At 5:15 this morning, I was still awake, because I had a plan to take my mountain bike down to the new skatepark and carve some lines before the crowd scene arrived. I actually left a little too early and had to cue for a while because the sun didn’t come up til about 20 mins after I arrived. It was still half dark when I rode into the park.
The first thing I did was pick up a bunch of trash. The kids left the place wrecked which really bothers me. There were a coupld of 1 gallon water jugs, 2 McDonalds bags, a bunch of extra large plastic soda cups with the lids and straws still attachd, and a buttload of empty cigarette packs. I cleaned it all up except for the cigarette packs. I have sort of a cigarette phobia because when I was a little kid, my neighbor used to find cigarette butts hat had exploded on the sidewalk after it rained and chase me trying to touch me with them. I guess thats an isue for me and my therapist though…
Finally I rolled into the skating surface. Wow. Carving around on the mountain bike is aaaay differen than on a 20″er. I kind of dig it! My strategy was to take it waaaaaay easy, because I do not want to kill myself. Before long though, I was trying a few things. First off I wanted to jump up onto the flat rom the steepest part of the transition. The part of the bowl I was riding does not go to vert, but it gets pretty close. The walls for the most part are about 4.5-5ft tall, with a few hips, a few parts that are just slantd, not curved, and one 8′ wide extension that goes closer to vert and is basically a quarter pipe. The first time I tried to pop out onto the flat I kind of suprised myself, because I didn’t really think it was going to work. I expected to dab. But I didn’t. I did get the back end of the bike up a little too high, but I compensated for that the from that point on.By the time I left I was getting a little bit of air out of the steep sections…enough that when I start to be able to hit them with serious speed I WIL try to do a 360.
I continued to carve around, and at a certain point I was riding up onto the quarter pipe section and decided…what the hell, I am going to try an aerial. So when I got about 3/4 of the way up the thing I pulled back on the bars and the rest of the motion just folowed through naturally! Holy crap I was stoked. So I continued to hit that wall a bunch more, and I swear at least once or twice I held my approach until the front wheel went just past the coping. I dunno if it is the park, or the fact that I am doing this with suspension, or divine intervention, but doing those little aerials feels so much nicer than it ever has before. I think by the end of the summer I should be able to gt 1-2 ft over the top, which is plenty of air to start trying som variations. If I don’t kill myself. After a while I noticed my heart was going really fast, and it wasn’t because I was pedaling a lot…I hardly pedaled at all. It was racing because I was a little scared I guess. So I decided not to push it, and wind down the session.
The one other thing I started to do was progressively approach riding into the bowls stepest part from the flat area. I’ll probably nail that soon enough. I used to be able to drop in sideways on a quarter pipe on my BMX, so rolling in with the larger whels shouldn’t be too tough. The larget whels are really making a difference in feel. I drop the seat prety low so I can yuck back behind if I need to.
Overall it was pretty freakin wicked.