Go Mountain Biking

#103

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When I was in sixth grade, I used to love riding my bike with no hands, while zipping around the blocks with my neighbors. Yet, one time, I let my bike get too close to the curb, the bike awkwardly twisted, and I fell off onto the pavement. I had to get twelve stitches, and, of course, that night was the night of the dance recital I had been preparing for, for months. With the doctor’s okay, I still danced, since the skit was only two minutes, and the ACE bandage matched my tights pretty well.

I still remember how kind the neighbor was who helped me clean my cut, after watching me fall, from her stoop, along with the friends who were there at the time and made me get well cards after I got back from the hospital.

After this experience, I stayed off bikes for quite a while, though eventually got back on one. I remember the moment specifically because, although I teetered a little at first out of nerves, my friends and neighbors all started clapping as I began peddling down the block. After this moment, which was around seventh or eighth grade, I again became comfortable on a bike and brought a bike to school during my sophomore and junior year. However, I had never been mountain biking.

When I received the email from outing club that there would be a mountain biking trip, I was psyched and texted a bunch of friends asking if anyone wanted to go. The first response I got back was, “Dear, I have a deathly fear of mountain bikes? Are you trying to kill me?” and the second was, “I don’t know how to ride a bike, so probably not haha.” Eventually, I received a yes after my friend Steph said she’d go.

The mountain biking trip took about four hours. We lucked out with how beautiful the weather was; it was warm enough, but still had a nice breeze resembling fall weather. Renting bikes was only $25.

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Before we left bike rental store, the manager who worked there said to one of the guys hosting the trip, in reference to my friend and I, “Keep an eye on these two.”

Despite his trepidations, the trip was a blast and one of the most rewarding aspects was discovering how many neat locations are right near my campus that I had absolutely no idea about. And I’m a senior.

I have to admit that toward the end of the trip there was one instance where my bike went over a particularly large rock, causing my bike to jump up fairly high, and the edge of the seat jammed into my butt, which was pretty painful. For a few days, my friends laughed at me as I winced whenever I sat down.

At another point, when part of the group branched off, I called the group leader and said, “Wait, I think I went the wrong way, I’m at a sign called the ‘skills trail” and thought his “Do NOT go down the skills trail!” response, or something of the sort, was hilarious.

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If you have never tried mountain biking, I would definitely recommend it. I really had no idea what to expect, but it’s an adrenaline rush that’s a lot of fun, especially during beautiful fall weather. I’m really considering renting a bike again (it’s $30 when not doing it through a school organization) and going back on my own with people, or even walking around the areas we biked through.

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I realize it’s been some time since I’ve written about crossing items off my bucket list and apologize for the delay! Things have just gotten a bit hectic with being back to school. Plus, I’ve really been enjoying hearing and publishing others’  However, I’ve still been crossing items off the list and hope to post about more items I’ve recently crossed off soon.

So has anyone crossed this item or a similar one off his or her bucket lists? I’d love to hear about your experiences!

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Oh, and even though I’m wearing my favorite Penn State tie dye shirt, I don’t go there!

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71 Responses to Go Mountain Biking

  1. Chris Thomas says:

    Hey Christine,
    I remember going mountainbiking with my French exchange partner in France but at that time I was a little bit ill and he gave me a start on a very high hill so I only did it one time, then another after he teased me and then I stopped. Maybe I should give it another try, I really loved reading your post. What’s the hectic about btw?
    Have a great day,
    Chris
    P.S.: Thank you very much for liking http://gammagamification.wordpress.com/2013/09/15/kind-acts-volunteering/ (and you’re really welcome, don’t worry :))

  2. Author Catherine Townsend-Lyon says:

    I TRULY love how you write about all your fun experience’s. It makes me feel like have been along for the ride!! It means a lot to me since I suffer from Agoraphobia, so it is hard to get out my front door weeks at a time, so THANK YOU for sharing your life with me and many others!!
    Your Pal..*Catherine* 🙂 🙂

  3. You’re a great writer Christine. I don’t want to sound like a damn mother or anything but please be careful. I’m not going to scare the hell out of you by going into a few gruesome stories, but I will say that a helmet is not going to protect that adorable face of yours. Go fast, but only as fast as you still feel the rush and not the blood-pooling (definition of bruise) under your ass you so painfully but eloquently describe.

    Wear a face mask. And never go right after a rain or if rain is in the forecast. Walking your bike down with a sprained ankle in the rain sucks more than the sprained ankle.

    Okay, mom is finished.

    • Haha, aw thanks so much for your sweet comment and I completely agree that bikes can be pretty dangerous, especially after my stitches incident! I try to go fairly slow, as I’m still a bit wary lol. Thanks you for checking out my post!

  4. This is super awesome! I just need to invest in a better bike and I’m set! Thanks for the good read!

  5. Westin Eehn says:

    That sounded like a great experience!

    I definitely need to get out and do more with nature. There is so much beauty out there, yet it is so easy to miss! Thanks for sharing!

  6. I was wondering about the Penn State T-shirt. Glad you answered that. 🙂

  7. momilanster says:

    I so wanted to try mountain biking!
    I ended up buying a road bike to take up to school this year. But will definitely check if i can rent a mountain bike for this kind of trip.
    You make it seem worth it for sure

  8. Bobby Dias says:

    Penn State or whoever- I think you are great for telling people that YOU respect someone! We need more people who say their heart and mind not let the people on television teach people what THEY think what we do.

