I showed up at the Medina store on Sunday morning around 8:30 am to pick a good mountain bike to ride. The only thing available that was even remotely my size was a Giant 29er in medium. 29 inch wheels versus the standard 26 inch wheel of a typical mountain bike. Would this be a benefit for me? The dirt would decide. Three other gents that would be riding off-road with me were Tom and Russ from the shop, and Tom's friend Brian. Tom and Brian were veterans at mountain biking, having done it for over 20 years, and even raced professionally. Russ and I...were virgins.
|Me, Russ, Tom and Brian, post-dirt!|
The Huffman course is about 2 1/2 miles long, but to a rookie like myself, it felt like 10. Yes, I took some spills and yes, I walked some of those steeper drop-offs, but at the end, I was ready to tackle it again. We went through the course a second time and I felt the improvement. The fact is, ya gotta learn it quick. I still had trouble at certain parts of the course, but received some praise from Tom on my handling of others. The third time through was actually fun, but also exhausting.
When we finished riding, I was truly spent, and carrying a few more bumps and bruises with me then when I started. But it was a blast. I have a newfound respect for the dirt part of cycling and anyone crazy enough to try it. Will I do it again? Oh, you can count on it!!