Attitude firmly adjusted, and wow – I had a fantastic ride!
Great family ride!
A local farmer gave our club permission to host the first ever trail ride on their farm. Not only was it the chance to ride brand new terrain, it was also a fundraiser for a tiny local school, a double win!
It was beautiful – but a bit scary! Huge paddocks with a mix of rolling hills and steep ridges. There were a few short deep sandy patches, just enough to get a “glow” on I slid from side to side across the track, but we quickly popped back out onto lush grass.
The scary part came in the form of some big “bull holes”, and some steep downhills off the sides of ridges.
A bull hole is exactly what it sounds like. A large (usually deep) hole, dug out by a bull. They can be hard to spot when you’re flying across a paddock, only to have the ground disappear under your wheels, sending you cartwheeling over the bars. They are equally hard to spot when you’re not exactly flying, but gazing at the scenery and daydreaming about Steven McQueen. Note to self – keep your head in the game! At least I wasn’t staring fixedly down at my front mudguard, which is my other default riding position.
The steep ridges were ok the first round, I cruised down them happily, hanging off the back and feathering the brakes. But on the second round however, I don’t know quite what happened. I totally stuffed up the first steep downhill, I think I over braked on the initial sandy top section, which sent me sliding out of control down the next grassy section, which was quite rough. So I was being bucked down this steep angle, totally out of control, just managed to bite off the end of a slight squeal as I charged passed by my Dad. Lucky for me there was a lot of run off at the bottom.
So that basically scared the crap out of me and set the tone for the rest of the ride. I was bloody terrified at every steep downhill from then on! Which of course made me tense up and get more out of control. I was virtually screaming instructions at myself in my head at every downhill, determined not to allow this sudden crippling fear to develop into a “thing”.
Mum was having a great day, she’s got a new kickstart lever on her bike which has made a huge difference. She can start her bike easy now, its been a noticeable confidence boost. We were having a great time and I was spending most of the trail in third or even fourth gear – A big achievement for me!
We did about 3 loops before regrouping for lunch, where Dad suggested he and the husband escort us ladies around some of the expert deviations. We talked it over with the guys who marked out the trails and they suggested which ones would be a good challenge.
I had the most fun I’ve had so far! It was fantastic! For once all four of us rode together at much the same place. I could follow the boy’s lines and was tackling steep ups and downs, just attacking the trails. I had a huge grin on my face, even down the downhills (internalized screaming, outward smile/grimace!) it forced me to ride just a smidge faster than I was comfortable and proved to me that I could handle it.
Even sections I didn’t quite make were fun, my whole attitude was “this is AWESOME” rather than “I SUCK” and it’s amazing how much difference it made. I hit a bump just on the lip of a long, steep uphill and went into orbit. Didn’t quite stick the landing but dear old Dad was expecting that and caught my bike as I tumbled off the side. He looked at me wide-eyed, clearly expecting tears or a tantrum. I just laughed and helped him drag the bike out of the way of the next rider.
At the next big uphill I picked the totally wrong route and got bounced off to the side about 3/4 of the way up. I just picked myself and bike up, rolled back down (yes rolled DOWN a scary downhill lol) and tried again. Got the same result on the next attempt and cracked up laughing as a very cautious Dad yelled down to see if I was ok, and to suggest I tried aiming for a different part of the hill.
The whole ride was like that. I felt so happy and loved having my family around me. Even when I screwed up it wasn’t a big deal. I gave everything 100% effort so it was 100% fun!
I even pushed for one final lap when everyone else was ready to leave, as I was determined to nail the first hill of doom that gave me such a fright. So Mum and I took off for our “victory lap” and had so much fun. I got some wire wrapped around my back wheel, we stopped to unwind it and I gave Mum a big hug and told her how much fun I was having and how I love having her as my riding buddy.
Her response? “Best Mother’s Day ever!”
Happy Mother’s Day to the most awesome Mom I know.
And check this out, a vid of the ride we did (not our video!): http://vimeo.com/42161943
Mini-Cupcakes for Mother’s Day