I was able to make another trip to Oak Mountain State Park for a second loop at the mountain bike trails. I veered left instead of right at the first fork in the trail and traveled counter-clockwise around the course.
I coined the term "woods touring" in a previous post and I'm now finalizing my form of riding as "forest touring." That's the essence of what I do with my off road bicycle pursuits. On this day, I was more of a trail nuisance than anything else.
The core of successful off road riding is rhythm and momentum. I caused the reduction of both by being on the trail. I'm slow, ride a hardtail, and dismount often for rough sections. The park was packed and others on the course were carrying a pace 2-3 times my speed. I attempted to move aside but it's hard when there's no exit ramps or passing lanes.
One guy came up from behind and said he was retired and finally had the time to get into mountain biking. He was riding a nice dual suspension Gary Fisher 29er. He said my bike didn't coast well and that he was tapping the brakes to stay off my butt.
It's no fun being in last place. I write often about master man's place in life, but the truth is, it stings. I wish I was faster, I wish my bike was better, and I would like to carry the speed that I saw others exhibit today. But I never was very good at riding and I'm getting worse.
I'll be regrouping over the next few days. Started to peruse Craig's List and spotted a full suspension Specialized 29er, then emailed the owner (see above). Maybe there's a new ride out there, or maybe I'll just lube up and adjust my bike for yet another ride. I need to be thankful for what I have, not what I want. It will take time to get my attitude back on track after my Oak Mountain experience.