Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bikini Barrel Racing

Now that my dear friend Charmaine is back, we have gone on a couple of more mountain bike adventures. I am a total mountain bike newbie and am terrified most of the time. I have to add that the fear stems from my clipless pedals -- they are NOTHING like my tri bike pedals. In fact, mountain biking has nothing in common with road biking!

On the road, you can see far ahead of you and have plenty of time to unclip. On a mountain bike, my pedals haven't been broken in yet and I have a hell of a time trying to unclip. It's gotten so bad I just keep one foot unclipped all the time just in case. I've fallen way too many times and it hasn't been pretty. ALL of the times I've fallen it's because I couldn't unclip my F*^%#@# pedals!!

I am seriously thinking about getting normal pedals put on my mountain bike - The last ride I went on with Char was awesome but I kept dismounting when there was anything sketchy like a huge puddle or thick gravel. I do not want to break my ankle or screw up my body in some way before IMC just because I couldn't get my damn foot out of the pedal!! However, I still had a great time!

We forded a river three times -- the third crossing was just up to my crotch and I couldn't hold my bike high enough above the water! AAAHHHHH- I was afraid I was going to float away and Charmaine came trooping back into the water, grabbed my bike just in time and carried it across for me. She also did the same thing for another gal, Trudy who was out with us. Man, thank God for Char!!! LOL!! I must say that I am the only one that had clipless pedals and my experience has pretty much put off anyone else from getting them!!!

Another reason I am thinking about getting normal pedals is for river crossings such as this -- Have you ever tried walking through a river in frigging clipless shoes-- Oh my God --- It was a freaking nightmare. It's slippery enough in sneakers let alone shoes with a raised metal bump in the middle of them. And then the clips get mud packed around them which makes clipping and unclipping out of my pedals exponentially more difficult.

One thing I've noticed about mountain biking is that I have to stop comparing it to road biking. They really have no similarities except two wheels that spin around. When you go down a hill, you don't coast up the other side -- you have to be in an easier gear right away. The easy gears are so easy that sometimes my tires just spin in the dirt and I feel like I'm going nowhere. You always have to be on the alert for a big rock or root or tree or whatever that you might run over and try to maintain your balance. It's not at ALL like road biking!! Charmaine told me to think of it as a completely different sport.

So -- on the way to our next excursion I was thinking to myself what kind of sport I should think of mountain biking as. I just happened to have the radio on and heard an announcement -- BINGO!! I have it - When I go mountain biking, I'm going to think of it as bikini barrel racing! LOL!!!!

I've been very busy, so I won't be updating for a while. Jake is down and we hiked Turtle Mountain on Saturday. He just blazed right on up like a pro!! I managed to carry 4 liters of water and maintained a great pace. Next week, I am going to add some more weight. Char was telling me she used to run up (run!) mountains with 20lbs of rocks on her back -- so I'm working my way up. I figure I'll start carrying extra water first, to get used to carrying weight, that way I can drink away the extra weight making for a lighter return trip. Hee-hee! The running part will come later. Hee-hee!!!!

:) :)


Susi said...

i LOVE mtn biking, and yes it's very different from road riding. however, i have used my mtb skills to get me out of tricky situations on the road! also, i think it helped me with IMCDA because it was a more technical course with things like a 180 hairpin turn off a downhill and before an uphill. very cool!!

do you make sure to keep your butt off the seat?? it really helps with balance, especially over loose gravel and whatnot.

Julie said...

Thanks for the tip Susi! I always keep my bum firmly planted on the seat -- I'll have to try that!! :) :)

Keith said...

Bikini Barrel Racing! better trademark that. Or somebody will do that at Stampede next year and make a ton of $$$$!

Never been mtn biking. I've seen some photos, and I think I'm chicken. Squk, squk squk!

Streaker said...

I'm with Keith. I like my skin too much to get into mountain biking! Also my teeth!