I had one of the best rides of the last few months on Saturday. Several sections have been intimidating me for some time, especially because some of the rest of the crew are a bit more daring than me when doing bigger stuff.
However, I was feeling strong and confident (all important) and the conditions were excellent. For the record, the weather in Taipei in November is truly wonderful – a light English summer day with clear skies and none of the usual horrendous humidity. A perfect set-up for mountain biking heroics!
My primary nemsis in the past few months has been a very demanding set of steps to climb up. A series of steps, placed about 2 metres apart get progressivly higher until the final step with is over a foot tall. Several of the more experienced riders demonstrate a technique of gently lifting the front wheel up the step and then bunny-hopping the rear up, without losing balance for the next one. I have attempted it in more times than I care to remember, usually ending up in swearing at the hill, which does not help, but certainly it feels good!
This, however, was my day. The technique, finally was correct, the speed slow but confident and I smoothly lifted the bike up step by step until I collapsed in a heap of glee, a wave of intense joy hitting me. Finally!
This return to confidence continued in two further sections of hard, technical downhilling that I had previously walked down. So, all in all, a wonderful giant-killing day. Perfect for a balls out night on the town!