First, let me check that I actually put ALL the words in the title this time :\
OK, As some of you might have read, I got my Kaitai back from the shop and -now owning a real roadie- I've decided it's time to get the Fisher off the beaten path, as it were, more often (and to wipe down the chain before every ride, too, but that's another story).
So, I take it out on the berm the other night, start climbing up to the top of the point, fall... repeat often. But -no quitter, I- I went out again last night to try a different approach. Literally a different approach since there are easily half a dozen different routes to the top.
So, up I go... not to bad... a pretty easy incline, good hard pack, then maybe 10, 12 feet from the top (I thought) it goes up sharply and there's a rut. A brief moment of indecision and, well, here I am stopped again and unable to get the traction or momentum I need to get over that hump. I look around... no one's in the vicinity... discretion being the better part of valor, I get off and walk the last 10, 12 feet. Yes, folks, I got off and walked (no way I was going back down and starting over). And what is the top? Not the top, at all, but, rather a wider, flatter path (cars used to take it to get to motocross events at the top. In fact, I think it was once a military road leading to a coastal defense installation. We have a lot of those in Pacifica). Looking down the road I know that -next time- this is how I'm coming up. I remount the bike and start rising to the true top of the point. I'm pedalling, I'm standing, the road is rough and uneven with chunks of concrete and loose dirt and gravel. It gets sharp right at the end. The bike is bucking and squirming like crazy as I fight it and muscle up the hill. I glance at my HRM; 166 -oh, lordy- 167... I keep fighting... I'm so so close. I hit the crest. 174bpm. I haven't seen that in a couple of weeks. I fear a clutch in my chest! No, nothing wrong. Just a brief fear of seeing that 174. But, I'm at the top. Ohhh... it's beautiful. And just look at all those trails up there leading to... anywhere... I actually took one after I caught my wind back. Coming back, I know I'll have a little climb, I can see that but I know I can make it (and I do).
Then, back down the main "road" I go. I haven't ridden downhill on a road like this since I was maybe 14 years old. I was giggling like a fool. Hopping ruts, standing on the pedals, carefully working the brakes.
And, today? Today I am sore. I haven't felt like this since I started back riding last year. Truth is, I didn't even feel like this then. Climbing up the loose stuff, fighting that bike... it's hard. Really hard. Can't wait to go back for more. Me and that ridge top, we have a date in the future. I will own that point.
Lesson learned? Duh, Crossroaders aren't really made for serious off-road riding. That's what knobbies are for. There just isn't enough "bite" in these tires -especially at 90psi- to keep traction if I lose the "mo".
The other lesson learned is that my technique sucks. Practice makes perfect, though, eh?
Maybe I'll post the 180 degree panorama I shot from the top later on if anyone wants to see it.
Being 54 doesn't mean you can't have fun. This is fun. Serious fun.