Well the weekend was spent looking out of the windows repeating, "It's still raining!" I won't bore you with the details of that. I will mention that (as seen on FB) I did in fact run 8 miles yesterday. But since I've written 2 posts about running, I'm skipping over most of that as well.
Last week after work the BF and I decided to head out to Lunch Loop for an after-work ride. Lunch Loop is one of the most technical areas for biking and I've struggled for a year with overcoming physical and mental obstacles out there. I assumed this day would be no different. We headed down the main trail and took a right on Pet-Y-kes and huffed and puffed our way up the trail. It was hot. I'd stop and pant and hear my heartbeat in my head...kathump kathump kathump...then I'd go again. The BF was way ahead of me because honestly we just try to get up the hard parts as fast as possible. Who can blame him for riding ahead?
I let a guy pass me and then tried to psych myself up. There was a piece approaching that I never ride. That's not an exaggeration. I've never ridding this. It's a part of the trail where the left side is exposed, and as you come around a curve on the very narrow single track, a big rectangular rock sticks its big ole corner right out into the trail. I'm always afraid I'm going to hit my pedal and go flying off the edge of the trail. For whatever reason this time as I approached it I just kept riding. I didn't look at the rock, I looked at the left edge of the trail. That way i'd be aiming for as far away from the rock as possible. I rode past it and was so excited and focused on that that I didn't make the next obstacle. Still, one obstacle down! I figured if i didn't ride anything else new that day , i didn't care. You can see in the photo above how narrow and exposed the trail is.
From the top of Pet-Y-Kes (after I'd gotten a few bruises and a scrape on some rocks, just to prove I wasn't invincible) we headed left towards the main trail, crossed it, and continued down High Noon. This is the fun part! High Noon is a great connector to the ridge and doesn't require you to climb up to Lemon Squeezer. There are 3 obstacles in a row: The first is a drop which rolls off. It's a big drop, but because it rolls it's doable. Then there is an up-and-over spot that I still have trouble with because I have to pedal up then try to get off the seat and back as far as possible as I go over. Finally there is a craggy, rocky drop between 2 big rocks with a turn at the bottom. I almost made this one before I chickened out that day. Still, I'd never even attempted it before! What was up with my confidence???
Across the ridge we went...easy peasy with just one stop to walk up a ledge. I was talking to myself. "Come on Julie...you can make it down the hill at the end here. You almost did it last time. Just drop the ledge and go. Follow _____ (the BF)." This was the hill in question, from the top:
That's my buddy Andy riding down last year. No fear. A lot of people aim for the left side, then head right halfway down. The BF takes a more straight forward approach. He goes straight down the right side, drops a ledge and cruises to the bottom. No turns, nothing. Just aim straight ahead and go! So that's what I did. I dropped the ledge. By that point I knew he was at the bottom watching. "You got it! You got it!" I could hear him cheering and I knew there was no way I wasn't making it down the hill. I cruised to the bottom like it was nothing! Here's the hill from the bottom:
(That's Andy again. His bro took these last year.) You can see from here the difference in going straight down the biker's right (viewer's left) and going biker's left then right...
As I pulled up beside him he stood there with his mouth hanging open. "That was...amazing. It was beautiful! You looked so calm and in control!" I'm pleased when I accomplish any new trick or obstacle, but at Lunch Loop, well, I'm doubly proud of myself anytime I make it out of there without Life Flight!