Thursday, October 2, 2008

Brown County Ride

I went to Brown County yesterday, but I didn't ride the whole trail system as planned. The new expert trail took a lot more out of me than I expected. It's not crazy freeride hard like Adam tried to tell me it is, but it's hard. With a few exceptions, I at least theoretically knew how to ride everything there, even if I didn't manage to do it in practice. I got pretty sloppy by the end, due to handling skills inertia: the principle of mountain bike physics that states that bodies successfully riding over obstacles have the tendency to successfully ride over even harder obstacles, and bodies stopping and/or making mistakes have the tendency to have to stop more frequently and/or make even stupider mistakes.

As for the exceptions, one of them is pictured above. It appears to Indiana's first naturally occurring rock garden. Pretty cool. If you'd asked me to ride this trail a year ago, I would have thought it was the dumbest idea ever. I was very committed to not riding anything excessively technical, because "I would never actually see anything like that in a race." Until the Ouachita Challenge kicked my butt and changed my mind about technical riding. So now I have a nifty little place to practice. Too bad our good friend the freeze-thaw cycle will keep likely keep me off of it for the three months preceding the race.

The trail does have a couple of freeride-esque features of which I want no part. I can't actually remember how many switchbacks there are, but at least two of them end in large drops off of big rocks that terminate into piles of other rocks. Big drop+rough landing does not make me happy. Oh well, overall, I liked what I saw.

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