Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Converted!

The conversion from roadie to MTB'er is complete! Ok, maybe not totally yet, since I don't actually have any real MTB skills to speak of (details, details)... But now at least I've got the dual-suspension setup and nice fat tires...
The "new addition to the family" came from an online German company, and first impressions are that the attention to detail is superb (we knew we could count on the Germans to be precise! see here for more pics).

It's much too shiny though - Time to get it dirty. Our Zurich friend Martina immediately put together the plan for a MTB day in the Swiss hills. We met on the train and traveled to Unteraegeri, where we then hopped on a bus (which had hooks on the back for bikes). Eventually we were off under our own pedal power. The morning started out a bit foggy...
The climb up to Wildspitz was mostly on a paved path and went on for a couple hours...during which the whole time I'm thinking - what goes up must come down - How in the world am I, the total newbie that I am, actually going to descend this whole distance on a trail??!

Jeff doesn't seem concerned at all himself, as we stop at the top for lunch. A nice typical German meal of bratwurst and kartofelsalat is a great idea to fill the stomach with before tackling the singletrack, right?
We made some new Swiss friends along the way (see the two on the left below). Nobody told me we needed to bring full-body armor though! Guess I'd at least better fasten my helmet strap...

Martina was a fantastic coach for me as I tried to put aside my fears and realize that it's okay for the bike to bounce up and down and all around as if it has a mind of its own. "Look where you want to go"..."Let off the brakes a little"... Easier said than done! She was very, very patient with me as I bobbled down the trail, and so was Jeff who in his infinite wisdom knew that even when your spouse can also provide coaching, sometimes it's better to just smile and offer encouragement :) ...
Pretty soon I was getting used to being jarred all around, and saw that you actually can ride through a bunch of rocks without having to avoid them (this is a new concept after years of road-riding where you point out every little pebble). Eventually I even started to enjoy it (I think I'm even smiling in this picture, or is it just that I'm gritting my teeth)...

Toward the end it smoothed out enough that I could catch my breath and enjoy the views. Or was it just that I got more used to being bounced all around? Hey, this isn't so bad after all! What fun, to combine the thrill of cycling and play in the woods at the same time! Woohoooooooo!!

Cheers from a newly-addicted MTBer wannabe!!
-Becky

(Click here for more pics)

2 comments:

Martina said...

Hey Fans of Rider-Becky,
you better get your autographs from her now, that she still has time to write them. Being a famous competitive MTB rider, she won't have the time between all those workouts, massage appointements and TV interviews! :-)
No seriousely, I think you did great! And so did Jeff! I had a lot of fun with the two of you and am looking forward to more adventures!
Greez
Martina

i8chocolate said...

Whoohoo, Becky!!! I knew you'd be a natural. I can't wait for us to hit the trails together. Thanks
Coach Martina for showing Beck the tricks. A star is born!!! Not sure 'bout the brauts though;)