Wow! thought the little green Specialized S-Works. I am actually going to get to go somewhere on the car today! I hope it’s not back to the bicycle shop for more repair. Ugh. I hate that. Maybe I will get to feel a real trail under my tires. It’s been so long. At least 10 years, I think. Or maybe more. I used to race every weekend, but that was a long time ago. Sadly, full suspension bikes ended my reign as queen of the trail, at least temporarily, for this rider.
Jo (rider): I wonder what it will feel like to ride a hardtail on the trails again? How long has it been anyway? Since around 2000? Or 2001? I can’t believe I’ve been riding full suspension bikes that long. I hope today’s ride isn’t going to hurt my back!
S-Works: Hey! We’re at Usery Park! I used to like these trails a lot! They are easy, but there are enough rock sections and long gradual sandy climbs that it feels like a workout. Plus, it’s a fast trail, and I should be able to stretch my legs sufficiently today to feel like I am useful again. I hope she’s ready. We’ve been riding along the canals a lot, so she should be in fairly decent shape. I know riding along the canals is not the same as riding “out,” but at least it’s a workout.
Jo: I will have to start out slowly, get the feel of this bike again. (2 min. later) Okay, I got it. It’s like I never left. Let’s go!!
Both: Wheeeeeeee! we we wheeeeeeeeee!!!!
(after 20 min. of riding)
Jo: Where’s my riding partner?? I thought he was right behind me! Was I really going that fast? It feels like it, but the computer on my bike isn’t working so it’s impossible to tell.
S-Works: OMG! It feels so great to be on the trails again! I am having such a wonderful day. I felt a little stiff at first, but now I am getting ‘warmed up.’ Everything is lubed and I am beginning to remember the great feeling of flying along. We dove into a few rocky washes, and got onto the perfect line as we went through. Oh, I am so happy!
Jo: Wow, now I see what has been “wrong” for all these years. I don’t mean wrong, but I kept wondering why I was going slower and slower over the last few years. What did I expect, riding heavier and heavier bikes? With much more weight on the ‘full boingers,’ and a lot of wasted energy because of the up and down motion in the suspension instead of all of the energy going into forward motion like on this little hardtail, no wonder I was slower. It’s all becoming clear to me now!
S-Works: Faster! Faster!
Jo: No wonder I ‘murdered’ everyone I rode against when I raced. This thing is a murder weapon! Well, I beat everyone except Cindy M. and that fuzz-head woman that sand-bagged her way through that last racing season. (NORBA rules? What NORBA rules?)
Hey, where is that riding partner of mine? I stopped, he caught up, I looked behind me and he was there, but now he’s not! WTF!
S-Works: Why do we have to stop again??!
Jo: Well, I’m going back to the car, I am sure he will meet me there.
S-Works: Speed is wonderful! My wheels are flying over the crushed granite. Oh, darn it. There’s the car. Crap. That ride was wayyyyy too short.
Jo: *sigh* How can I get out here to ride more? I have to ride like this every day to offset the negative effects of work! I need this workout!!
S-Works: Hope we come back soon! Or maybe ride the Hawes network like we used to!