This past weekend, two girls and I went down to the Bend area for a long Memorial Day weekend of bike riding in the sun.
I am neatly sandwiched between the two girls (heh) in terms of bicycling ability. I think I’m a bit stronger and more confident of a rider than Mags, but I have way less experience and far fewer miles than Bobo. Mags picked our routes and destinations, and I think we all anticipated some leisurely riding on easy paved trails. Ha!
To our collective surprise, very little of the routes were paved at all. We rode on dirt and gravel trails alongside the Deschutes River, dodging potholes, climbing roots and creeping over rocks. Bobo was on her mountain bike, with front suspension and big fat tires that seemed to float over obstacles. I was on a hybrid with no suspension and slightly thicker tires, so I managed okay, though I worried about popping a tire on some of the rockier sections. Mags was on a hybrid with very skinny tires, and had more challenges with softer trail, where the bike wanted to slip sideways. In hindsight, we all agreed that if we had known the trails were gonna be like that, we might have demurred.
But the river was beautiful, the skies were bright blue with big puffy clouds and the temperature was ideal. Over the three days, we did nearly 50 miles, and had a blast doing it. There were long flat stretches where we did a gentle slalom through the trees at reasonable speed, other times when we inched uphill while popping over small obstacles, and downhill runs done a little too fast with some skidding around corners. We even found several odd sections of trail with rollercoaster, up-and-down hills a couple of feet high that we rolled up over and down over and over again.
All in all, we had an amazing time. Mags acquired some bruises, of which she is inordinately proud. I built some additional riding chops and gained some confidence in tackling hills. Bobo got to share her utter glee in mountain biking with her newbie friends.