Thursday, June 16, 2011

Getting Older

I had a chance to break out and ride the mountain bike again. After the last ride in the desert I felt older and slower, neither of which is a good thing.  So as I planned my ride I knew I had to push myself a lot more.  I set my goals on riding the larger loop (not sure the name of it) that includes one real large hill climb.  I figured this should really be a test of will power and conditioning.  I left the parking lot and started the gradual climb up the trail.  The start was later than I had hoped and the desert sun was already in full force.  Thirty minutes after starting out I arrived at the base of the aforementioned hill and still felt pretty good about the ride.  It was further out there than I remembered it being and also bigger and steeper.

The Climb
I rested at the bottom for a few minutes and then decided to turn around, ride back down, and finish with the short loop from the week before.  I now knew the top part of the trail for the down hill and there are some great sections of single track.  Upon reaching them I decided to forgo the use of my brakes and get some good speed going.  The first stretch was a dream of fast corners, wind in the face, extra adrenaline and the memories of times gone past.  Further down as I approached a corner with some good speed I could not stick the bike where I wanted too.  This resulted in near disaster in the desert, something I don't need again, involving heavy breaking, swerving, and mild cursing.

 I thought to myself "I can't be getting this old and tired that steering through these corners is such a chore".  Working my way back to the parking lot proved different, each corner I had to take a little slower, every obstacle more tentative.  My age was really showing now, 10 years ago this would have been nothing for me to peddle through.  Today, it became a display of how not to ride the desert.

Eventually I hit the parking lot threw my bike in the car and headed home.  Starting up the trail I had high expectations that were realized on the start of the decent, but as I got lower down the reality of the aging process took hold.  I felt as if I had taken a big step backwards and needed to go ride some dirt roads to get back with it.  Arriving home and feeling down I took the bike out of the car and placed it in the garage.  As I cleaned out the rest of the gear I thought how did all these rocks get in the back of the car.  Upon closer inspection it was actually chunks of rubber.  I imediatly went to the bike to inspect it and to my shock most of the knobbies on the tires were now missing; quite a few removed down to the core wraps.

They weren't like this when I prepeared to leave the night before.  Then it became clear I didn't get any older at all, it was the tires that got older.  Needless to say riding is now on hold till I can throw a new set of knobbies on the bike.


  1. give these a try- they wear like iron, are so cheap you could go thru the entire lineup for the price of a single boutique tire. You can find them online if needed mike

  2. Thanks for the heads up on the tires, I looked into them and I'm probably going to get me a pair.