**** This post has been sitting for too long waiting on photos. If they turn up I will put them out there ***
My husband bought me my first mountain bike in Oct. of 2007. It had gears and weighed in at 35 lbs. I had a lot of difficulty learning how to ride and learning to shift gears at the same time. It was very overwhelming. He saw my frustration and within six months he handed down his Spesh single speed. I only had to pedal and keep the rubber side down.
Fast forward to this year, getting the Airborne gig, and receiving a geared bike. I was determined to give it another try. I know how to ride a bike now, I know how to climb hills, I know how to jump stuff, ride rocks and techy stuff. I just need to learn what gear to be in when I do these things. How hard could it be?
This past Sunday, there was a 3hr race pretty close to home. I heard this race was fun, well organized, and the course was fast and flowing. I figured this to be a perfect race to see where I am at with the Goblin. I did a practice lap and liked the course, but found it more ss friendly. There was a lot of little grunts and a small hill that would put me all over the gears. My plan was to learn and hang in there for the full 3 hours.
Sitting at the start line I realized I forgot my gloves. Very bad move . It was only 92 but, very humid. I almost crashed while trying to hold on to the bars with sweaty hands. Before starting lap 2 I got my gloves on and resumed chasing the 3 girls ahead of me. Around Lap 3, Mother Nature gave me a present. You know me well enough to know I did not stop. Thanks goodness for padded black bibs.
|Like my bell?|
I kept pedaling and getting frustrated with myself. It seemed that I was in the wrong gear about 80% of the time. I will spare you the details of wanting to quit. About Lap 5 I started repeating " this is only a test" in hopes it would relax me a little. I did not want to think of the 3 girls ahead of me making it look so easy. I completed 8 laps, which was good enough for me. I thought I would have done better. But why? It took me over 3 months to learn my cross bike's gears, and that was on the road. Why did I think I could learn gears on a mountain bike in a couple of months? I don't want to give up just yet. But, how long does it take? Those nice folks at Airborne said I could make my Goblin a single speed if I wanted, so there is always that option.
There was a terrific partay on the hill, after the climb. They were serving up Pabst, ice cold. One surely wouldn't hurt me. Kellan, my bar tender on said hill, made sure to have a cup of swallows ready for me. Thanks Kellan and Cyclewerks for a great time.
The Goblin and I pedaled our way to a 4th place finish. I am proud to have hung in there nonetheless. I learned that I am not ready to race the gears just yet. And I see a lot of practice in my future. Seriously tho, how long did it take you to learn gears?