Trails don’t suffer fools gladly.

I ride my mountain bike on single track trails. These trails, I keep assuming, are my friends. I spend time with them. I love them. I fix them when they are hurt. I work hard to keep a quality relationship with them. I forget to think about what the trail thinks about me.

What does the trail think about me?

On Sunday, I was reminded that even though I have fondness for the trail, the trail may be simply tolerating me or be upset with me. I know that the trail needs me, probably more than I need it. Without me, the trail would disappear. The trail can’t exist without me using it. The trail though, can get testy. The trail may be having a bad day or it’s jealous of other trails or places. The trail may not like that I’ve been getting onto it too late in the day showing it that last nights drinking and carousing was more important than rushing to the trail as soon as the sun has come up. Trails have heart and you can break that heart if you don’t give it the attention it needs.

Tamalpa Trail was a little upset with me on Sunday. Starting in late in the day, I was doing well going down from the top. Not too fast, tires placed just right for the route, keeping a deliberate and smooth pace. At the entry of hardest (in my mind) section, where the pointing protruding rocks are reaching out to pull you down and the step downs are large, scary and mind bending, I get snagged. I had not even gotten to the worst of it. No good reason given the conditions, just a pissed trail and a jealous lover.

I’m grateful that the trail truly does love me, beneath the jealousy and anger. She spared me harm. It’s strange to come out of what I would consider a bad crash in a really bad place with no injury or even a scratch. That’s love. Jealousy is different. Lady Tamalpa didn’t want me to forget her anger. She left me a reminder. I see it as a reminder because an exploded shift (rear) housing is about as cheap and simple a fix as you can get. It just forced me to run a three speed for the rest of the afternoon.  A very odd technical. Almost like she was giving me a little slap to straighten me out.

I’ll be a good boy, dear. I’ll see you soon and early.