Photo by Trent Bona
When I moved to a ski town, honestly I hadn’t put much thought into the few summer months we have. I love playing outside, so naturally I was excited to hike, fish, camp, backpack, etc as the snow started to melt away my first spring in Crested Butte. I hadn’t thought about how much I would miss the adrenaline rush of going downhill on skis though. Luckily my problem was quickly solved when I turned my attention to bikes and single track. However, it wasn’t exactly love at first sight. I was used to falling at speed on skis, and the snow provided a soft cold pillow every time I ate it. On a mountain bike, the rocks and hard ground (and occasional poison ivy patch in the southeast) provided little cushion.
Last summer was a lot of learning in some of the most epic mountain biking terrain available, and this off season road trip has provided plenty of opportunities to get comfortable on 2 wheels across the country. The southwestern desert provided a bounty of rocks to maneuver over and around as well as the opportunity to learn to change a flat tire because of a quite defensive cactus. The southeast has countless trails for all levels of riders through thick vegetation, not to mention it has been so much fun to ride in my home state of North Carolina. With a great teacher and travel partner by my side, I have come a long way. I’ve learned that falling is a part of getting better, that regardless of everything I learned about being a lady, spreading my knees wide and sticking my butt out will only help me on a bike, and that mountain biking, like most things I love, is all about having fun in the great outdoors.