Spent part of the day working on more appliqué pieces. It's not that it's hard, just boring and my iron doesn't like it. I still need to do the center, a stem and then glue the pieces down. I'm still leery of cutting them down to 18.5 inch squares, in case something goes wrong with the measurements. The four panels (I have two done) will be set on point. This is going to be really pretty.
Woot! Yesterday hubby said I could go to Omaha that night for a group ride at Tranquility Park. I called up the store to make sure it was a no-drop right and they confirmed that. There are a couple of other guys that have fat bikes that invited me up to ride if I could ever make it.
The group leader stayed with me the entire time while I worked through the course. Obviously the guys were long gone so it was nice to have help. I nearly crashed over the first log when my pedal caught on the edge. I caught myself and kept going. After a couple of more near crashes, the leader said I wasn't keeping my pedals horizontal while going over stuff. Towards the end it was getting easier to judge speed/distance and keeping my pedals flat.
Surprisingly, I was able to get up hills on the Mukluk. It wasn't easy but I guess doing the main highway with hills all summer has actually paid off. I wasn't gasping for air the entire time either so riding all summer really helped. I had to stop a couple of times, but not for very long. Remembering to get off the saddle is hard when you've basically ridden a road bike all summer. Every rule of the road no longer means anything when mountain biking and retraining your brain isn't easy.
Watching the guys ride through was fascinating as they sped through the woods, up/down the hills and getting up the big hill to ride the rolling hilly section down to the bottom. There's a grace to mountain biking that I'd never known until seeing them go in unison down that section. It was truly breathtaking. I learned a lot just from watching them as well. By the time I did one loop, the guys had done 3-4, but I was having a great time. Speed and agility will come later.
I managed to do 5-6 miles of tougher single track with a 30+ pound bike, not crash or go over the handlebars, learned how to do switchbacks/turns, both uphill and down without braking, and gained some much needed confidence. I just wish I lived closer to the trails.
Just like when you start to learn how to quilt and take classes, I strongly suggest that if you start riding, either road or mountain, to get with a no-drop ride. I've been terrified to do it not wanting to come across as stupid, green and inept. The leader that went with me was patient, understanding and never once made me feel stupid, green or inept.