Sunday, April 24, 2016

If the 8 Year Old Can Do It...

My local bike shop, Joy Ride Bicycles, held a Ladies Beginning Mountain Bike Ride today. Heather asked if I'd like to come along on Mama Cass. Well, of course I would! Now, MC is not really a mountain bike, you know, doing singletrack and technical stuff. It's not her forte. Her wheel base is too long for sharp turns, and her tires could be knobbier (granted, the tires she has on now are pretty worn). But, I was assured that the trail we would be riding was not too difficult, nor technical. The only other issue was getting to the trail. We would be starting at the Fall Creek Trailhead in Capital Forest. Michelle agreed to pick me up. All I had to do was ride to the shop (just 3.4 miles from my house), and she would meet me there in her Rialta van. Mama Cass rode inside as Michelle already had two bikes on her rack. 

We met up with Heather and Jeff at the trailhead. They had several bikes with them (there had been a demo day yesterday). One by one, people started showing up. We ended up having 14 of us, counting me, Michelle, and Heather. Two were 8 year old girls, Scarlett and Rell (not sure of the spelling). Scarlett's dad was there, and Rell's mom. Jim was riding ahead to take pictures. Nikki rode with Rell. Some of the gals rode demo bikes from the shop. 

It was raining, but by the time we were ready to go, the rain had mercifully stopped. The trail would be a little muddy though.

Once we were all outfitted, we rolled up the road to the start of Lower Little Larch Trail.
Through that opening in the fence is the trail.

The trail was probably the narrowest singletrack I had ever ridden (which is not to say too much as I have not done much mountain biking--even the trails outside of Winthrop were not really skinny). And, yes, it was muddy. Down we went. Scarlett was in front of me. I tried to stay back a bit in case she stopped suddenly or crashed. We came around a corner, then had to go up. We all walked up (on the next two times, I was able to ride up part of it). From the top of that part, it was mostly downhill or flat.

Scarlett did a great job. I was perfectly happy to go slow behind her. I must confess, I watched where she went, to determine how I would go (yep, let the 8 year old lead the way!) I hoped that if she could do it, so could I. At the very end of the trail, there was a steep downhill bit. We all walked it (the second time, Scarlett rode it, so I did too). 
Rell and Nikki coming down the steep bit.

After the first time through with everyone, we split up into two groups. One group was going to go longer, and the others would do the same loop again. I opted to do the same loop again as MC's tires did not seem to be up to snuff to do a more difficult trail (I was skidding down the hills, and sliding in the mud--which was fun...sort of). 

We did the loop again. When Heather asked the little girls if they wanted to go a third time, they both said, "NO!" Instead, we did another bit of trail from the campground. The girls were happy to spend a few moments playing by the creek.
That bit of color in the bushes is Scarlett.
Hanging out at the bridge while the girls explore the creek.

The trail we were on came out at the parking lot of the trailhead. When we got back, the grill was fired up and there were burgers to be eaten.
A multipurpose table of food, bike lube, pedals, and tools!

While we were eating, another gal showed up. Heather asked if she wanted to ride. She did, so Heather went back out with her to do the loop again. After I finished eating, I decided to go out and do the loop again myself. I met up with Heather and Aubrey as they were coming back. Heather asked Aubrey if she wanted to go again. Heather hadn't had a chance to eat yet, so Aubrey and I went back ourselves and did the loop again. It was just as much fun the third time! 

Just as we got back, the other group rolled in. I asked Karen how it was. She said it was really fun, and not really more difficult than Lower Little Larch--just longer. I asked her if she wanted a mountain bike now. Of course, yes, but the one she had ridden was $4000. Okay, so maybe not that one (but so hard to go to a Corolla when you know what it's like in a Cadillac)! 

Afterward, I thought maybe I would have liked to demo a bike. But, it's a good idea I didn't, because then I would want one, and...well...I just shouldn't! I think the day was a resounding success! Everyone had fun, and I think Joy Ride will be selling a couple of bikes!

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