It was a moist Saturday morning as I had one foot clipped into my mountain bike whereas there should have been thirty of us lined up onto the beginning line of this 15 mile mountain bike race Raleigh Tokul 3. As I stood there I glanced over on the different opponents, a few of whom had what seemed like a ball of fireside of their eyes whereas others had ripped leg muscular tissues. All of them sat onto their bikes, a few of witch had been carbon fiber bikes, laborious tail and full suspension bikes and even a number of 29ers. Right here I’m with solely a yr of expertise using on single observe trails with my Trek full suspension mountain bike as I attempted to maintain myself pumped up for what might doubtlessly be a really grueling race. Earlier than the gunshot was heard, I saved my fingers relaxed on the deal with bar grips, solely letting go to verify my gloves had been on tight, my helmet was adjusted correctly and I took a number of sips from the Camelbak hydration system that was strapped to me. As soon as the gun went off and was heard everywhere in the mountain bike park, we had been all in a touch to go away the beginning line whereas clipping in and jockeying for place like a herd of untamed animals as we made our approach from the open discipline and into the one observe trails. As I saved altering gears, trying round on the riders in entrance of me and desirous about what I might encounter through the race, I had a thought behind my thoughts.
I thought of what led me to purchase a mountain bike, how lengthy would it not take earlier than I might develop into assured sufficient to journey by means of rugged terrain, switchback trails and steep hills. May this new sport assist me out within the different endurance sports activities that I compete in?
With the background of a distance runner, and a triathlete, mountain biking would undoubtedly profit me. A bit of greater than a yr and a half earlier than this race, a pal satisfied me to purchase an affordable laborious tail mountain bike to take part in group rides within the winter time the place we’d be doing rather a lot hill repeats on a twenty mile loop on pavement. These exercises would hold us in form by means of the winter so we’d all be higher off for the upcoming triathlon season. As soon as springtime rolled round and I wished to get into ridding on single observe trails that supply switchbacks, rugged terrain and steep hills, I spotted that the bike that I presently had was insufficient for any such ridding. So then I discovered myself shopping for a Trek full suspension mountain bike. The extra I rode my new bike on the native mountain bike parks, the extra I appreciated having an intermediate stage bike. He approach the twin suspension was forgiving on the terrain of the paths together with how effectively the tires gave me sufficient traction by means of the totally different path situations had been simply a few key options that I started to understand about this bike. As I rode my mountain bike on the straightforward and intermediate trails, I not solely realized that I used to be turning into a greater mountain biker, I seen one thing else alongside the way in which. Once I was not making my approach although the native mountain bike parks, I used to be out on the highway on my triathlon bike. What I came upon about mountain biking is that it forces you to develop into excellent at having the ability to deal with your bike in all totally different conditions. It’s that very same requirement in mountain biking that made me extra assured when using on highway, particularly by means of a village the place there are a variety of automobiles, site visitors lights, potholes and different varied issues bike owner has to pay attention to. On the time, whereas I used to be nonetheless changing into acclimated to this bike that I had purchased, I knew that someday sooner or later I wish to attempt a mountain bike race. I additionally knew that I must develop into a significantly better mountain biker at this new self-discipline earlier than I attempt to do it at a aggressive stage. I quickly discovered myself waking up very early on a September morning to affix a of pals on what was going to be a sixty mile journey on our bikes. We might journey the primary thirty 5 miles on a flat path after which cease for breakfast after which the enjoyable would actually start. Then twenty 5 miles of singe observe trails and see who might endure probably the most ache. Because the leaves fell off the bushes and the snow blanketed the bottom, there was yet one more alternative for me. Mountain biking on the snow packed trails whereas respiration the dry air and attempting to not let my tires lose their grip within the snow. Ultimately in the course of the summer time, I discovered myself on trip visiting a pal in Massachusetts close to the New Hampshire border and we mountain biked at varied parks within the space. My pal and I rode in parks that supplied an countless quantity of rocks, boulders, roots, logs, synthetic bridges over creeks and even a number of mosquitoes! Presently I used to be assured sufficient in my bike dealing with that I had registered for my first mountain bike race.