Mountain Bike ...Meet Dirt

It has been years since I've actually ridden single track. I think my mountain bike resembles a SUV at soccer practice more than a jeep in Moab. I've been wanting to get back on the trail for awhile but haven't made the time. Finally a friend convinced me to stop talking and start doing. The ride was on a Friday before work. I needed to leave my house at 5:00am in order to get to the canyon by 6:00am. I know a lot of triathletes out there routinely wake up at 5:00am to fit in their work-outs but I still struggle at that early hour. Once on the mountain though I was glad I dragged myself out of bed. It was a beautiful ride. 6 miles of single track is also a great workout. I made sure I strapped on my heart rate monitor so I wouldn't blow up trying to impress my friend Gabe. My heart rate was great. It was my lungs that were fried. I couldn't understand why I was panting so hard after our first long climb yet my heart rate was in the low 160s. Gabe reminded me that we were over 7,000 feet above sea level. Wow. It has been awhile. It took some work to get my downhill moxie back as well. My first descent was timid at best. Gabe has a soft-tail bike and was very familiar with the trail so he took off like a bullet. However, I grabbed the brakes on my hard tail and rattled down the hill and hoped I wouldn't get lost. Before the second and longer decent I remembered that lowering your seat allows for better handling. I lowered it and felt much better. I attacked. The ride had 2 descents and 3 climbs so we finished going uphill. 200 yards before reaching the car. My chain snapped in half. I finished the ride walking which was just as well because I was spent. What a great time. It won't be long before I drag myself out of bed early again to do this ride. I just need to get that chain fixed.


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