Lisa, Roger (Bluestreak) and I went out to Big Tree yesterday morning to ride the off-road trails. We spent around four hours tearing around the trails, and we even found a couple of new trails. This was Roger’s first time on the Big Tree off-road trails, and just the second time for me and Lisa. Actually the second half of the more difficult trail (we all rode the difficult trail several times) was brand new to all of us. We all got a little bloody and bruised (and I got wet), but we were having way too much fun to care about a few bumps and scrapes.
Unfortunately some of the footage didn’t survive or wasn’t recorded at all (by accident): a nice run of me following Roger, and what was easily my best run of the complete circuit didn’t make it. I did get some good footage, however…
You may recall that this past Sunday Lisa and I started off on what turned out to be a pretty difficult trail. We wound up bailing on the trail halfway through, and for the rest of the day we stuck to the less challenging trail system across the way. When we went out there yesterday, we started off with two runs on the easier trail, but then we all decided to give the hard trail a try. It was not nearly as challenging as I remembered it being, and Lisa thought the same thing. I think the reason we felt it was so difficult last Sunday is because we’d literally never ridden a dirt trail before. A little practice on a less challenging trail made a huge difference.
The teeter-totter that I fell off of last Sunday is on the hard trail, and I promised everyone that I was going to try it again. I did, and the result is the first part of the video I posted below.
Of course the second half of the difficult trail was new territory for all three of us. It had some nice challenges, including a 12-foot long, 4 inch wide crossing over what basically amounts to a large mud puddle. The consequences of falling at that spot, while not pleasant, are much less dire than, say, falling from the same setup 10 feet above a rocky creek. It’s a great place to practice riding over very narrow bridges, and practice I did. It took me three runs to nail it, but I finally made it across. The first time I tried I was way too tentative and took a spill right into the mud and water. I was soaked and muddy for the rest of the day. The second time I tried I made it 90% of the way and took a hard fall onto a rock, cutting my knee open. Covered in mud, soaking wet and already bleeding from my shin from an earlier wreck, I stood up to check my knee. It was bleeding, and I felt great.
You need to understand that I wrote the above paragraph without the slightest hint of machismo: I don’t like getting hurt, I don’t want to get hurt and I try to avoid getting hurt. I was merely attempting to convey just how much fun mountain biking is. The minor cuts and bruises don’t matter, you simply don’t care. Lisa and Roger both got banged up, too. From what I know of Roger he’s not the type of person who would care about some minor injuries (he’s an avid and experienced ATV rider), but Lisa? Normally even the slightest of injuries freaks her out. Yesterday she scraped the crap out of her leg and she didn’t even care.
Here’s the video, but I suggest you watch it in my media thread for a bigger, high definition version.