I experienced Memorial Park on two different ocassions… once as a walker..once as a bike rider.
As a walker, I felt like I was involved in some sort of bizarre foot race against a much stronger force. As I concentrated on not breaking my face, bikes would come flying around bends and cause me to jump into the brush. The riders would yell strange codes like, “wiefowefh”. What in the hell am I suppose to gain by some out of breath athlete yelling at me? I know they’re suppose to be warning me of eminent dangers, but I can’t figure out what they said in time to react. So by the time I’ve figured out that they mumbled that there are 6 riders behind him, I’ve already had to dive back into the woods to avoid being run over.
So today, The Boy and I tried it from the other side. We got our bikes out and tried the trails ourselves. I was concerned because I hadn’t learned my mountain bike-ese (though I did spend some time on Google) and since The Boy biffed three times on the same trails…well, yeah… it didn’t look promising.
A paradigm shift is when you change your initial beliefs because of being able to experience an event from another’s perspective.
On a bike, a walker seems to materialize from the ether. I was focusing on the gigantic roots when :whomp: pedestrian. So I veer out of the way, whilst avoiding those tree things. Then I try to tell them that it’s all clear behind me, but it comes out as “mekfwjl” because I’m out of breath and trying not to break my face on a root. Stress, stress.
I have to say though, if you’ve never gotten the opportunity to truly trail ride, you really need to try it. It’s an amazing thrill and takes a lot of focus. Today was my first true mountain biking experience, and it’s one that I’ll definitely be trying again. I had one true off-the-bike-on-the-ground- sort of tumble, which is better than The Boy and I expected. In truth, I had my insurance card ready to go.
(On a side note: After I landed in the woods, The Boy came rushing down the washout where my body laid in a heap. He made it to my side and asked breathlessly, “Are you okay?”. It’s just…he was picking up the bike, caressing the crossbar and had his back to me. I..um..)
So all’s well that ends well…
Except… after inspecting my legs after our ride, The Boy very quickly pulled his hands away from me. He then gently asked me if I noticed when I fell if there was any poison ivy hanging about.
Wouldn’t that just beat all?