Sunday, July 09, 2006

Mountain Biking

After almost two years away from the dirt, I finally got the chance to hit the trails last weekend. Boy have I been missing out on some serious fun! Mountain biking is what drew me into this sport, but for some reason I always neglect going back to my roots. I think it comes down to the fact that road biking is simply easier. I can roll out of my garage and get a great ride in. Mountain biking always takes more preparation, as well as a drive.

Anyway, as I said, it was great to get back out on the trail. I went over to Tiger Mountain, which is about 20 minutes from my place. The route there starts with a 3 mile climb up a fire road and then rewards you with a magnificent 3 mile single track descent. This is followed by some more fire road riding and then another few miles of single track to get you back to the parking lot.

Right away I noticed how my skills have changed over the years. I remember how the initial climb used to kill me. In fact, I once wondered if I’d ever be able to make it without stopping. Now I can pull off the climb nonstop without even using my smallest front chainring. On the flipside, my technical skills have definitely deteriorated. I’m more timid on the single track and wasn’t taking the usual risks. It took me a while just to trust the bike’s capability and cruise over roots and small drop-offs.

Let’s hope it isn’t another couple of years before I get out there again..


At 11:28 AM, Blogger The Mighty Kat said...

Hi Doug,

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At 9:13 AM, Blogger Chandra said...

Is Tiger Mountain very tough for a beginner? I have passed by it many times and want to check it out.

At 5:38 PM, Blogger Doug W said...

I don't think it is that tough. It depends on what aspects of it you are worried about. The initial climb is easy from a technical perspective since it is just a fire road. It is over 3 miles of straight climbing and can be steep. Of course, you can always stop and catch your breath. :)

The downhill part is technical singletrack. There are no big drops (nothing more than a few feet), but it can be technical and fast (if you want).

I certainly wouldn't shy away from it if you are generally comfortable on your bike. I think it is the type of place that make you love mountain biking.


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