On mountain biking

Posted by SuperClydesdale on October 23, 2010 under Commentary | 10 Comments to Read

Regular readers of this site  (aka, “people with good taste,” “big and tall riders,” and also “people who don’t mind bad grammar, poor punctuation, and who revel in crap spelling”) know that I started mountain biking a few months ago, after many years of threatening to do so.  I think “threaten” is the correct word in this case, because I represent a clear and present danger to myself and others when I’m on a mountain bike trail.   I’m quite sure that the  people who urged me to get dirty are regretting their actions.

I am danger to runners, walkers, their pets, the local flora and fauna, and of course, other mountain bikers.  I even damage rocks — I leave teeth marks on many, both from my chain rings, and my mouth.

I was today compared to legendary “stunt man” Super Dave Osborne, whose every stunt went horribly wrong.   I need to start having someone videotape my exploits so that I can appear on America’s Funniest Home Videos.   If I can figure out a way to integrate a shot to the groin into my crashes, and I’ll win the damn thing!

The view from near the top of Beatty. What a crappy camera my Blackberry has. I probably could have drawn it better.

I wish someone had been recording me yesterday.  I had just finished going up a brutal climb – a mile-long dirt road up the dreaded Beatty hill in Folsom, California.   Beatty Road itself is a nasty, unfair road upon which, that would have been a hilarious scene.  Not so much fun in first person.    I limped back to the car, barely able to breath.

I bruised my sternum pretty badly.   I could barely sleep last night.

But, I couldn’t not ride today.  I had to.   And, it was a good ride — all I got today was a bloody knee and ankle.

If I’m going to survive, I have to go slower, or get better.  Both might be a solid recommendation, but going slower isn’t going to happen.  Why suffer through a tough climb if you can’t have the thrilling descent?

I am working on my skills.

Despite my complete lack of skill, numerous injuries (knee, sternum, many cuts) and crashes, I can see that I’ve got the bug.  A deep, nagging desire to get out on the mountain bike.  It’s not enjoyable… It’s much more than that.  It’s exciting.  It’s dangerous — at least the way that I am doing it.   It’s snowboarding without the snowboard.  It’s motocross without the motor.  I can’t get enough.

Perhaps it will wear off.  I hope not.  It’s great to have another sport that I not only look forward to, but one that I am actually excited to have the opportunity to do.

If you enjoy an activity that combines genuine fun with a kick-your-ass aerobic workout, it’s a gift from God.  I am wallowing in it.

I hate running.  Running is for weirdos and small people, usually weird small people.

There are only a handful of aerobic sports – for adults — that are not for losers:

  • Road biking
  • Mountain biking
  • Soccer (I’ve retired.  Too many injuries) – love to play, but I have no skill, and basically become a defensive “enforcer.”  I started having knee and ankle pain after every game.
  • Basketball (I’ve retired.  Too many injuries) – I would go play right now, this instant, but I would come out in 5 minutes with an ankle sprain, knee injury, or both.  I stopped playing after a nasty high ankle sprain that gave me what my wife lovingly calls my “third ankle.”  Couldn’t walk properly for about 18 months.
  • Hockey (never played, probably not man enough anyway)

Seriously.  What else is there?  Baseball?  Softball?  Flag football?  Not even close to the same workout.    And no racket sports.  Those are clearly for lesser men.

You may notice a pattern.  Every acceptable sport, other than hockey, is one I’ve played.  I’m just too nervous about offending hockey players.  Next thing you know, my cycling jersey is up over my head, and I’m getting pounded with uppercuts.

I’m not too nervous about a tennis ambush.

If you don’t have a mountain bike, I can tell you that you are missing out.  I wish I had taken it up years ago.    Can’t afford to buy a mountain bike?  Sell your car.    Sell your road bike.   Sell your… services.  Just do it.

  • thebikebreaker said,

    I have the “bug” to get into MB riding. I am a year round commuter @ 6′ and 250lbs. I am looking for a Kona Hoss or Coiler to start my career. I want to spend to winter building my big guy bike…my dream is to get to Whistler and ride for a week…I am here Bellingham WA and have Galbraith Mt. right in my backyard…will also be getting GoPro HD for getting Uber Clyde video proof of concept.

  • thebikebreaker said,

    I have the “bug” to get into MB riding. I am a year round commuter @ 6′ and 250lbs. I am looking for a Kona Hoss or Coiler to start my career. I want to spend to winter building my big guy bike…my dream is to get to Whistler and ride for a week…I am here Bellingham WA and have Galbraith Mt. right in my backyard…will also be getting GoPro HD for getting Uber Clyde video proof of concept.

  • SuperClydesdale said,

    Send me a note when you’ve got video. I’ve not ridden MTB in Washington, but I’ll bet it’s spectacular.

  • SuperClydesdale said,

    Send me a note when you’ve got video. I’ve not ridden MTB in Washington, but I’ll bet it’s spectacular.

  • nelsonm said,

    I play on an inline roller hockey league…the beer…ummm….recreation league… I’m an athena and one of 3 women who play. I’m a little crazy, yeah, but love it and my husband totally supports me by going to every game (only ’cause if I really get hurt, he can drive me to the hospital!). However, I must admit that it is one of the hardest things I have ever tried. Anyway, I am seriously looking for recommendations of bikes that I won’t totally crunch…any suggestions?

  • nelsonm said,

    I play on an inline roller hockey league…the beer…ummm….recreation league… I’m an athena and one of 3 women who play. I’m a little crazy, yeah, but love it and my husband totally supports me by going to every game (only ’cause if I really get hurt, he can drive me to the hospital!). However, I must admit that it is one of the hardest things I have ever tried. Anyway, I am seriously looking for recommendations of bikes that I won’t totally crunch…any suggestions?

  • wwwmattcom said,

    Shoot. I just joined this site so here comes a really late response. When choosing a bike you choose based on geometry and frame material. Then you choose based on component specs which will determine price. Personally I have a steel frame Redline Mono9 ‘with no front deralleur and sram x9 shifter. It is a 29er and I highly recommend. 29ers. Bottom line, go out and try Trek, Giant, Specialized, whatever is local, see which feels right then pick what level of component set. Usually geometry stays the same even in upper level bikes.

  • wwwmattcom said,

    Shoot. I just joined this site so here comes a really late response. When choosing a bike you choose based on geometry and frame material. Then you choose based on component specs which will determine price. Personally I have a steel frame Redline Mono9 ‘with no front deralleur and sram x9 shifter. It is a 29er and I highly recommend. 29ers. Bottom line, go out and try Trek, Giant, Specialized, whatever is local, see which feels right then pick what level of component set. Usually geometry stays the same even in upper level bikes.

  • showard said,

    Just bought a Gary Fisher Pirahna. Its a great bike but I regret not going for the 29′er.

  • showard said,

    Just bought a Gary Fisher Pirahna. Its a great bike but I regret not going for the 29′er.

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