Monday, July 9, 2012

early morning adventures

"ok you're going to want to lean back--really far--so your stomach is almost over your seat. 
Otherwise, you're going to flip over the handlebars"

This is what he said to me as I was on my way dowwwwwwwn a terribly steep, and monstrously rocky mountainside. 
Yeah-not before I did it, but DURING......that's how we roll--literally--down the hill.

He mountain bikes--it's kind of "his thing". 
I run. He bikes.
 It works out nicely--we can talk trail mumbo jumbo and get nerdily excited about a lot of the same stuff. 
He has been begging me to get a bike and take me on one of his favorite trails....and it finally happened!

a trip down memory lane: With the exception of a few recent family bike rides, I haven't really pedaled my way around since I was newly married.

I headed off to college with a bike as my only mode of transportation. It was shiny red, heavy, and cheap, but I was excited for a way to haul groceries and school books. My roommate also brought a bike, and we happily rode our way around the little streets of Rexburg, Idaho.

When Robby and I were newlyweds, we only had one car. His work was twenty miles away, and since I worked only a few miles from our house I continued to ride my bike to work. One night after closing up shop, I made my way home through the dark and quiet streets. 
With no warning, I was hit from behind......with water balloons.

One.
after.
another.

Girls giggling and speeding away. (girls are the worst)

Wet, angry, and (even though no one else saw) completely embarrassed, I pedaled my way home....head hanging low. Soon after that, I got my longboard for my daily commute, and we eventually got a second car. My bike riding days were over.

Until now.

We laughed at my last biking memory as we loaded up the bikes and headed out for our ride. 
(so happy grandma and grandpa were here so we could do it!) 
We caught the 5:30(AM!) shuttle that takes us up the canyon for our ride.
I was nervous.
So nervous.
I didn't even know if I remembered how to shift--let alone ride up and down a mountain, over rocks, narrow winding paths through trees......it was all foreign to me.

We unloaded our bikes just as the sun started to peek up over the mountains and through the clouds.
The day was perfect. Cool mountain air, a breeze, early morning sunshine.
Our ride started out on a slight downhill, winding through a meadow and tall silhouettes of trees. 

wow. 

I was quickly getting the hang of it.....

.....and then we started to climb. 

Up "Puke Hill". 

Perfectly named--because that's exactly how you feel by the time you (finally) get to the top.

A few more climbs, and then we began our huge descent. 
down, down, down the mountain. 
rocks. roots. switch backs. streams running across the trail.
AMAZING views. 

and me, 
squealing, screaming, giggling the entire way down.
..........
and just like that, I'm converted. 
my biking days are here to stay.


Trail Stats
Trailhead: the trail starts at the top of Gaurdsman Pass (in the parking lot) up Big Cottonwood Canyon. We rode to the park-and-ride at the bottom of Millcreek Canyon.
Distance: 22 miles
Elevation: 1096 gain (we got up to 9900!) , 5842 loss. 
Notes:
-We rode about 6 miles on the road down the canyon after the trail ended.
-I reallllllllllly want to run this trail. 
-As I runner I didn't feel like this trail would have been a very technical run. There were some parts up on the top--along the crest--that was rocky, but still runnable. 
-But as a brand new mountain biker, I was constantly on the lookout for roots and rocks that threatened to throw me into the bushes (they didn't get me this time). 
Favorite part: As we were speeding down a portion of the trail (well, I felt like I was speeding.....but the boys were way ahead, and I was eating dust), we splashed our way through a few mountain streams.....the best!
Pitstop: breakfast burritos at Lone Star afterwards.

I can't wait to get out again!

10 comments:

in dreams said...

wow! that scenery looks so beautiful! you got a great day in! :)

Paige said...

I just bought a bike too this summer! My husband is a big time Mountain biker...he LOVES it. Although he would love me to have the same passion for mtn biking as he does, I took the road bike route and absolutely love it! Happy riding.

Beth Blackburn said...

We have that same tradition... Crest Trail to Lone Star. It's the best!

Carey said...

I've been riding trails for 20 years, riding is my first love and the more technical and rocky the better. There's nothing like riding a bike on trail, it's the best feeling! Expect to crash and get hurt it will happen but it's okay, getting thru rocks and roots is part momentum so become friendly with using your speed and stay loose, feather your brakes. Your trail running will help too and it sounds like you've got the enjoy part down.

kylie said...

those waterballoon throwing girls can suck it. how mean! you are too cute to be mean to. i'm glad you did it and conquered. what a beautiful ride

Allie Finch said...

ha. this is so my life. mt biking is my husband's thing too. i'm the road biker - but i'm really loving learning to be more comfortable on my mt bike. the views - yes, definitely the views - are winning me over too. happy for your safe, fun adventure.

Laura said...

my hubby and I love mt biking too, but there just aren't many trails nearby. I'm so jealous of the area you live in. :) LOVE your adventures, keep posting, it's so inspirational! and I'm glad you got back on a bike!!!! and you liked it!!!

Bethany Jackman said...

That trail looks amazing. And your instagrams are seriously to die for.

A FANCY DAY said...

Loved this story and I too have been hit by a balloon :( darn Rexburg.

Faith said...

wow beautiful scenes! and super exciting bike ride!!!
ps seriously girls are the worst. at least they were water balloons and not...what am i saying?! girls are mean!