The past Saturday I had a rare day on the calendar that had NOTHING on it and so did Civil Racer. I told him I would like him to plan something for us to do that day, bike related or not, did not care. It would be the last weekend day or night without something planed, like a bike race, for the next gazillion months.
He came through and planned something. He said to me bring your cross bike and we will ride some trails in Brown Co, IN. You mean my MTB? No I mean your cross bike. Okay then. So I packed it all up and made sure I was ready with all my gear. It is not a bad drive from Louisville to Brown County and I have heard wonderful things about how pretty it is.
Before we got out on the trials we made a stop at Gray Goat Sports (the shop that Civil Racer rides for) so he could get some shoes and I could drool over all the pretty Speclialzed bikes. Bike shops are fun places and you end up spending more time in them than you think. We visited with some people in the shop and then hit the road a little later than planned but we were not in a big hurry so not big deal.
We did not have a set plan really just to hit the trails. Civil Racer wanted to try out the new one and I was just along for the ride. Now I am going to remind all of you that up to this point I have only been on trail on a mountain bike once and never on my cross bike. I have been gaining skills, slowly, on my cross bike but still have a lot to learn.
The trail we started on was the North Tower Trail, this trail connects to the Green Valley Trail (the new one). The North Tower Trail starts up, you climb and climb. That part was okay with me, I need it for cross. What had me worried was the rule of what goes up must come down. Not sure how good I was going to be on the down part. We passed a few other bikers on the first trail and I asked Civil Racer if they thought we were crazy for being on our cross bikes, he said “probably”. Should have turned around then.
We find the Green Valley Trail and know right off the bat how it got its name. You look down on a green valley. All is good for a bit, Civil Racer lets me lead the way some so he can give me pointers (or to have a better view as he put it). I tell him to keep the pointers to himself until the ride home. I do know one thing about myself, I need to figure it out on my own for the most part. It was about not falling that first time; then it will be about improving my skill. First I need to get a feel for what I am doing. The one thing he did comment on that I found amusing was my incredible ability to save myself from falling. There were several times when I should have eaten sh** and saved it. Funny part about that is my kayaking buddy Sandmann used to say that same thing to me, “Christine I have no idea how you saved that, I thought for sure you were going swimming”. It’s all about balance.
After about an hour and half of riding and Civil Racer saying “I think this trail meets back up with the other one just a little ways up” about 5 of that same statement and still not finding it we decided to turn back around and go the way we came. You remember that part where I said I was not so sure about the down part, well I was right. On the way back I was in front and got going a little faster than I was comfortable with and lost some control. Next thing I knew I had face planted. I also hit my left side pretty hard and was very much rattled. My bike however got the worst of it and came out like a champ, I have told you all how much I LOVE my Scott CX Team Bike? Well I do, a lot. It fell about 30 feet into a creek bed and I thought it was going to be bad. When Civil Racer caught up to me and asked if I was okay, through my tears all’s I could say way “my bike” as I am cradling my arm. After a few minutes of catching my breath and making sure nothing is broken or bleeding I get up and Civil Racer gets my bike for me. The only thing wrong with it were the sifters. Easy fix with a mulitool and handy boyfriend.
Now I am all about getting back on the bike after a fall but this time I just couldn’t do it. I saw skinny, down hill trail in front of me and my shoulder was screaming at me. So we walked. We found what we thought was the North trail we started on and set off to get on it. At this point we were off trailing it cause we had to go down a ravine and through a few non trail areas while carrying our bikes. We get on the trail and it is flat and wide so I ride. Soon we realize that is not the trail we thought it was and have to go to place C. Again carrying the bikes to yet anther trail. We find the trail we are looking for after some looking. I decided that I can ride some more and do until we find the road. Civil Racer and I talk for a few minutes about taking that or the trail back to the car. I know at this point it is all down hill so I go for the road. He goes for the tail (he did tell me it was his favorite part of that trail). He takes off and so do I. Let me tell you WOW, that was the most fun I had all day. I hit a hill and hit my fastest speed to date at 32 mph. LOVED IT. I know he will be a little longer than me to I ride around a bit on the road and remember I do love to be on two wheels.
Overall it was a great learning experiences. You can see the photos below where I went down and where my bike was. Not sure I will be taking my cross bike back anytime soon but I sure would like to try it on my MTB.