Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Follow the Leader

I wake up early most days. With the shop slowing down for the winter season, it means I have time for morning rides. I really love it- it's cold, quiet, and I usually have the trails all to myself. Or almost all to myself- I also bring along my riding buddy of the past 9+ years.

Cedar Hot Dog is a great trail dog. She gets in the zone. She'll run in front when I'm going slow, and then fall in right behind me when if I pick up speed. She's always right near me- she's not distracted by woodland creatures or other riders. She's learned to respond to the command "Scoot!" if I need her outta my way quick.

We ride the same trails pretty often. I like getting to know a trail really well. Some spots may be difficult to ride at first, but maybe you try a different line one day, or you get better at anticipating what's next, and you ride more and more of the trail. It feels like a nice accomplishment.

There's one spot on the trail we rode this morning that I've always had trouble with. There's a little rock pile flanked by a boulder and a tree trunk. I've tried a number of different lines, on different bikes, in different gears to get up and over it. I always have to put a foot down at the last second. Always. For years- I've been doing this for years.

This morning CHD was in front and ran up the obstacle in a way that I'd not thought of trying before. I like riding with other people to see how they ride and follow their lines- it helps to see the trails in a different way. So why not follow the dog's line? I did- and totally cleared it!

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