wow! i did my first "real" mtn bike ride yesterday and i loved it!
i say real b/c it wasn't really my first ride but the other two were way too techincal that i walked the bike a lot more than i rode it. yesterday was way different--although i did have to put my foot down a few times-- i wasn't terrified the whole time and actually pedaled into some downhills instead of riding the heck out of the brake.
alison and i joined her work(methow cycle and sport. not winthrop phyical therapy or winthrop fitness or sun mountain lodge or housewatch or alison hanks l.m.p. yes alison has 6 jobs) buddies for a ride on buck mtn which just happens to be in our backyard. the 20 mile ride took us around 3 hours but that was with a lot of stopping. joe, alison's boss and a former pro rider usally does the loop in half that time. it was a long climb from the low point in the loop where we parked(just 2 miles from our house) to the ridge. after a few steep sections at the highest point of the ridge the trail mellowed out and alison and i were finally able to relax and have fun. it was great, weaving through sagebrush and dipping and rising and fun turns and great views. the snow was mostly gone and the trail wasn't too muddy. there were few rocks or roots or even fallen down trees to avoid. we just cruised. ofcourse everyone else was way faster and often had to stop to let us catch up but maybe it won't take us long to get better so they won't have to wait so much.