Saturday, March 12, 2016

Mountain Bike Date

Some people go to dinner and a movie, or visit the theater. When the opportunity allows, and the weather is nice, we get outside.

Yesterday one of Daniel's sisters was in town and we took advantage of free babysitting to hit up the muddy jeep trails in Prentice Cooper State Forest, just a few minutes from our house.

Daniel first introduced me to mountain biking back when we lived in Charlotte (about 10 years ago) and I was quickly hooked. 

I'm a bit of an adrenaline junkie, so once I got used to navigating roots and twisty trails, and how to properly work my gears, I was in love. I am in better shape than I was ten years ago, so now it's even more fun!

There is something about flying through the woods at breakneck speeds that gets your blood rushing. 

It rained most of Thursday night so we knew that there would be mud, but we weren't quite prepared for the huge puddles we encountered. Our ride was a bit of a balancing act as we rode on the banks of puddles while attempting to stay upright.

It's been about two years since our last ride and I surprised myself by riding fast and without fear. This was one of the more technical rides that I have completed and riding over logs, down slippery boulders and climbing up steep embankments didn't phase me in the least.

About halfway through our ride I realized that I had been in low (heavy) gears for the majority of the time. I think the heavier gears helped me to feel more in control, like I wasn't just going to slip off the steep muddy slopes, but it also made the climbs hard. 

I can tell that I have been doing weight lifting this last year because even with the heavier gears, I had no problem climbing the steep hills.

Not to say that I wasn't breathing hard!

My pictures make it look like we walked a lot, but those were just times that I was stopped long enough to take a photo. 

I think we both took one spill (nothing serious) and we both had to walk our bikes across a couple of logs and up one or two really steep, muddy slopes. Other than that, we were on our bikes the whole time.

We started our 6 mile ride from Timberlinks Drive, with the hope to make it to Edwards Point before sunset. Somewhere along the way we missed a turn and ended up on Edwards Point Road. 

Since it was getting late, we changed plans and biked back to our car on pavement. It is so fun to ride fast after you have been slogging it in the mud (though our knobby tires threw a ton of mud onto my face as we rode back).

It was such a fun return to mountain biking. We really love where we live and I hope we can hit the trails more often. Today we are both sore, but it was worth it!

Trail Stats:
Trail: Prentice Cooper Jeep Trails, near Edwards Point
Distance: 6 miles
Time: 1.5 hours
Elevation Gain: 360 feet

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