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!
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!