While I’ve not gotten a whole lot of time on my mountain bike this summer (partly because my favorite after work ride is now an ash-ridden – and closed – trail), I’ve tried to make the most of those days I am on it, riding longer and harder than previous summers. This weekend was no exception, with a full day (52 miles, thankyouverymuch) of lift-assisted single-track pumice goodness at Mammoth Mountain.
With protective arm and leg gear and a phat new front tire, I was feeling pretty good by the second run, surprising even myself with the speed I was picking up. While I can’t keep up with the 195-pound boyfriend on all the downhill trails, I am able to hold my own, which many men don’t comprehend.
Case in point: the keeping it real grey haired dude mountain biking in topsiders and leg armor that let the 4 guys just ahead of me pass and then promptly cut me off so he could feel good about himself being faster than a chick. Yet I ended up riding his tail (the mountain biking equivalent of tailgating) because he wasn’t faster than I am. Or the trio of fun-loving punter guys who we passed on a fairly technical trail, only to have the chubbiest of the group promptly tail me down a steep rocky section until I dismounted because I was scared he was going to roll over me with his accumulated speed.
Despite seeing far more men than women riding at Mammoth most days, there were a lot more women there this time around, many far more hard core than I’ll ever be. Think full downhill gear (chest pads that make you resemble a football player), goggles and full face helmets with groovy pink jewels glued onto them. I didn’t see those grrls ride, but no doubt they were really the ones kicking ass and taking names. And since my sense of self-preservation is very strong, I highly doubt I’ll ever be that awesome.