Tuesday, May 22, 2012

On The Rocks

Many years ago, I threw a leg over my first hand-me-down mountain bike (26" steel KHS) and hit the trails in French Creek State Park with my then boyfriend, now husband, Ron. French Creek is a lush forest with solid climbs and descents, well known for its relentless, yet fun rocky trails. While it certainly wasn't the easiest of places to learn to ride cross country, it did quickly teach me to let go of my fear and build on my technical ability. We frequented French Creek through the snowy winters and hot summers, and I learned to love the challenge those trails brought with each ride. My memories are fond of the early days when I learned to weave my way through those tricky rocks.

Each year when the French Creek race comes up in the Mid-Atlantic Super Series, I look forward to it and know it will be a challenge. This year, the race was put on by Trestle Bridge Racing and the course, in my opinion, has never been so fun since I've raced. I lined up on Saturday afternoon amongst many other women including 3 of my new CF teammates, and the four of us charged into the woods leading the race. Feeling much better than I felt the week before at the Iron Hill Challenge, I tried to maintain a solid, steady pace while riding on the caboose of what many called our CF train that day. By the second lap I was sitting in 3rd and feeling great while exchanging encouraging words with my fellow teammate. Finally, by the third lap I took 2nd, though it was short lived as I jammed my crank into an unseen rock and shot off my bike like Superman. This seems to my preferred method of falling off the bike these days. I quickly gathered myself, picked up my bike and noticed my handlebar was crooked and right brake lever was twisted, though I figured with just about 7 miles left, I'd focus on my wheel rather than the bar & brakes and ride it out. Back in 3rd I finished out the race and was greeted with cheers and hugs from fellow teammates and racers. The day couldn't have been more beautiful, and I went home that evening with another great memory of French Creek and riding "On the Rocks".

Finishing up - http://www.pjfreemanphotography.com/MountainBikeRacing-2/MASS-MTB-series
Great day for the ladies of CF. - http://www.pjfreemanphotography.com/MountainBikeRacing-2/MASS-MTB-series

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