my other foot on the pedal and start spinning.
-I need to get with my doctor and find a better solution for my asthma. I was sucking some major wind yesterday. Those hills are hard! lol
All in all I had a great time. The friend that took me out was very patient with me and it even sounds like he might go with me again sometime. Here are a couple of pictures I took:
View from the top of the biggest hill we climbed. I rode all the way up. I had lots of time here to get out my camera while wheezing.
Some of the single track trail. This really doesn't capture how pretty this trail was. This was probably my favorite section.
My long suffering, extremely patient coach.
Me and my trusty steed at another vista point. I'll be back.