MTB or Downhill?
Mountain Biking or Downhill?
Hey y'all! I'm busy mom and wife. I also have fibromyalgia and other health issues that make exercise and sometimes daily life challenging. My husband has been Mountain Biking for years, but I finally tried it in 2018 and I've been hooked ever since!
I didn't know how amazing downhill was until I surprised my hubby with a trip. I was scared to death, but I knew since he grew up in Alaska snowboarding, he would think riding a lift to go biking would be pretty legit. So, I pushed passed my fears and surprised him with a weekend in Colorado.
Where My Mountain Biking Journey Began
Mountain biking was challenging with my health, but I can't do jarring workouts like I used to. I used to do CrossFit, Piloxing, Tabata, and more but I found myself so limited. I was told to cycle, walk in pools, and do pilates. Finding the right bike was key, if you're gonna do it, don't cheap out. You won't enjoy the sport if you have a cheap bike with cheap components.
We took the kids to Palo Duro in Texas and we rode for days, I had no flare-ups, it was awesome! But I had an okay entry level hardtail, which under my old circumstances I would have tore up. The last day I had no energy, but I wanted to ride one last trail before going home. I tried riding my bike, but I ended up using my husband's Santa Cruz Tallboy and it made all the difference. Even though it was too big for me, I learned the difference quality makes!!
I learned having the right bike that you feel comfortable and a women's specific saddle was where it was at! When I felt comfortable on a bike, I could enjoy nature and the beauty of the ride.
So, back to Colorado. We started off our trip close to Rocky Mountain National Park and rode over 20 miles of trails in one day (finished by pizza and a mountain sunset). We flew into Denver, so we rented bikes. I rented a Specialized Stumpjumper and thought I was comfortable on that bike and I could climb and ride the chunk those trails offered. Then we drove to the lift....
The picture above was taken on my first day of downhill. We rested the day before and I was feeling so good, but what I didn't know is that the lift isn't scary, and downhill doesn't have to be hard!! Even with fibromyalgia I can still do it, it's easier for me than mountain biking! Don't get me wrong, I still love mountain biking and we still ride our local trails, but if I have a chance to ride downhill, this is where its at for me. When I don't have to sweat the climb (sorry guys, I can't always put in the sweat equity) I can ride more and I enjoy it more.
I learned that the flow of the trails were totally ridable, if there were jumps, they had roll arounds for the more inexperienced rider like me. I was getting my speed up and even getting some air on some of the tabletops. (It may have only been a few inches and I didn't know I did, but the hubby got it on his GoPro!)
The key is to find the bike you are comfortable with! Learn how to ride before you go, watch videos, learn the trails where you plan to travel to. I rented a Transition Sentinel Enduro bike for downhill riding, I can tell you for me it is the perfect all mountain bike.
You guys!! If you want your girl to ride, rent her bikes until she finds the right one. You may drop some cash, but what a better way to spend time together, get exercise, enjoy nature, and get some adrenaline going!
Look for more blog posts on what I do to prep for mountain and downhill biking and more biking adventures as a family! Y'all take care now, ya hear?