Picture the scene – Carla is in front and we’re hooning down a rock-strewn descent in the Monts de Blond. We’re going fast, very fast, and I’m struggling to keep up!
How did this come to be? – Well, just lately Carla has been getting frustrated with her ability to ride some of the rocky descents, so I’ve been trying to help. I’ve gone through the usual things like not trying to read each individual rock, looking further ahead at the bigger picture, holding some speed, braking on the easier bits to set up for the tougher bits then letting go and so on. We’ve even stopped at tricky sections for closer inspection and analysis. I’ve shown Carla what I would do, then she’s tried it for herself. This seems to be working. In fact, it seems to be working too well.
Also, Carla is usually happy to just let me lead, and enjoy the ride, she never really takes much notice of where we are, or where we are going. But just recently she’s found herself wishing she knew where she was. Just for safety it would be better if she had some idea, then if we should have a problem, she’d have a chance of getting home, getting help, etc. So with this in mind I’ve been encouraging Carla to take the lead on some of the routes that we ride more often so that she’ll learn them.
Back at the scene – Like I said, we’re going fast, Carla looks relaxed, she’s cruising. As we come into a rocky section I hit a rock which shoves me offline, just as I recover I hit another, a sketchy moment follows then I’m back on track. I’ve lost ground on Carla, so on an easier section I’m out of the saddle sprinting to catch up. Into the next rocky section and I’m all over the place! Carla is still cruising, and pulling away. We’re almost at the bottom, and riding on the ragged edge I manage to stay upright arriving about 10 seconds down. I don’t think she noticed! 😉
In my defence – I was on my hardtail, Carla was on her full-sus. My front tyre was a little hard, I let some air out shortly after.