Shortly after moving the Valley, I realized that I needed to learn how to mountain bike. Yes, I used to road cycle in Miami and do over a 100 miles a week, but this is nothing like that. The first day I got on my bike and went straight uphill with a friend, I thought my heart was going to jump out of my chest. This is hard. Miami was flat, easy and if you came upon a hill you were crossing a bridge on paved road. Not here in Vermont - the state with the most dirt roads. I digress. That first ride was very humbling experience and showed me that I needed to do more cardio - even hiking wasn't enough to keep up with mountain biking.
The next thing was to go to Blueberry Lake. A little nervous, fearful, and excited all balled up into one. I decided to just do Tootsie Roll over and over again, in order to get comfortable, feel my bike, and get used to shifting. This was a whole new experience. I stayed to Tootsie for several times and my fear drove my to use the brakes almost always going down a hill. Then came the other trail's - Leonard's Loop and even later Flying Squirrel. The first couple of times the fear and nerves were present; I had no clue how to deal with a switchback; and I still rode the brake often. Oh boy, I didn't realize how quickly I would love trail riding. I am sticking to the same trails and each time getting a little better. It has been humbling when I can't make it up a switchback or a kid passes me by, but hey, I am 42 and trying something new and quite proud of myself. As the fear dissipates, the love for this sport is growing.