Saturday, June 15, 2013

we'll burn that bridge when we come to it.

we have been racing at catamount almost exclusively on the black course this summer on account of the unrelenting rain. the black course is this year's hillside course.

traditionally there are three courses: two on the woodside, the low course and the high course, and the hillside course.

the woodside lowland course, traditionally marked blue, is relatively flat and goes on all the twisty bits on the lower part of the trails. there are a few technical bits, but it rides fast. if it rains enough and the ground is saturated, whole big swaths of it can wash out else water just runs down the trail like a streambed and running a race on it would just damage it too much.

the woodside high course, traditionally marked in purple or yellow depending on the year, meanders through some twisty things and has a long steep climb followed by a long descent. it is more technical and punishing than the blue course by far. some years it runs clockwise and some years counter-clock, and so you either get the big climb at the beginning or the end. it doesn't really matter. it still hurts. this course is the most likely to be washed out by rain or by use in the rain, so we haven't even seen it yet even though the season is a month old almost.

the hillside course, traditionally marked in pink but this year with black arrows, has pretty much always been the climb-iest of the three. it has a lot of wide open field riding and a lot of going up and down goose hill. they change where the actual courses go every year, but the basic characteristics stay the same. this year marc and eric decided to build a bridge in the black course. it isn't a hard bridge, but still.

i am a skilled rider. if you give me a twisty course that just stays on the ground i have excellent control and can run pretty fast on a narrow line. i can put my wheels on a path two and a half inches wide and keep them there.

diana on the bridge
but i am old and scared, so if you take a path two and a half FEET wide, an EASY path two and a half feet wide but you put it a couple of feet off the ground and all of a sudden i am terrified of it.

because, you know, consequences.

so when they put the bridge in the black course it scared the willies out of me and i looked hard at it and decided to take the b-line.

in mountain biking when they have an obstacle in the course they sometimes put in an a-line (the hard way) and a b-line, which is an easier but more time-consuming route. sometimes there is even a c-line.

me on the bridge
anyway, i've been looking at that thing for a number of weeks knowing i have the skills for it. i walked it a couple of times and walked my bike over it just to see how my wheels would roll on it.

totally nothing to be scared of. totally easy.

except if you make a mistake, it's going to be a costly mistake and i am a timid little middle aged lady.

so last monday i was out riding with my friend diana (who has mad skills but is also afraid of falling) and we decided to learn how to ride that bridge. and we took pictures.

and you know what?  pictures take some of the fear out of it.

because while i'm goign across the bridge, i am thinking that if i fall, it will make excellent video.


sad but true.

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