Well, “almost” opening day of 2011. It was New Year’s Eve of 2011, so technically December 31 of 2010. It was one of the first mountain bike rides I had done. “Diesel” Doug and I headed out to Conyers, to the site of the ’96 Olympic MTB course. From what I hear, this isn’t really the exact same course they raced on, but it is still the site where mountain bikes were ridden in Olympic competition, which makes it sound pretty awesome. Anyways, I had rattled off a couple rides back in Peachtree City in November and earlier this month, but had fumbled and stumbled around as I tried to learn to handle the bike and really to trust it. TA had me chase him around the trails there, but I inevitably would fall off (the pace that is, sometimes off the whole bike too) as Todd would take drops and risks which I just wasn’t prepared for just yet. Also, MTB riding was simply a very different style from all the road riding I had done to this point. It is much more primal, more instinctive. Road riding had given me great fitness, able to pace myself, to hold high heart rates for extended periods of time. It seemed that much of that fitness was secondary to being able to have explosive power and to recover from redline efforts quickly and repeatedly. I was learning “what I didn’t know”. It was (and continues to be) frustrating and has left me scarred (not emotionally, at least not just yet, just physically), the telltale sign of any mountain biker. Nothing dramatic or disfiguring yet, just reminders, when I’m shaving down, of past mistakes. A reminder to be prepared for future bloodshed. Dear Lord, what am I saying? Well two things I guess: a) biker culture dictates shaving down, both men and women; and b) if you wanna ride MTB, you’re pretty much gonna bleed, so be ready.

Anyway, back to Conyers, Diesel and I take off for a couple laps of the lower course and a run of the granite on the upper. We had an awesome day, well at least until I busted my butt on a wet section of granite and fell into a little stream, soaking my shorts and leg warmers on a 40 degree morning. It was also my first attempt to POV (point of view) video any biking. Looking back, it pretty much sucked (the video, but maybe my biking technique too). I came home and experimented some (with the video, what r u thinking?) and posted my first ride video up on YouTube. This was the beginning of some serious adventures for Diesel and I. Hopefully I’ve improved my fitness, biking, and video documentation skills throughout the year, but I’ll let you be the judge of that.