I've been riding my favorite trails every weekend: That is camrock area #3 and the John Muir trails at Kettle Moraine. Last weekend I took the 12-mile blue route at John Muir, which is the hardest one. What fun. I even passed two gals. I was catching up to them on the technical downhill and then passed them on a long steep climb. This shows my three strengths in mountain biking. I'm better than average technically compared to other women, and I have endurance and can handle the heat, thanks to my healthy diet. Of course, I have many weaknesses, the main one being that I have much less strength than EVERYONE ELSE and I always get beat on the easy level and easy uphill stuff.
Today I experienced more challenges at camrock. I tried to go over a steeper set of logs than I had done before. It was a good time to try it but I did just what the mountain bike book said you will do if you do it wrong: I didn't counter the back wheel bouncing up which caused it to flip over. I didn't flip all the way over and handled the fall pretty well but I landed on my left arm and leg, like I usually do because I'm left-handed. The problem with that is that I broke my left elbow in January and I'm trying to be cautious and avoid hurting it anymore. um, you might say I shouldn't be mountain biking but I'll ignore that comment. I just ordered some elbow pads and kneepads. I also fell at a spot that I've fallen at twice already. This is just dumb maneuvering. I'm doing something that's natural on a roadbike and all wrong on a mountain bike, which is taking turns on the inside. If anything, you need to take turns on the outside so the rear wheel will follow in the tracks better. At this particular spot I am in a rut, my front wheel catches in the left bank and I fly off, fortunately in a cozy soft bed of tall grass. It's almost fun, but irritating because it's dumb. So next time I ride I will concentrate on going over logs properly--today I concentrated on the first step, but next time I'll concentrate on the more important last step--and following the "line" of the trail better.
I'm still commuting on weekdays, typically 14 miles with a stop at the grocery store. My partner and I share 3 good things about our day as a nightly ritual and my bike ride often makes the list. We aren't strict about it sometimes going on to 5 or 6 things which usually guarantees that the bike ride makes the list. Last week I discovered mulberries along the bike path. All these years I've ridden that path and never realized what a treasure they were. Now I know.