Ok I know shoot me... to know I live so close to Waterfall Glen and today was my first adventure there - well I should be shot.
The Elmhurst Bike Club, which I belong to but never seem to get out on rides with, posted about a first timers mountain bike 'class' (if you will) and even had some spare mountain bikes if you didn't have one of your own. So I contact George and he asked for my height and what kind of pedals I have. Well since I have Speedplays (and no I had NO idea what they were called prior to today), George swapped out the pedals for platforms. Apparently Speedplays don't play nice in the mud.
They had 3 loops posted 8:30 slow beginners pace, family type ride, 10 bit more moderate pace, and then 11:30 balls to the wall hard core riders - so we got to the area about 8... I'd rather be early as much as Kevin hates to be that early. We parked right in the first lot to the right at Northgate Rd, didn't really see anyone that looked like they could be from the bike club, saw some runners, but no mountain bikers. We see a vehicle pull in with bikes on back and decided to try the next lot - sure nuff thats where they were - I heard some guys talking and someone mentioned Baltimore (ride leaders name) so I knew I had the right group. George promptly hooked me up with what looked like a brand spankin' new mountain bike and it seemed like a perfect fit for my height. We made some introductions and then we were off.
First 10 mile loop was 7-10ish mph, there were about 11 of us, to include a family with 3 kids. I had to laugh because the one girl kept telling her mom, your going to slow mom. Only bad thing about riding with kids, they don't know bike etiquette and how to look behind them before they make a move, so I had to brake a few times to avoid tire meshing with the kids, finally I just got in front of them. The first 10mile loop was more downhill-ish, oh there were some uphills but. Like I said never having been out that way before, I had no idea what a cool spot this is. And since this was a family pace, we had time to enjoy the scenary. That loop took us about 1:20 maybe 1:30. Kevin and I had some time to hang out for a 2nd loop.
Second loop we decide to go the exact opposite of our first loop, same exact path just backwards - Well going this way it sure the hell seemed like a lot more acsent then descent, I knew I should have charged up that damn Garmin! I was huffin' and puffin' on this loop thats for damn sure. I could cruise on the flats but the uphill took a lot out of me but I was determined I was NOT going to walk up any of them, and I didn't - and as it turns out it was some good training for Galena - yes Galena is 100 times steeper but none the less doing hills on a mountain bike is some good leg work. This loop took us about 50 minutes so it obviously was a quicker pace.
I have to say I really enjoyed this experience, the ride, the area, meeting some EBC members. I am very grateful to our club members that take time from their training to show newbies how to do something AND have bikes they can borrow to enjoy the fun too.
Think tonight I'll get in a swim, then tomorrow Kevin and I are suppose to head back out that way, only on road bikes and on the street - yea more hill work.... Where is that tylenol anyhow....