I've been a road cyclist since 1983 and this year was talked into doing a 24 hr mountain bike race as part of a team. The race was this past weekend. I borrowed my dad's Klein Pulse Comp and started training off road at the beginning of May. Most of the rides were on logging roads with some rough, loose rocks in places.
After reflecting on the race I have to say I may have found a new outlet for some of my cycling. While I am a true novice at handling a mountain bike at speed I also feel much more comfortable now on a mountain bike. I was able to pull a best lap time of 1 hr 6 minutes and could have brought it down but I realized the tires were probably not the right ones because cornering, especially on gravel, was a little dicey. The crash on that lap didn't help - still not sure how that one happened.
The course was 15 miles almost equally split between double track and single track. Single track is definitely an area that I need to work on. There were a few pretty technical areas with what looked like boulders (to my rookie eyes) coming out of the ground. By the third loop I was starting to feel more comfortable getting over that stuff.
Night time riding was awesome - quite liberating. Even with the flat tire in the dark I still enjoyed it and looked forward to the second crack at it.
So, with the race over, and the bike back at my dad's, I'll be on the hunt to scrounge up cash and look for a decent used mountain bike so I can have more fun in the hills.