I have been at this mountain bike thing now about 27 years. In the beginning I had no clue. There were few people riding them in our area back in 1985/86. I rode alone staying mostly on old tote roads, ATV trails and snowmoblie trails scattered around my home on Sam Page Road.. In the first couple of years I built some fitness, but my skill set was still crude. I learned every technique the hard way. Scars, scrapes. bruised bones, and 5 helmets later some notion of how to ride in the woods began to settle in.
It was probably a good thing I was 27 years younger when I started. Had I had to endure the rude awakening off road riding supplied at my current age of 60, I would never go back into the woods again. But there is that 27 years of experience so now I ride within my skill set, my mind set and base every ride on the notion of finishing in one piece.
The one thing I don't have as much of as I did when 33 years old is as much piss and vinegar as I had then. Fitness is something you kinda have naturally while young, but have to work hard to keep as you age. I have not worked hard at it, so my bag of piss and vinegar is always on the low side.
No ride pounded that home more dramatically than yesterday's ride. A group of us drove up to Conway, New Hampshire to ride an area in the White Mountain National Forest known as Moat Mountain/ Mineral Trail Area. As I had almost a full summer of riding under my belt, I was sure I could handle the planned route I had thought about all week. Hmm............................... Seems I was wrong.
We embarked on our day's ride around 8:30 AM. A couple of miscues and finally we settled in on the "Boulder Tent Trail" that heads out to "White Horse Ledge". The "Boulder Tent Trail" has not one inch of level ground. It is either goping up or going down. Matter of fact if you ponder that graph for a moment it would appear that in the whole ride, the only part that approached being level was the 2 plus miles we did on the "Electric Loop". And by the time we got there I was spent and could only be grateful I was not climbing .
According to Dave's GPS unit we climbed for 1400 plus feet in 12 plus miles. That translates to 6 miles of climbing. Hmm............ When we finally got back to the cars 4 hours later, it felt more like 5003 feet of climbing in 25 miles.
What a brutal way to know you are alive. I can't wait to tackle that area again.