The Strange

I went mountain biking on unfamiliar terrain, borrowing a bike too big for me, and despite the lumps and bruises, I’d do it again.

It was an excellent lesson on humility and grace, really. It was also an excellent sale’s pitch for getting fit to your bike.

First off, the seat post was so long that I couldn’t lower it enough for my stubby legs to properly reach the pedals. Combined with that feature was my desire to ride something technical. I couldn’t really hover around the bike, and every time I rolled through a rock garden I would get goosed and slapped by the saddle. It made me giggle, but it also left a bruise in a questionable place (especially so for a woman traveling without her family).

I moved the seat forward as far as it would go for a better reach to the handlebars – and so my belly wouldn’t be stretched across the top tube. I certainly wasn’t in much fear of wheelie-ing over backward by accident. I had such a hard time pulling the front wheel up that I managed most of the technical climbs by grabbing and pulling nearby trees with one arm. I’m certain that’s why my left abs were so sore the next day.

Each time we approached a new technical section I would try again to regain some sort of grace with a new tactic only to slam the frame into the insides of both knees.

The Texas sand was pretty deep in spots, and I wish I could blame the size of the bike on the fact that my rear wheel washed out, causing a fast body-slam to the trail. That left the biggest bruise – especially since I was unable to unclip, causing the bottom tube to slam against the inside of my lower leg. I might have saved it with a leg-out had the screws not been backing out of my new cleats, keeping me solidly attached to the pedal. I guess I should have worked a little harder at screwing them in the first place.

All of this just makes me love my bike all the more. I can’t wait to see him again.

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