Yes! Finally made it out to Swanson Park for mountain biking on Saturday. I debated taking the Mukluk but chose my Mamba instead. I'm still not strong enough to handle the Mukluk up hills.
Surprising DH decided to come along. He got his bike ready and my son joined in.
Now I know I suck. I just didn't know how bad until I went through the trail. I wish I had pictures or a video to show the bad parts for everyone's amusement, but the 29er and I really struggled with control. I sideswiped a pine tree while attempting to follow the trail, almost slid off part of an embankment, kept rolling off the trail that was indented and nearly caused DH to crash multiple times as I would have to stop and he'd have to brake to miss me.
The hardest part was lack of air. I'd do just fine until my lungs would start screaming..usually going up a hill and I'd end up stopping midway. Starting to ride a bike uphill halfway up is torture and given a 29er needs more power to start, I was once again dying when I got to the top. I'm glad I didn't bring the Mukluk.
Now go figure. My DH who has a full suspension 26er was riding along with grace and finesse behind me. I look like a giraffe on giant wheels out of control praying I don't crash and he's humming along just fine. I swear guys are just built for doing stuff like this even if they've never done it before. He's not even breathing that hard up hills. This is from the guy that hates dirt, camping, and anything else that has to do with outside.
Now, on downhill straights, the 29er was amazing. I think I even got some air time going up a small hill. Get some speed going down and go up with ease on smaller hills. A 29er rolls over everything as well. The couple of logs I went over were easy and so were the roots. It's the stupid curves that got me every time as the turning radius on a 29er is not on a dime.
Part of me wonders if I should invest in a 26er. Then I'd be a giraffe with my knees up to the handlebars praying I don't crash.
If I can ride a mountain bike trail even if I suck, anyone can. Get a mountain bike and head out to your nearest trail. If you can free motion quilt, you can handle a trail as you just think of your bike like a needle going around on the quilt top.