Monday, September 24, 2007

Dirty Girl

I am a dirty girl again.

My mountain bike of 17 years was stolen in June and I have been off the trails for the whole summer. On Sunday, however, I bought a new-to-me mountain bike and, just for laughs, picked up my first pair of proper cycling shoes. Even though I discovered I have champagne tastes in bike shoes (Sidi), I restrained myself and bought the "just fine" Specialized shoes... the equivalent of a $10 bottle of red (not the cheapest, but nothing fancy).

Spent yesterday figuring out the shoes/cleats/pedals and then took off to try a few trails today. I made the expected number of mistakes -- but it was definitely more giggles than frustration... especially when Adventure Buddy had to help pick the prickers out of my hair and off my back from slow motion crash number two (didn't have enough speed going over a log).
It is easy to see that I will (eventually) be a better rider with my feet attached to the pedals. I'll have to be, you can't just weenie out and put your foot down the way you can with toe clips. I did learn that the best way to not fall over is to PEDAL HARDER... even out of a dead stop. I also learned the oh-so-helpful tree grab as a means of staying upright when you just can't move forward anymore.

The bike... the bike is good. I'm liking the front shocks and the bike in general just feels good. I did manage to bend the chain ring on a log/rock combo, but AB is not only an excellent pricker picker, he is damn handy with all things bikey. A little of this, a little of that and all is well again.
And I'll close with a small bit o' praise for the MMBA folks who built the trails out at Hewen's Creek. There aren't a lot of trails and they cover very flat terrain, but I'm delighted that they are down there in my little corner of Washtenaw County. They are very well built -- some in the woods and some in meadows (lots of wild flowers out now) and fun if you have an hour to blast around or want some beginner trails. Also, Rolling Hills is around the corner and you can tack on a few more miles of fast grass riding over there, if you like.


Andre said...

You bought "fancy shoes"? Do they snap into the pedals? My brother's friend had those, but he never actually road his bike. He just wore the shoes to look as if he was athletic. Everyone calls him "Fancy Shoes" because of that.

Zoe the Wonder Dog said...

Ha! Yep, they clip in... and I'm not looking fancy as a result. A couple of trail rides and pedals that are a little too tight and I'm sporting some serious bruises on my legs from toppling over. I'll be adjusting those pedals before heading out again.

Jules said...

This has inspired me to try to take my bike out on some trails around here. There's some great ones in Tilden Park nearby... all I have to do is fine the time to actually go. That's the hard part.

Zoe the Wonder Dog said...

You just have to get in the habit of "stealing" work and family time! I've had to peel the boy off me to get away on the bike sometimes, but I always come back and he seems no worse for the wear.