Monday, May 17, 2010

Snakes and Ladders

I have always found mountain biking to be more like child's play than working out. When I hear children outside playing I am always struck by the sheer joy of the sounds they are making, well except when someone gets hurt and then there is crying and screaming. Mountain biking with my friends brings out the inner child. I love it when I look over and my friend has a grin plastered to her face as she rides along. Even better is hearing the squeal of delight when someone rides down, or even up something that they weren't sure they could make. Like child's play we sometimes scream, but we NEVER cry! We are far too tough for crying. Instead, we curse like sailors! Recently, one of my rides was like playing the game snakes and ladders.

I was riding trails that I am not familiar with and every new turn I took felt like a roll of the dice. Sometimes, I would just end up following a nice flowing section of trail. This was like taking the board square by square. Other times, I would turn a corner to see a ladder. Maybe I am exaggerating a little bit, but some of those steep short hills sure felt like I was riding up a ladder. I know in the real board game you celebrate landing on a ladder, but in my version of the game, the ladder didn't always bring joy! What it brought was the granny gear, lots of grunting, huffing and puffing. Not sounds that resembled children playing in a garden! There weren't just ladders in my game. I did come across a few snakes throughout the day, literally and figuratively!

Saw several of these fellas out enjoying the sun!

Just like with live snakes, the trail snakes were of many varieties. There were harmless and dare I say fun little descents. Ones that made all the pain and suffering of going up worth it. Others were just mean and venomous. I believe in the work and reward program when I am out riding. What I mean by this is, if I work hard to go up I should get to have fun going down. This is not always the case and some of the single track downhills were as much work to ride and not even as fun as the uphills! Next time I ride those trails I hope to avoid the nasty snakes and ladders and just land on the fun ones. Of course, that requires me remembering which trail is which. That is about as likely as avoiding them with the dice throw in the real board game. One thing I do know, in my variation of Snakes and Ladders the winner is determined by the giggle factor.


  1. I saw 7 - SEVEN - snakes on my ride yesterday! EEEK!!!!

  2. Matt has pondered buying a mountain bike or doing more trail running. The more he hears about snakes tied to these two activities the more he decides not his cup of tea (terrified of snakes). When we came across that older woman near Cuyamaca that had been bit by a rattler the first thing that came to his mind was "where the f is the snake" not "are you doing ok":)

  3. Did you take that pic? Looks like a western rattlesnake, and I guess you're brave for getting that picture if you took it with your phone! Don't try that with a mojave green!

  4. Supercrew, I didn't take the picture -sshh! I forgot my camera. All the snakes we saw were stretched out not coiled and slithered off the trail when we gave it vibration.

    Heidi, that gave me a good laugh. I could just see Matt. Tell him that snakes don't stalk you and jump out and attack. He would love mountain biking.