Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Summer School

School is out for the summer for most kids. Last night was my first night of classes. My school is unique in that it is occurs outside, on dirt, riding nubby tires on a cross country course. There were many subjects covered last night, and I tried to take good notes so that next week I can show the teachers that I am not hopeless, and am capable of learning.  I'll share what I took away with you by topic.

Physics - I observed the law of gravity over and over again.  F=Gm1m2/d2. Or, in the context of my lesson, big guys go downhill WAY faster and easier than I do! Note to self, to improve downhilling ability increase mass. Trust me, there were many times when I was getting passed by a bigger fella that I contemplated a beer and Krispy Kreme diet. I changed my mind when I got to the law of motion. F=mass x acceleration. The same fellas that had the assistance of a larger gravitational pull on the downhill were working way harder to overcome their mass on the uphill. Passing them on every uphill made me kiss my fantasy life of eating bon bons on the sofa goodbye.

Sociology- The mountain bike society is one of friendly fun loving people. These people all like to have a good time in the dirt and share some laughs afterwards. What a great culture to be a part of. There is a hierarchy involved and people are in classes. I happened to be in women's sport. In the caste system we were below pro and expert but above beginner. The guys getting all the respect were in the men's pro category. We all got out of the way and gave them clear trail when they lapped us.

Math- I learned some simple math. The equation was this, if the lead girl is doing each of the three laps in just under 20 minutes and I am doing my laps in 23 minutes the final result is I am over 10 minutes back at the finish. I did manage to keep all of my laps even. Was happy that 13.5 miles didn't fatigue me. My advanced math skills say I just have to be able to go for 90.5 more miles at Leadville.

French- Rather than receive a french lesson I gave one. On my practice lap I rolled my rear tire off the rim on a fast downhill corner. It went back on with a severe wobble but not before I had shown my extraordinary gift for the french language. I managed to get the tire bead reseated before the race but there was still a good wobble to it.

Geology- We were given a chance to observe rocks and soil in various formations and classifications. I paid particular attention to the establishment of  deep rutted sandy areas. The off camber corners posed a different kind of study and approach. I need to do some cramming in this area before next weeks class! Maybe when I have a tire that is not likely to roll I will be able to enter these areas with more confidence.

Chemistry- I had a private lesson in this subject. When my tire briefly came off the rim, the sealant was released. When the sealant was exposed to air a chemical reaction took place. Sadly, I did not get to use a Bunsen burner! The other part of the chemistry class was that certain molecules attract others with magnetism. My fast moving rear wheel was able to attract many a guy in the 50+ category, it became a chain of reaction.

Health and Hygiene- At this particular academic forum being covered in dirt at the end of the day is the goal. If you have a little blood on you, that is even more admired.  During the race public spitting and snotting are acceptable behaviours, but after the finish line is crossed the rules change.

Home Economics- When it comes to fashion some people choose to conform and look like the rest of the crowd. A few individuals like to put their own flare on things. I give you exhibit A.

He wears short shorts!

Sadly, I can't use the better picture I have as I want to preserve his anonymity. Although, dressing like this he might prefer to be shown. Maybe he got lost on his way to Venice beach? The last lesson I will share was from Psychology.  I learned that motivation comes in many forms. I was particularly motivated to not let Mr Poser beat me! (I was successful by the way. Passed him on a climb. He might have more power than me, but he also had more weight!)

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