Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Medina, OH
Bikes: confidential infromation that I don't even share with my wife
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I can relate to his experience. A little more than a year ago I went on my first mtb ride with my son and his buddies using a borrowed bike. I had a blast, even though the downhill’s were truly scary, but could see that I wanted to ride mtb’s. After the ride I went to the LBS and purchased a hard tail 29'er from one of the salesmen who is also one of the guys my son rides with. The salesman invited me to ride with him and his bike store co-workers that day at a local park with 12 miles of single track. The catch was the ride would be after they got off work and it would be dark. I was hesitant but Scott was sure that I had the proper lighting and skills since we also have done night time group rides together.
We met at the park, got our bikes and gear sorted out, turned on the bike lights and headed for the trail. The ¼ mile gravel road to the trailhead went nicely. As soon as we turned onto the trail I was faced with an 18" wide curved elevated bridge that I promptly rode off of into ankle deep mud. From there the ride progressed from one level of terror to the next. Here I am on a brand new bike, in the dark, on a single lane dirt trail covered with fallen leaves, riding up and down little hills, crossing over narrow bridges that I couldn't see the bottom, riding over roots as large as elephant trunks, riding along the side of hills that I had no idea what lay over the edge, and then we entered something they called a "rock garden".
The guys were really cool in that they kept encouraging me to keep riding even though I often volunteered to go home, which would then allow them to ride on without waiting up for me. One of the guys from the bike shop was taking pictures of the ride to put on the shops’ website which did cause them to stop for reasons other than me. For lighting I had a MiNewt 2 light on my helmet that illuminated where I was looking and a P7 flashlight on the handlebar lighting up where the bike was pointed. One of the LBS guys broke his helmet light and was riding behind another without any lights which was amazing to me. Eventually the 1.5 hr ride ended and later that night, while trying to sleep, I kept seeing images of large tree trunks narrowly passing by at breakneck speed every time I closed my eyes.
I believed that experience was crazy and even crazier once I rode the same trails in the daylight and saw the steep drop offs and hazards just off the trail. However, after a few rides I got the hang of riding the mtb and how to just look ahead and ignore what is off the trail. Last week I rode the same trails in the dark solo without touching down once and ‘owned’ the “rock garden” made up of broken concrete pieces and dirt mounds.
At night I do back off the intensity and just go with the flow and really enjoy the ride.
oldschool areodynamic brick