Racing blindly down the mountain

So as many of you know I’m a biking enthusiast: I ride my bike to work (a 22 mile trip each way) on occasion, ride 30 or 40 miles on the weekends, etc.  I’ve been riding like this since I was 12 or 13; my Boy Scout troop did much more biking than hiking, and we capped it off every 5 years with a three week biking trip through Europe.  (Actually, they still do that… I’m just not active in the troop any more.)

Anyway, a few weeks ago a couple of guys at work invited me to go mountain biking with them.  We’ve done three trips so far, eight to twelve miles each trip; two falls, two new tires, four inner tubes, one new shift cable, one gear tuneup, two scraped knees and a twisted wrist later, and I’m hooked.  It’s so much fun!  It combines several of the great loves of my life; the great outdoors, fantastic scenery, good exercise, biking, and the social element of riding together and sharing the experience.

I’d like to point out that I’m much better at the hills than the really technical trail stuff.  I’ve got the strength and stamina to survive ten miles of climbs and downhills, but not the skill to navigate the really difficult terrain.  I assume that will come with time, but in the meanwhile, I’m just glad I can see where I’m going.  I mean, can you imagine doing mountain biking blind?

No?  Neither could I.  Bobby McMullen can, though.  That’s because he’s legally blind.  No, I’m not joking – Bobby not only mountain bikes, but races competitively.  Check it out:

Yeah, that’s nuts.

2 Comments

  1. EDIT: “It combines several of the great loves of my life; the great outdoors, fantastic scenery, good exercise, biking, and the social element of riding together and sharing the experience… [and injuring myself]….”

    • heh, you’re not kidding. I took a pretty hard spill week before last, while riding in Agoura Hills – scraped up my right knee and elbow pretty badly, and sprained my left wrist.

      In response I bought a mountain bike (I’ve been riding on my hybrid, which is basically a hardtail but not made for mountain biking). So there!

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