Hey people. Okay, so remember I told you about the Halloween race and how a couple friends came to watch? These are the gals-- Maery and Kathleen. (See? Don't I have cool friends? This is them at my art show opening last month.) Now after watching me and Pam ride and seeing how much fun we had even though we aren't big superstars, they both want to try it!
Girls approach the whole experience of trail riding from a different country than guys. Sure, some are super athletes and maybe it's different for them, but for your average woman, there's a whole host of insecurities and fears to overcome that guys just plain don't have.
The lot was packed because it was such a nice day and right away Kathleen asked if I was sure it was okay for us to be on the trail, knowing she'd be taking it slow. I reassured her, but totally remember that feeling. When i started out if I pulled in and there was more than a few cars in the lot I'd leave-- afraid of making people mad by being too slow etc.
It's funny, I've always loved being over there in the woods, and have no fear of men-- like, weirdo's attacking me or anything. I'm pretty sure they'd be completely unprepared for the unladylike can of whoop-ass I'd unload on them were such a thing to happen, but the thought of one of the other male riders barking at me, or even just acting irritated, really intimidated me, because I knew I was on "their turf", and didn't want to feel unwelcome in a place I'd come to love.
Anyway, Kathleen had all the fears I did first time out like going down little steep hills and over rocks and roots etc. (except I was all by myself with no one to explain anything), but she gamely challenged herself to ride some scary stuff out. She walked a few things, knowing she just wasn't ready, but that is perfectly fine. All in all, she said she really had fun, and wants to keep trying it. That is huge. That right there shows she has a mountain biker in her-- it was scary, but fun. And she too loved being in the woods. When we finished a big group of guys asked how our ride was and were all friendly and supportive-- nice job men! We're going over for another session today. Next it'll be Maery's turn to saddle-up-- if the weather holds.
A while back I told you about a secret commission I was working on-- here it is-- a pair of trophies for the local official mountain bike association. The one on the left is the team championship trophy, and the one on the right is the race director of the year award.
Today is maybe the last hurrah-- the last 60+ degree day in the forecast, and this time of year, maybe the last of the year. I'm spending as much of it on 2 wheels as possible. First a fun leisurely ride with my dad, who turns 80 in Feb. Then I'm meeting up with Kathleen for another newbie session before getting in a quick lap or two myself before dark. Today will feel like being locked in the candy store, trying to get in as much riding as I can, but knowing I'll run out of gas and daylight eventually.