Thursday, July 30, 2015

White Park MTB Race

I did the White Park MTB Race last weekend, it was really fun. Although going into it I was a little worried because 1. At last year's race I dropped my chain at least 10 times. and 2. I hadn't ridden my mountain bike since last year's race because of that.  I should have actually tried to fix my mountain bike before the morning of the race, but oh well.  So I stopped by Pathfinder of WV on the way to the race, but to drop off my road bike since the bottom bracket had been making some really bad sounds (all of my racing friends from Kansas can attest to that because I tortured them with it for all of The Tour of Lawrence race weekend).  While I was there I mentioned the problems I had with my mountain bike at last year's race and Andy told me I should go get it they can work on it now!  So Merv worked some magic adjusting the clutch on my derailleur much faster than I ever could.

Now time to put the bike to the test. With little to no warm up since it was really hot and I didn't want to ride my bike in the sun the race started.  Going into the woods I was just behind the other girls and then the year off of mountain biking kicked in as I slowly fell behind trying to remember the right lines to take.  After a little I got comfortable on the bike I was off trying to push myself and get better since at this point I was unsure if I would be able to catch anyone in my race but now the goal was to see how long I could push off the inevitable of Gunner lapping me.  So I would ride along distracted by the party I had to go to later that day and what I was going to wear.  The other distraction was the song I was singing to myself while no one was around the high lights (or maybe embarrassing low lights) were "The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round..."  and "There are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 wheels on a big rig and they're rolling rolling rolling rolling rolling rolling!" And then all of a sudden a skinny bridge ahhhhhhh I hate those.  I always think I'm going to fall off, but so far I haven't (knock on a tree).  Now that interrupted my thoughts where was I, oh yeah "There are 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 wheels on a big rig!" ahhhhh another bridge there are way too many of those on this trail, but at least I haven't dropped my chain yet.  Oh well I spoke too soon, after trying to take a bumpy section faster than normal my chain fell off.  Well I guess it wasn't the derailleur, sounds like I will need to order a new chain ring from Pathfinder of WV.

Then after barely making it through the finish line the second time here comes Gunner, hmmm I wonder how far behind JR is.  Then a few minutes later JR comes to pass me and he's in 4th overall!!! Go JR, you're looking so skinny!!!  Then a bit later Merv came riding by and at this point we were chain dropping twins since we both dropped our chain once, however I ended the race with 3 chain drops and he ended the race with only 2.  So then back to the song that entertained me for a lot of the race, I felt very smart because I also counted in threes, roman numerals, Spanish, Spanish by twos, and spanish by threes.  And I learned that counting in another language is really hard when not just normally counting.

So then after a while I finished the race, I came in 4th! We took a lovely podium shot and then I rushed off to Pittsburgh to go to the party I mentioned earlier.  And most importantly JR brought me my road bike on Tuesday even though I haven't gotten a chance to ride it yet I'm very excited for it to finally not make awful noises.  So in conclusion, thank you Pathfinder for everything!

P.S. I'm looking forward to moving here (see below), but I will miss Pittsburgh and Morgantown at the same time.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Epic Daddy / Daughter ride

Epic Daddy / Daughter ride


This past weekend we enjoyed a family camping trip at Mohican State Park.  Mohican offers the most popular mountain bike trail in NE Ohio.  People will drive for miles and miles to ride the roughly 25 mile loop with around 2,200 to 2,400ft gain in elevation.  It is one big, singletrack,  loop that offers everything a mountain biker would want.  It has lots of climbing, lots of gnarly decents with switchbacks.  It has rock gardens and nice sections that flow.  And it has lots of roots to make things a little more difficult.  Mid-way through the loop you hit the famous covered bridge climb that makes everyone cry a little bit.  Shortly after this climb you cross a road going through the MTB parking lot #2.  This is roughly around mile 15 and it is where Addie and I decided to begin our ride on Sunday.  The morning was beautiful with blue skies and big white puffy clouds and rays of sunshine streaming down.  The trail was in excellent shape.  Before we hit the trail we said a family prayer thanking God for the beautiful day and the ability to ride bikes.  Following that I said a silent prayer asking Him to grant be patience during the ride, especially during all the hike-a-bike sections.  After an hour of enjoying the trail and beautiful weather the sky started to turn grey and thunder was echoing through the forest.  Not long after that the sky opened up and let loose dumping buckets of rain instantly.  The trail got slick and both of us got a little scared because it felt like lightening was hitting all around us.  After about 20 minutes of lightening, thunder, and a very hard rain it let up.  At one point after about 5 minutes of not talking to each other I looked back at Addie and we both smiled and started laughing.  It was at that point that we both realized that God was going to keep us safe, we were already completely soaked, our bikes were caked with mud, and our only choice was to ride out the rest of the trail making the most of the situation.  I know the word epic is used way too much, but there is no other way to describe this ride with my beautiful daughter other than “epic”.  It was a ride that was so many things.  It was a learning experience, it was filled with many different emotions, and most importantly it was a huge bonding experience.  I will never forget this ride for the rest of my days.

Thanks for reading.