Ever wonder who the people are that provide the dimwitted experiences that make up the advice offered in the "For Dummies" book series? Well wonder no more - today Mike and I provided fodder for their next book - Mountain Biking for Dummies.
After feeding the masses from Parker High lunch, Mike and I went to the bike shop looking to browse and find a map of Rockport park. We talked to Bob a while and he printed us a map of the Rockport trails and went over it with us giving advice on which trails would be fun to ride and which ones are kind of boring. We got home and prepped our bikes and took off to the park across Austin Road and entered onto the north trail head on Rockport Road. I knew I was in trouble immediately. Mike took a right which after a few feet became a wicked steep and gravely down hill labeled on the map as "difficult". I got about 3 feet onto it before I unclipped and walked my bike down the hill to the bottom. mike was circling at the bottom, raring to go. We took off on the trail and we made lots of loops around the trails - orange, green, and then red. At one point we ended up in knee high grass next to cornfield in the middle of nowhere, totally off map. We had lots of pit stops along the way trying to figure out where we were. I am still scared to death of the downhills down the rutted dirt paths, but after a couple I loosened up my brakes a little bit so I was going faster than a snail (Mike says this is because I was squeezing them so hard they lost pressure for a few seconds, but I THINK he was kidding). At one point we rode past the hill we originally came in on, so we knew we had come full circle. I got brave and suggested we do another loop around, which we did and I was still a scaredy baby but it was better the second time around. Mike at one point turned around and said "you know, the constant commentary is hysterical." I guess when I am road biking he doesn't usually hear that I am talking all the time about what is going on around me, but in the woods I continued to talk to myself and i think he heard every word. Mostly I was saying things like "oh shit" and "I think I'm going to die" and oh my god, here's another *&$#* climb" etc, etc, etc. That as in addition to the shrieking and whining noises I made on every down hill, no matter how puny or gimongous they were.
We came across several muddy bogs that Mike stopped to walk around in his self-described Tony Shalhoub style, apologizing to his bike the entire time for getting her muddy. Somehow we found our way back out of the woods and back home, although I'm not sure how. While on the trail we envisioned that maybe there were webcams broadcasting our adventure back to the bike shop to entertain the boys with our bloopers. I can almost hear them giggling that they got one over on us by sending us down the advanced trails instead of the bunny slopes.
Next Monday i think we are set to start a beginners group ride in the same park. Janet leads the group with another guy. I hope we either are quick learners or she realizes how truly beginner her "class" is going to be. There seems to be a beginners level and then another level of beginner that is more like the special ed class. That seems to be about where we are at at the moment so there is nowhere to go but up. I should really warn Janet...... yeah.