I've had the same mountain bike for 17 years. The entire time, I've only ridden it on city streets and paved bike trails.
Today, I took the baby to a mountain for the first time!!
I am so terribly out of shape. I pushed my bike up the trails most of the way. Mr. Burns is much stronger and would ride ahead a bit, then wait for me to catch up with my bike. On the positive side, pushing my bike made it a full body workout rather than just cardio and legs!
I've never ridden single track before and the trails are narrow (about a foot to 18 inches wide) and many rocks.
This picture may be a bit deceiving - there is a lot of gradual incline/ switchbacks to get up - and much wide open, flat area on the mesa.
At the top, where I didn't have to fight with incline, it was a bit easier to navigate. Mr. Burns would shout back about how fun the trail was. I was still nervous about the terrain and yelled, "This is dangerous and hurty!"
When we leveled out I had much more fun - riding fast, flying over bumps and rocks and proving to myself that I could control my bike.
(I'm still a bit gun-shy since the great bike crash of 2004)
When we finally rode back down my bravery kicked in and the rocks didn't seem like such big obstacles. Although I was a little afraid of the narrow tracks combined with speed. I was afraid I would bounce right out of a track (I use the term: rut) and end up crashing.
Mr. Burns rode ahead, and on one significant hill I found myself faced with a jackknifed front tire. It had bounced out of the track and I was airborne. As I flew over the handle bars I said aloud, "Yep, just like that..." that's what I was afraid of.
Not a bad crash.
Mr. Burns was already over the next hill and out of sight. I sat in the brush for a bit and called for him twice before I realized he was out of earshot. Finally, I pulled myself to my feet and mounted my bike again. It was a little screwed up - so I had to push it to meet Mr. Burns. When I finally saw him, I told him I needed help with the bike - kinda proud of my injury free crash.
Here's to firsts! It was scary, but it was fun.
I think brush is more forgiving than concrete. And I think my bike finally feels a bit sexy - having fulfilled the destiny of being called a Mountain Bike!