Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy Mountain Biking

So when last we met I was not mountain biking - because the universe had told me it had other plans for that day. But this day the universe seemed perfectly happy to send me off on my way, so I took pictures.

But first, a little backstory - I wasn't on my bike at all this spring and summer.  Because I was too busy running.  And running, and running, until my foot didn't want to run. (Quick side note - I finally have an answer on what's wrong with my foot - yay!  Posterior tibial tendonitis.  I know, WTH, right?  But knowledge is power, and the PT seems quite competent, and I'm pairing this with an amazing rolfer to try to get straightened out once and for all, so I'm happy.)  Anyway - I finally faced the reality that a fast fall 5-K was not in my future, and got back on my bike.  Happy!  This is my favorite time of the year for mountain biking.  And so I celebrated by doing this:

I debated whether that was too gross to put on here, but I decided the smile on my face balanced it out.  Why am I smiling?  (a) Because this was the picture I sent to Clark and Sam to say I was on my way to urgent care  - yes, a few stitches were required, and (b) because I was such a dumbass to have done it in the first place.  That's partly  a smile of disbelief.  Because I didn't crash on anything impressive or death-defying - I just washed out in a perfectly fine curve.  Oops.  So this was (literally) my first ride back in a few months.  Welcome back!  Other than this small mishap, though, it was quite fun, and Kelly and Robin and I were happy to be back together.  Return of the Three Musketeers!

So I have since been on a few super fun, uneventful rides, most of which I have meant to document with photographic proof.  But I never seem to remember to pull out my camera - until yesterday.  Frankly I didn't do that great a job of it yesterday either, because to use it (it's my iPhone) I have to pull it out of my pocket that's buried under a layer of clothes (this was early in the morning), and then unwrap it from the waterproof bag and arm warmer (hi-tech cushioning), and *then* take a picture.  Burdensome.

But - never fear, I did manage to get a few - here's an October morning in Bent Creek:

Early morning in the parking lot - probably the only time on this whole beautiful day it was empty.

My fearless steed awaiting our ride.  I LOVE this bike.  It's a Serotta 650b hardtail, and it weighs about 21 pounds.   It's way nicer than I would have ever been able to buy - except that the fates smiled mightily upon me in the form of my friend's brother-in-law who works at a bike shop and was selling his personal bike.  I think he felt sorry for me (my previous bike weighed 32 pounds and was named Bertha), so he made me an incredibly good deal.  I am forever grateful.  Fred I love you!

Why the dorky orange vest on the bar?  Because it's hunting season and some of those very old and very young hunters walking around Bent Creek with a rifle look like they might have a hard time figuring out if it's me or a squirrel.  God forbid when rifle season for deer gets here - I'll add a blaze orange knit cap over my bike helmet.  And I'm not kidding.

Here's today's partner in crime: Kelly.  I know, awesome picture.   Kelly was also with me the day I bought the blaze orange vest featured above.  That was the day we were doing recon for Swank and inadvertently ended up biking in Pisgah on the opening day of bear season.  Exciting!  I stopped at Wal-Mart on the way home and bought the vest.

Here's the main reason I like to park at Rice Pinnacle - separate male and female bathrooms.  They're not always great, but it's still better than the co-ed one at Hard Times.  Gack.

Off on a beauteous ride.  It would have been better to take a picture of the single track, but alas I was busy actually riding on that stuff.

And - the payoff.  After climbing a fair bit, it opens up and - you're on top of the word!  Or at least Hominy Valley.  It was pretty much the most perfect day for mountain biking of the year.  Happy.


  1. Sooooo jealous! And I'm sure you wish I was there with you setting the pace!

  2. Two words - helmet cam

  3. Leslie - of course I would love for you to come and set the pace! You should bring your good camera sometime (although I suppose that's not very practical on a bike) - but the shots would be great!

  4. Sarah - I love the *idea* of a helmet cam, but the reality of watching the video from one often leaves me feeling a little like Clark on a long car ride - kind of sick. ;) Maybe I should rig up a still camera that straps on your helmet - now that I would love. An easy way to take photos.