How can you love mountain biking ?

My mountain bike

(testo in italiano qui)

This is not  a rhetorical or a provoking question; I just would like to understand how it is possible!

Yesterday morning I rode my mountain bike because the path I usually cycle on is now a  blanket of leaves . Beautiful, nothing to say about its charm, but super dangerous for road bikes.

 Over the past two days, it had rained a lot, so now it’s actually a wet  blanket of leaves . Not the best ever.

Yesterday-morning’s bike ride began with the unexpected encounter with Death , just outside the town center. I was riding along the cycling path that runs alongside the main road  when a Bright Asshole , driving his van suddenly decided to bend toward the gas station, just in front on me.

Surely if I had been on my road bike, I would not be here now writing this post …. I suddenly braked more than I could and I ended up being 5/6 millimeters to the back door of the BS’s van . While braking I screamed like crazy with fear and the guy didn’t seem to care about me.

Needless to say, he didn’t even say “Sorry”. For the two / three kilometers ahead I wasn’t even able to ride at a decent speed because  my legs were still shaking in fear.

So , ok , seen from another point of view , I think that the mountain bike saved my life, which is not too bad .

But ..what else ?

I cycled 30 kilometers (unusually during the week I cycle 50km, but I was too pissed off and after 15 I decided to go back home ) my speed was so slow! No more than 25km per hour , not even on the “Gavardina” cycling path , where I normally I reach 35km/h.

 My mountain bike seems to me , or maybe it really is , super heavy . I always get the impression that i have to change gears, and that’s what I keep doing, but it doesn’t work as it should do.

 After 15 km, I’d had enough . I left the cycling path and I took a main road . The more I pedaled there , the more I kept telling myself how stupid I am, because surely the blanket of leaves would have been better then the concrete of the main road ! At a traffic light a bunch of cyclists on their wonderful road bikes passed by, they seemed as light as air and I felt that nasty feeling that I thought didn’t belong to me: envy .

Now , I wonder , is it true that in Autumn is better to  leave the road bike in the garage and to ride a  mountain bike ? Perhaps the answer is in my morning encounter and in the avoided crash.

Who knows ?!

60 kilometers of joy and a PS for my husband

percorso-171013

(Verione in italiano qui)

The other night I went to sleep with a unstoppable desire to go cycling. When that happens, the next morning, usually, with the same intensity, I find any possible excuse to do something else. Instead, yesterday morning, at 10 to 7am, I woke up full of energy ,despite my little girl, as usual, had kept us awake all night long.
I got my big girl ready for school and we left home for school. She walked next to me while I was rode my Pinarello Dogma 2 with her Winx school backpack on my shoulders.
Once we got to the school , my daughter wanted me to stand at the doorway waiting for her and her class mates to go to class. So I waiting for the school bell to ring,  with my bike at the main school entrance door,  wearing my very tight cycling outfit, my helmet and sunglassed… I felt “slightly” uncomfortable , among other parents, who were, of course, dressed with appropriate clothes, but then I thought “who cares?” I waited for my daughter to go upstairs, I sent her a kiss and then I left  for a solo ride and it was beautiful .

watermill
I realize that I seem repetitive. In the sense that whenever I write about my bike rides , I say that it was beautiful. But it really  is! There have been non super interesting cycling rides, like the one on the Lake Iseo , but generally speaking, I could cycle on the same path 100 times and every single time I would find and appreciate something new , not necessarily around me, maybe even inside myself.

fiume

And while I am pedaling, I often smile . Then if I realize that I’m smiling …I laugh. Yes, I admit, I sound crazy, but if you don’t cycle maybe you can’t understand…

 As I ride on the Gavardina cycling path, I greet the trees , the river , and so on and, as I have already had occasion to write, I get the impression they greet me back.

gavardina

I always meet different kinds of morning cyclists … elderly who, despite their age, are still riding their road bikes and who, as a rule, get furious if you overtake them and do everything possible on earth, even risking a heart attack, to overtake you back to prove themselves they can still make it… grandparents who stroll their grandchildren in a pushchair and who stop every three steps to check if the child is well … middle-aged ladies who are there for the morning jogging who can’t stop chatting… foreign couples who are cycling as tourists on their super equipped, and super heavy bike, with the luggage tied to the bike, who despite that, look always super happy and satisfied … and everyone greets the others…with a nod , a formal ” good morning ” or , more often, with a basic “hello “. It ‘ a greeting that does not cost anything, and that makes you happy . Or at least I am very pleased . Whenever that happens to me, I get the feeling of being in a parallel world, where everyone is kind , where, even if for a nanosecond only, all are friends.
As I wrote on my Facebook page , the bike is good for the heart and the soul.

 PS for my husband only: check my average speed on the way back. I went very fast! Maybe in five year time…but ONE DAY, I AM GOING TO RIDE AS FAST AS YOU DO!laps