I have a confession. While I love being outdoors and trying new things, a mountain biker I am not. That’s not for want of trying mind you. I love the mountains so I was pretty sure I’d be all over mountain biking but I conveniently ignored the biking half of the equation.
Growing up in flat Essex didn’t give me much cause to cycle further than the local BMX park so I failed to develop these things called ‘quads’ which I’ve since learnt are pretty crucial to mountain biking. Over the last few years I’ve hired bikes on a handful of occasions and tried to convince myself that I can be a mountain biker, this try-hard attitude reached it’s pinnacle on a trip to Scotland last year.
We stayed in the most amazing campsite (think secluded pitches with your own fire pit and an onsite shop selling camping essentials like marshmallows), this campsite also maintained a number of biking trails in the neighbouring hills and had a bike hire shop. Feeling optimistic we set out on what the guy had described as a “family friendly” route. If you’re married to the Terminator and your children are part-cyborg his description might have been accurate but I felt like I was dying after the first ascent and subsequent terrifying descent. So rather than trying to fit myself to the mould of the perfect outdoors woman, I accepted defeat, left Tom to it and went and read a book in the sunshine.
Since then I’ve been pretty happy knowing my limits and appreciating that trying and failing at mountain biking isn’t a fun way for me to spend my weekends. Until yesterday when (after being turned down by his friends) Tom made it his mission to have me go mountain biking with him. I resisted for quite a while but the weather was perfect and by this point he’d promised to cook the dinner, wash my car and let me choose what kind of dog we get: so I figured it was a pretty good deal. This time we actually went on a family friendly blue trail and while I still struggled on the uphills, to my surprise, I didn’t hate it. Perhaps it wasn’t this activity in particular that I was adverse to but instead it was being a beginner at something, maybe with a bit of practise I’ll even come to enjoy it… watch this space.