More Mountain Biking

A friend and I took our mountain bikes to Milaca Trail today. It was a ways to drive, but it looked like an easier trail for me to practice some of my skills, work on my endurance, and not end up on a trail where there’s a lot of people and I feel like I’m in the way. Hopefully, I’ll get over this self conscious timidness soon.

The first little road block we ran into was that my truck battery was completely dead. I have no idea why. It’s a fairly new battery and it was fine when I drove it last weekend.

So we had to unload all our gear from the truck and put it into our separate cars because neither of us have a car big enough to fit two bikes into and no bike rack either. My bike just barely fit into the Mini.

The second road block was that the directions I’d found on line to get to the trail said to turn off Central onto 2nd Avenue in Milaca. Well, there were only streets that hooked up to Central. I turned on a street and found 2nd Avenue but it dead-ended, so we went to a gas station and asked for directions and discovered we should turn on 2nd STREET, not 2nd Avenue.

So by the time we found the trail, I was feeling rushed. That led to forgotting to put on bug spray or take my water bottle. Sigh…

We started riding on what we figured was the trail. There were arrows directing you but they were somewhat confusing and in spots the bike path was barely visible. We ran into a dead end so we had to backtrack.

But we finally found a trail. It was a bit rocky, which wasn’t bad on flat areas but freaked me out a bit when going down hill and I slipped a lot going up hill.

The ride through the woods was great! I was enjoying working on going over roots and rocks and pipes, leaning through my turns, and leaning behind my seat going downhill.

Unfortunately, there were several wetland areas we had to go through and they were not fun. This puddle is actually nothing.

What I don’t have photos of is the actual, what I would call a, swamp that we had to bike quite a distance through. I was fighting for my life so taking photos was not exactly on my mind.

The swamp grass was so high that all that was visible was my helmet as I rode through. And unfortunately, I had to walk quite a ways because i was getting so caught up in the grass and water and deep mud that I wasn’t able to keep going on my bike.

Here and there, we would see signs of an actual path, and there would be arrows pointing the way, but most of the swamp area was every man for himself. My legs felt like rubber and I was about ready to throw up from breathing so hard.

I know, it sounds like I had a terrible time. Not so. The ride through the woods and meadow was well worth the trip, but no, I wouldn’t go there again except maybe in a drought.

There was a second Ladies Night Mountain Bike event at Hillside a little over a week ago. I was only able to ride the beginner’s run as I was plagued with guilt that the Brew Babes had already been cooped up most of the day, so I missed out on the wine and cheese and free chair massage that was available after the bike ride.

I hope my girls appreciate the sacrifices I make for them. They did have a bit of pent up energy when I got home.

Here’s a video of the second Ladies Night that was held at Hillside. (I’m the first one to ride the plank in the video.) You can see more photos and read more about the event at Suelandia.

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7 Comments

  1. Love iT! Great shots of you, your bike stuffed in the mini (I wondered how that would work), and the mud. Just so you know, that isn’t part of the normal mountain biking experience. Most trails are totally closed when muddy. (But all the mud makes you look like kind of a bad-ass) (and so does your Hillside shirt, of course). 😉

  2. I am so impressed Maery!! It sounds exhilarating. What a feeling of accomplishment you must have. I still haven’t given up the ghost on my mountain biking life, but I need to be in a bit better place to have some mental energy to give to the whole endeavor. Good for you!

  3. Sue – From the online description of Milaca, it is always muddy except perhaps in the fall but even then, you will come out muddy. The trail through the woods only had that one puddle. It was the swamp, where the water literally came up over your shoes that was too much for me. I looked on the map to see if we were off course, but no, it runs through “the bog”.

    Kathleen – I don’t know. I think I just feel old. But I do like that this could be a good, yet fun, workout for me. Don’t feel like you have to mountain bike. Anytime you want to go regular biking, we should do that sometime too. I hope your house is pulling together so you can enjoy the rest of the summer.

  4. It looks like you had a blast! There are so few women mtn bikers that it’s great to see a program to encourage it. Keep having fun!

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