Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Learning Curve

Well, I managed two rides this past week, 30 miles on my Virginia GT recumbent, and 2 hours on my new Cannondale mountain bike. You may notice that I don’t mention mileage when riding the mountain bike. Well, it is my hope to not become a data-starved techie when riding the mountain bike. Whenever I ride the mountain bike, my intent will be to enjoy the ride, the trail, the fresh air, the new scenery, and not track much of any data. Besides, on the mountain bike I’m too busy keeping the rubber side down, and the Jim side up!
As with every ride, I seem to always learn something; whether it’s something about riding fitness, technique, or how to compose a nice photograph, there is always something. This week was no exception, although all of my learning experiences this past week were on the trail in Mueller Park.

Mueller Park, on the foothills east of Bountiful, offers a great trail for a beginner. Long steady climbing, with few rocky sections, I climbed (according to the signs) about 3 miles to Big Rock, or as Bountiful locals refer, Elephant Rock. There is a whole second section to Ruby’s Flat and North Canyon that I will have to ride next time. Being the second time on a trail, I found that I have quickly adapted to new climbing techniques, and have figured out how to shift my weight forward to keep both wheels on the trail without the front wheel doing a “wheely” and the rear wheel from skidding out from under me.
Antelope Island in the distance...
I also learned that from a cardiovascular point of view, that climbing hills on a mountain bike will be very beneficial to my distance recumbent riding. For someone who has ridden nearly 2,000 miles this year, my heart sure was pounding as I climbed! I can only become a better climber/sprinter from this cross training.
All the leaves are on the ground...

What I haven’t learned yet, are my safety parameters on descents. You might infer from this statement that I may have had some minor “learning experiences” on the descent from Big Rock. Ok, so I had two learning experiences. First that I must gain more trail experience before careening at warp speed down the trail, and second that I shall not change my “plan” of attack in the middle of a downhill, hairpin turn. Ah well, the bruises are healing nicely, and I did manage to get the leaves out my helmet vents!
In the shadows, winding through the canyon...
That’s all the riding news from here. Finally, I would like to mention that there seem to be several blogs on my tab list that have become like lonely spider-filled mailboxes, a veritable wasteland of news. (You know who you are)… Keyboards broken? Cameras gathering dust? After all, with the Broncos at 3-4, Sunday afternoons are free for writing!


1 comment:

Harding said...

This is something I have never tried, mainly because there are no hills around here.