Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Diamonds, a girls best friend?

It was brought to my attention by a reader that I have not posted in close to a month. I tried, I just had sketchy internet connections and each time I would click publish post, after having spent hours writing such witty, insightful prose, the connection would disappear and my words would be forever lost to the outside world. So here we go again, I will try to catch up but mostly it will be old news and it won't be nearly as well written as the originals were.

I was up in Squamish British Columbia to do a mountain bike race. This race was 67km with over 50% of it being on single track. Luckily, none of the trails were named Thirsty Beaver! I had arrived a few days before the race so that I could preride some of the course. Mostly, so that I could see how much trouble I had gotten myself into when I signed up for this race back in January. There is a section of the course that is considered somewhat technical so that is where I headed.

I was really enjoying the ride as I headed to my intersection with the course. It was quite pretty and the trails were lots of fun. I even rode over a bridge, which is huge because a few years ago I could barely drive across a bridge and I was in a cold sweat the whole time!

The Bridge

Now that I had ridden a bridge, albeit it a rather tame one, I was feeling some confidence emerging. These trails weren't too bad. Of course, I was on a green circle trail at the time, which is why there were handrails on the bridge! When I moved onto a blue square trail I started to feel a little more challenged but was rolling along and cleaning everything. It was actually quite fun. Then I turned a corner and the black diamond trail appeared. I had been told that this trail is a cross country trail and totally ride able. I had also been told to drop my saddle and go for it. I have seen people ski off cliffs, that are totally doable, doesn't mean it is doable for me! Keeping this in mind, and the fact that the last time I rode BC single track was not exactly a dream experience, I knew that anything that required dropping ones saddle, required me to dismount. I know my limitations and if it was sketchy for me to ride when I was on my own and the trail was wide open, it would be impassable for me during a race with other riders all around. So, I naturally did what any triathlete would do and I got in my transition run, with my bike.

I still had trouble navigating through some of the sections on foot, and I definitely had trouble seeing the ride able roll out sections that my experienced friends had told me about.

Totally ride able, right?!

After 20 minutes of pre-riding/running this section of the course, I knew that I had better climb well on race day because the descending was going to be a lesson in humility. Diamonds may be toted as a girls best friend, but this girl decided that she is more partial to squares, Blue ones!

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