Saturday, August 23, 2008

Aug 16 LUNA Mountain ride

The San Diego Team LUNA Chix girls are primarily roadies and triathletes. I'm primarily a mountain biker, and have threatened to take the girls out and bring them over to the dark side... BWAAHAHAHA! Well, my desires have finally come to fruition!

On Aug 16, we take our first official San Diego LUNA Chix mountain bike ride in the Eucalyptus Grove over at UCSD.

UCSD is a great place for a beginner or intermediate ride because there's something for everyone. Whenever someone needs beginner or even interdmediate coaching, I suggest the Eucalyptus Grove, for the wide doubletrack, the winding singletrack, the occasional ruts, and the climbs that go from easy to really challenging.

Leah is my LUNA partner in crime. She has agreed to "lead" this ride with me, even though, God bless her, she's never been on a mountain bike before. Before she even shows up, she has got so many rad points in my book, that I need more pages just to make more entries under her name. Before the end of the ride, I need another volume.

We meet at UC Cyclery in La Jolla and ride over to the UCSD campus. There are five of us, with Leah, Britney, Joy, and my mechanic and good buddy Steve who comes along with us for support.

Before we go, I talk to them about body position. On the mountain bike, you want to have your shoulders square to the trail, your pedals level when you're coasting, your arms relaxed, and importantly, you want to be ready to get off the saddle and stand on your pedals at any moment.

We enter the trail and find a wide area to practice popping the front wheel off the ground. This skill will help them get over obstacles like logs or ruts. Joy is clipped in, and is a bit more experienced than Britney or Leah, so I show her how to pick up her rear tire using her clip pedals. She's on her way to bunnyhopping.

Area where we practice popping our front wheels up.
We continue our ride, and head down the main trail to a section with winging singletrack. I tell the girls to remember: shoulders square to the trail, pedals level, arms relaxed with no death grip on the handlebars, and keep your head up. We stop to look at tricky sections, walking through them before attempting them on the bike.

Steve and Britney


Joy tackles the hill.

Britney and Leah.
We continue the ride and get to the fun part - the bridges!

Joy on the bridge - she made it all the way across!


At the very end of the trail, there's a log we have to jump over. To give some persepctive to how far everyone progressed, here's Leah at the beginning of the ride, learning to pop her front wheel over a stick...

...and Leah bounding over the log at the end of the ride!

WOW! Leah, you totally rock! Leah is a traithlete and this was her first time on a mountain bike. She was a little intimidated by the dirt at first, but by the end of the ride she looked completely comfortable.

Great job everyone!!

Big thanks go to Steve from UC Cyclery who came with us and helped on the ride. Thanks Steve!!

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