Saturday, February 4, 2017

Beginning The Mountain Bike Ride

Last year we kicked off our beginner mountain bike ride to get new riders out together, learn some basic skills, but more importantly, to have fun.  It's easy to forget as an experienced rider how daunting navigating a log over can be without knowing how to approach it.  Often, new riders get discouraged when they ride with others who have more experience.  Usually because they work so hard to maintain the speed and agility that they never get to enjoy themselves. That's why we decided to offer a beginner ride for those looking for tips on how to ride the trails, and also meet new riders with the same ability.

Fall is the perfect time to mountain bike, in my opinion, mainly because I ride and race on the road the rest of the year and need a change of scenery.  The foliage is changing, the air is cool and crisp, and there's no wind to worry about.  It's a peaceful escape from the intense pace on the road, as well as all the crazy drivers we have in the area(thanks New Jersey).  In the winter months it can still be enjoyable and, personally, getting on the indoor trainer and staying inside the entire winter isn't that much fun. If you can get outside, do it!

Our Saturday morning routine brought a big crowd New Years Eve weekend.  Dressed in my Castelli and Pearl Izumi gear, I headed out to the ride on my Cannondale mountain bike. We had more than fifteen riders, all at the beginner level looking to have a great time.  There was even a husband and wife with a friend that were unfamiliar with the trails, and joined us so they could learn some skills and the trail system. We did a quick check list with the new riders, making sure their brakes worked perfectly and their tire pressure was set, and off we went! We rode our Cannondale bikes through the trails and along the way we practiced some log overs, cornering, and I answered any questions they had. There were some spills, some thrills, but in the end everyone was having fun. And that's really where great experiences begin.

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