Saturday, May 31, 2008

Kettles, 1.0

Today was my first time riding the kettles. Cale and Katie took Jon and I down with them to meet some of the Chicago folk as well as a very farmer-esque Gary who was doing some trail building. (I hope I got his name right).

Anyways, I bought myself a mountain bike for a graduation present, with the encouragement of my boyfriend. (I think all mountain biking boy's dream is to have a mountain biking girlfriend, at least from what I've seen and heard from boys..)

I've taken it out twice and had stellar crashes both times but I'd rather try and crash than not try at all. The first one was interesting because I was in the air long enough to think about the landing so I was able to tuck and roll, which was left over from my skateboarding days. The one today was done with the encouragement of a drop that sucked in my front tire and tossed me over the handlebars. So much for silty loam. (Which, by the way, is the Wisconsin state soil!) The first crash was just fine since I was able to "plan" my fall...but this one scraped up both legs, clunked my knee pretty good, and most frustrating of all, sprained my left wrist. (FYI - I sprained my right one in a road race two months ago and it gets irritated when I mountain bike, so now both are out of commission!)

Despite my squirliness, The kettles were stunning and I loved just about every minute of it. (Not the fifteen or twenty after the crash when I had to calm myself down and keep pedaling... or this one hill I had to walk up because my granny gear wasn't happening!) I especially loved the switchbacks through the old pine forest, I was able to just kind of flow around the trees and everything worked out providentially. It worked out really well for me and I know that every time I ride I get a little bit better, and a little bit better. I was able to deal with most of the rocky sections on the way back, but not the former farm walls that still cross the path in sections. Also, I started taking on the logs on the last section, not because I wanted to get better but out of sheer laziness. It was simply too much work to get on and off my bike and was simply easier just to try to ride over things. To my surprise I was able to make it over every single one I tried to go over. Fancy!

I'll post some pictures eventually, though they'll probably be cross posted because Katy
was the only one with the wherewithal to bring a camera. I probably would have crashed on mine anyway.

I love the sweet newness of mountain biking. There is something really really enjoyable, to me at the attempts to try to get over a log or through a rocky section or down a bridge. And the feeling of doing something that makes your stomach drop, but doing it and rolling through it cleanly- I like that feeling too. I know someday it won't be like this - someday I will roll over things and through things and it won't feel like a giant victory to hop a log and I will fluent but there is an undeniable pleasure in learning this one particular skill set to me.

It is not painless to learn but it’s equally, if not more, satisfying


  1. I've seen guys mountain biking around the little park behind my house and it looks like tons of fun. One of them takes his big black dog with him.

  2. Love reading about your Kettles adventure; I felt as though I were there! ;) Sorry to hear about the just shows your passion and reckless abandonment to the sport as we know as biking! Yeah!!