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The mountain bike...and my pup

During the ride, she never stops (unless mom makes her
pose for a picture). 
The seed was planted last year around this time, and it took me this long to buy myself a mountain bike. While not brand new and not top of the line, it has served as my alternative to indoor trainer rides so far this fall and hopefully into the coming winter. Maci might be the most excited about this proposal. Usually, I haven't even mounted my bike before her whimpers of excitement escalate into barks of impatience. Before long, she's sprinted down the driveway, knowing I'll have no trouble catching her.

To fly as fast as my energetic vizsla. That has most definitely been the highlight so far. I've not yet found my gut to feel fully confident navigating steep downhills, especially when the trail is riddled with rocks and roots. Call me a pansy, but the visions of risking injury keep me well within myself. If I'm not afraid of tipping over sideways and sliding down the embankment, I'm certain I'll accidentally hit my front brake and find myself cartwheeling down it instead. (Thank you, but no thank you.)

After the ride, she'd like Bryan to start the heater ASAP and
mom to wrap her up in a blanket.
Uphills present a different story. I remember scaling my first significant one last week. Even in a low gear, my legs felt worse than they do when I'm climbing hills on my Quintana Roo. I looked down at my heart rate monitor to reassure myself I was, indeed, in my zone 4. For me, this has been the weirdest sensation to overcome: going not more than the pace at which I run, but feeling as though I should be flying based on the work I'm putting forth.

Maci couldn't care less. On trails that allow for her to run alongside me, she will. Other times, she'll catch a glimpse of something off in the woods and sprint a short detour before catching back up to ride my hind wheel until a hill slows me down so she can pass. I think she feels the greatest sense of superiority when she runs just ahead of me, keeping me at her own pace. If Bryan joins us, she keeps pace with him up ahead, but is sure to check back with me who inevitably brings up the rear.

And so, we continue to experiment with the mountain bike. I hope the snow holds off for a few more weeks, but if it doesn't, the studded tires wait down in the basement to make their grand appearance. The shorter days have made riding after work a bit of a challenge, but the brightest of bright lights will soon arrive in the mail. Based on the reviews, it sounds as though I'll more closely resemble a glowing orb from outer space than a cyclist on her way home. Once home, I've found incredibly good meals waiting in the crockpot. Nothing like homemade soup after a chilly ride through the woods!

Once home, she can't wait to head out for a ride all
over again.
To have the energy of a vizsla.

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