Finally got on my mountain bike yesterday after a few weeks off to try to keep from hurting myself before Vineman. Was probably a wise decision... I rode Starr Pass for only the second time (the first was my first MTB ride). It was a blast! I cleared nearly everything, including a ton of sections that I walked last time. All was going well, and I was really feeling it. Didn't have to think about lines, the bike kind of led itself. I ended up in front of a few people who were obviously mountain bikers, not roadies (you can tell by the baggy clothes, fast descending and weak climbing ;) ). On the climb toward the Starr Pass parking lot, I heard "wow, aggressive line!" Was that a compliment? If so I'll take it! Not that I really think about lines...I think, what's the fastest way to get up this stupid hill without falling over?!!
Cruising, cruising, cruising, wipe sweat from face, miss the bars, eat rocks! OUCH! I need to learn not to put my hands out when I fall! Could hardly grip the bars on the way back. Another painful lesson. Speaking of lessons, here are some of my take-aways:
- Wiping sweat off your face is a luxury of road riding, not a necessity. Need to not do it. Other luxuries: adjusting glasses, adjusting helmet, opening gels while riding.
- If you are new, let some real MTBers lead you on technical ascents. These guys actually know what they're doing.
- If the MTBers pass you on technical stuff or descending, no worries. You'll pass them on uphills. If you don't pass them on uphills, you can pass them at the top of the climb where they're sitting around catching their breath :)
- Keep your focus. If you can't, rest for a minute. Otherwise the trail will invite you to eat rocks.