  9. kukolina says:

    I never thought about mountain biking Christine! Like it was never among my thoughts. Not even by accident. HAHA
    After reading your post, I am assuming now that there is a huge difference between a normal bicycle and a mountain bike.
    If you would have texted me I would have joined you for sure. I like it when someone has an idea to try out something new that I have nothing against. Looking at your pictures I can tell I would have enjoyed it. I think.
    I am glad you are doing such healthy stuff. You look like you are glowing! I need to follow your foot steps and do more to be healthy. I actually had to make a resolution after our trip to Bangkok…

    http://kukolina.wordpress.com/2013/09/19/back-from-bangkok/

    xoxo, Eszter

  10. Ranting Crow says:

    Love mountain biking, shame that we do not have those beautiful trials anywhere close by. But i am jealous of your experience. Could feel how you felt. Thank you. loved it.

  11. Well done for ticking off another item! It’s not one on my list although right near where I live is really popular with local mountain bikers. I did go for my own adrenaline rush at the weekend – lots of roller coasters! Not really a bucket list thing though – I’d been too many times before so that’s cheating!!

    What’s next for you Christine?

  12. mamamlk says:

    I love biking! If you ever get to the WI area go to Door County. They have tons of biking trails. My family and I would stay at a hotel there and go on a long bike ride. Well….7 miles. We always went in fall because door county is the prettiest then!

    Also….if you ever make it to Europe.. There was a bike tour (when I was there in 2000) called Mikes Bike Tours in both Paris France and Munich Germany. Did them both and loved them both!! Although the Munich one was best! 🙂

  13. Mountain biking looks insanely fun!!!

  14. Matthew Morgal says:

    I’ve been looking to get a good quality bike for a long time for something like this. If I keep seeing great pictures like this one I’ll be doing it sooner rather than later. 🙂

  15. glamorosarunnerphotoblog says:

    I loved your blog post on this one 🙂 I haven’t tried mountain biking before. Will definitely try it. Thanks!

  16. consueloitr says:

    I would love to try mountain biking. I never did it ’cause I thought I wasn’t physically prepared for it, but I’m in better shape now. I love riding my bike. Glad you had a lovely experience 🙂 thanks for sharing it, too.

  17. billyriel1971 says:

    Thanks for the visit to my Western genre site….much appreciated. It is a very interesting and positive site you have here….all the best with that and your studies.

    Chad
    http://www.westernsreboot.com

  18. shoedooo says:

    I love road biking. Perhaps mountain biking might be up my alley!

  19. Pingback: Go Mountain Biking | ginnysblogspace

  20. xginchux says:

    Reblogged this on ginnysblogspace and commented:
    I really like this blog, and I love the fact that it has to do with biking. So awesome ! 🙂

  21. Jim Bradrick says:

    I really enjoy bike riding although I’ve not tried mountain biking (and not so sure I want to). Glad you had a good time though. Best wishes with your senior year.

  22. Ness says:

    Well done, that’s awesome! My fitness/activity-based ‘bucket list’ is pretty tame in comparison but I think that to one day be confident and fit enough to mountain bike would be an amazing experience. Your story was motivating, thank you!

  23. terriaw says:

    Mountain biking is such a blast! We tried single-track biking in the Colorado Rockies years ago and quickly became addicted. Such a rush! I have the scars to show it. Makes you feel like such a daredevil.

  24. From an ink smeared page says:

    It takes courage to get back on the bike after a fall – well done! I like that ‘never give up’ attitude.
    Also, thanks for following my blog 🙂

  25. Mark says:

    Hi Christine! Great post, you are so right there is something about mountain biking that just gets inside of you. I have sustained more injuries from bike crashes than anything else but on the bike off the road is also where I find and lose myself. I posted about my mountain bike adventures here > http://markschutter.com/2013/04/12/time-to-get-away/ ! Keep pedaling!

  26. Pingback: Beginner’s guide to mountain biking, part 3 | medalshow case

  27. I’ve loved mountain biking since the first day I gathered up the courage to try it. It’s a sport that screams INTIMIDATION and is often seen as a guy-only sport. If you enjoy it and want to keep going, I’d encourage you to find a women’s only mountain biking group. I did for years and although by that time I had lots of experience and could credibly hammer with the experts, most times I loved just cleaning up (staying at the back to ensure nobody got dropped), shouting out encouragement and tips to the newbies. Good on you!

  28. paranoiasnfm says:

    Great! 😀
    I fall two times when i was young, but neve stopped because of that. 😛
    It’s a great experience (not to fall), but the rides! ahaha 😀

  29. milambc says:

    This looks like so much fun. I haven’t ridden a bike in a long, long time and I’ve never gone mountain biking. I had a similar story to yours when I was younger. I was riding my bike around the neighborhood and we were fortunate to have plenty of awesome hills to engage with and fly down. Well, on one such hill, I braked too soon and too hard at the end of the hill and flew over my handle bars! Luckily, I only had a few scrapes on my hands and knees.

    Also, I love how enthusiastic and happy you look in the first picture! Your optimism is inspiring and awesome! 😀

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