July 7th 2011 marked my first ride with Brightonmtb. I must admit I was pretty nervous, and rightfully so, as when I arrived I was by far the youngest attendee. After a few brief introductions and a casual ‘you’ll pick up names on the way’ from Ronnie, we were off and riding.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with regards to the riding style. I’m used to flowing singletrack and wide bridleways, uphill and down. But this was something quite different.
I would describe it as ‘Technical Singletrack’ as that was pretty much what it was. We worked our way up the hill whilst often looping back on ourselves down various manmade, but not obvious, trails, all of which had their fair share of drops, jumps, logs, corners, and close knit branches you’re sure to clip your bars on constantly. This made it incredibly fun.
The pace we rode it, well, we weren’t hanging about, and I was pushing pretty hard. Riding by myself I wouldn’t have done half the stuff I rode that night, just due to having lots of people behind me I didn’t want to upset by stopping. That said, when you nail something really tricky, it makes you feel pretty good, so I was fairly pleased by the whole affair.
I fell off just twice, which I was fairly pleased with, and, like an idiot, had thought earlier in the day that I probably wouldn’t need knee pads, it won’t be too intense. Well that was regretted the second I fell off onto both my knees!
But falling off just makes it more enjoyable, like you’re putting the effort in to achieve. Mind, lifting a hand off the bars to avoid getting stung by nettles (despite full arm and hand clothing coverage) is a bad idea, and will result in the bike falling off you.
Not been much of a story to these few paragraphs but I just have to get across that until you ride with people that are better than you, you will never get better, as when you ride by yourself there is limited motivation to push yourself, for obvious reasons. With others there it’s hard not to push yourself! Which will always result in improved skills.
On the whole I had a great evening ride and will be sure to return for another helping.