Decided to go into Anchorage yesterday to check out Hillside Park and the new Brown Bear trail. I grew up in the Hillside area but haven't lived there for more than half of my life now. I had NO idea of the awesome trail system they have. I had such a great time, I think I was laughing the whole time except when I was gasping on the hills. I really need to get more hill-time in. The closest hill around my home is 5 miles away and not much of a hill.
We crossed paths a few times with one of those young, cute, barely 20 year old girls riding a Specialized. She was lost sort of, asking us for directions to a specific trail. You can't REALLY get lost there, up takes you to the mountains, down will take you to town somewhere. So we all tried to figure out where we were on trail maps that totally sucked, her's worse than ours. My husband points out a route but it's all uphill. The Cute Young One says "Hills are OK, they don't bother me". I'm thinking "yeah, just wait 19 years from now and see it you think the same". :) I'm gettin old...
The Brown Bear was too technical for me. My shoulder still isn't as stable or strong as it was which really causes me to be probably overly careful. That trail is pretty interesting. I'd like to see how the REAL mountain bikes get through it. SOMEDAY, I'm gonna be a REAL biker. I still feel like a poser most of the time.
I got braver the last half of the Brown Bear. I have to remind myself sometimes on trails like that to keep the tires turning and don't try and coast. We then got on smooth single-track and just blasted. It was great fun! Got on the Tour of Anchorage Trail, which is basically a road, got back on some single track then onto the cross country ski courses. Beautiful ride. I haven't been on a trail before where you could just ride as fast as possible without having to worry about big rocks/roots/washouts/slides. My only complaint, which isn't really enought to call a complaint, is better maps of the trails.
I'm amazed at what speed can get you out of sometimes. There have been a few times up at Hatcher's Pass, on the trails that are half dirt, half basketball rocks jutting out of the trail everythere, that I was pretty sure I was going to lose it, feel the tires start to slide out or the bike tip, and then manage to pull out of it. My bike knows more than I do, I put my trust in my bike and it gets me through.