After a year and a few months of having this Voodoo 29’er, I have realized that riding trails is really where it’s at when it comes to cycling for me.
For the 7 years I gave up my bike – 2000-2007 – when I got my driver’s license and became a runner – I did a lot of hiking. On the weekends, I’d take my dogs for long hikes with my friend Connie. We’d explore different trails, many of them were MTB trails I ride today. I just loved the serenity of the woods.
Later, I ran a 50K trail race in Mt. Airy forest, near my house. That forest has over 5000 acres of woods and I am familiar with many of the trail systems. I’d run the trails with the dogs, watching them run off leash for hours.
Then there were all those goddamn triathlons.
I loved bikes.
I loved trails.
Bikes + trails seemed to be the next obvious move.
My first trail ride was on my CX bike after the Ironman. I was getting ready for my 1st race and I’d heard MTB trails would be good practice.
Then 2 years ago, Dominic built up an old Trek, 26 inch wheels with a rigid fork. I didn’t understand suspension and shock and the difference between 26 or 29 inch wheels. All I wanted was a bike with fat tires so I could ride trails.
At Interbike, I got to test ride many different bikes, and decided my next MTB would be a hardtail. The Voodoo was built up last year and I reg’d for Mohican, which is to date, the best day I ever spent on a bike.
Riding the trails today, I came to a conclusion.
I am head over heels in love with this sport.
Hearing the birds chirp, the animals running off the trail when I come through, the sun shining through the trees, the creeks, the water falls, it’s so goddamn beautiful.
And when I can master a rock garden without clipping out, or jump a log that always seemed too big, my confidence builds and those big wheels keep rolling.
A few pictures from my ride today:
A turtle on the trail. How could I not stop and take a picture?
Gorgeous, isn’t it?
I saw this momma raccoon and her babies. I stopped. Her babies scattered and ran up a tree, and she sat and made noises at me while I snapped her picture.by
I like turtles
love love love this post. thanks Judi for making me smile.
well fucking shit. What I told you a year ago is now coming to realization? Shit. I want a full 2 points in trail cred for knowing what I knew then about what you know now.
Trails are where it’s at.
that raccoon, all erect and alert in daylight, is pretty unnerving. obviously a sign that the earth is out of balance.
in terms of counter culture appeal, trail running and mountain biking have a lot in common. road vs. nature in a sensuality match? no contest. why spend time on the streets when you can be in the forest? how great is it to be out in nature without the danger of being maimed or killed? i like the zoned out concentration of being on the trails. yeah, there are other dangers, but somehow they seem more controllable.
nice outpouring of forest love.
although, beware of the bullseye bite of the Lyme tick.
What is better than bikes and critters? Can’t be much, I suppose. Good work.
Judi, frankly not a regular fan of your posts, however, this one is what I love about the sport: namely the challenge and the nature.
Awesome post, MTB rules.
judi…keep it up. trail riding is f.u.n.
Next weekend is going to be fun! Love trails.
Hell yeah mountain bikes. Off-road racing is awesome. Especially the big events like twelve and twenty-four hour races, 100k’s and centuries. Ultra-endurance is fun, even when you have sub-par endurance. The camaraderie is there, like-minded folks just out to have a good time in the woods (or the desert). These are the only events I want to do in the future.
I like riding bikes. Smooth single track, rough single track, double track, country roads, dirt roads, flat roads, mountain roads, bike paths, snow, sand…. whatever. I got friends who are not content unless their on single track. My feeling is this, “If, I’m on a bike I’m happy. Even if I feel like complete dogshit.” I wish I was on a bike right now instead of sittin’ here pretendin’ to be workin’.
Word to trails. When I got back into riding seven years ago, I thought I’d never be into mountain biking. I was wrong. It’s all I give a shit about now.
Great picts Judi! Ride in the Wind!
Wonderful post, Judi. Bravo!
And looky here at a local (Pugetropolitan) indoor bike park initiative:
Love the post, keep it up!
Heck, you are going to miss all the roadie team bullshit! Not! MTBing rules!
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