Tuesday, April 2

Mountain Bikers Anonymous

Hi, my name is Chris, and I’m a mountain biker.

Hi Chris.

I haven’t ridden my mountain bike in three months.

[half-hearted clapping]

I held off posting today until after lunch so I could share my happy news: I fell off the wagon.  Today, I rode my mountain bike ON A MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAIL!  It felt good to have given over to my impulses and just go crank. 
Last night as I walked across the yard into the house I noticed that the mud that has blanketed the earth in its wintery glory was no longer mud.  The twitch began.  “I think I might take the mountain bike and ride it at lunch tomorrow,” I mused to my wife over dinner.  Her body language said she was noncommittal, but I knew deep down she was excited for me.
I dragged repair stand and tools out into the friscalating dusk-light and strung up a new rear derailer cable.  A quick tune up later and I was jamming The One into the backseat of my car for a trip to the big city in the morning. 
As I whiled away the morning, dreaming of my lunchtime frolic to come—and of a potential huge new development in Eastern Kentucky mountain biking—I got a text from my mom asking what my plans were for lunch today.  Seems my parents and my sister were going to be in town and wanted to get together for lunch.  Drats!  No!  Mountain biking plans were in dire jeopardy! 
Did I snub my family to ride?  That would be a sure sign I have an uncontrollable problem.  But I might be okay with that…
Maybe I could do both.  If we could expedite lunch I could still go ride for a little while.  I made it in to the office early this morning, so I could justify a long lunch.  But would I have time to do both?  GAH!
I’m addicted to both food and mountain biking, and I know I should WANT to hang with my family.  I DO want to hang with my family.  Brain.  Shut.  Down. 
Just as I was heading out to go grab lunch my wife called and said she was driving by my office.  She knew I was riding at lunch, so she didn’t suggest we meet up, but I felt somewhat guilty;  guilty and overwhelmed by the sudden plethora of lunchtime options on a random Tuesday.
And then my head exploded.  I write to you (as a disemheaded body) this diatribe about a miniscule scheduling faux pax.  So problem solved: I took an extra-long lunch.  I’m a bad, bad boy.  
I spent a good 40 minutes socializing (though I was talking about this big new MTB development ‘cause I’m that ate up) and then managed a quick once around of Veterans.  Oh. Wow.
Okay, so it’s no North Table Mountain.  But it’s good for an urban MTB trail system in the east. It’s as good as it could be without having a mesa to climb up and over.  It’s good.
My first taste is that the “expert” loop is not.  There’s nary a single rock garden to wreck in.  There are some banked turns and lots of small tabletop jumps.  The only thing about Veterans that keeps you on your toes is that it is truly a singletrack that weaves tightly through the trees.  You gotta watch your lines through the turns so as not to yank a small tree out of the ground with your brake cables.
And I’m going back tomorrow for a more normal lunch timeframe. Maybe I can do the “expert” loop the right way.

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