My mountain biking evolution

2004 in Rougemont... not on a Cannondale?

I've been riding bikes for a long time, I started almost as soon as I learned to walk and I never stopped. From my first plastic-wheeled tricycle to my 140mm full suspension bike with hydraulic disc brakes, carbon fork and what not, my bikes have changed a lot over the years. The kind of riding I do changed too. To go to my babysitter's house, to go to school, go to work, to go skateboarding, to go shopping, to go party with friends, to get in shape, to just have fun riding... I even did a big part of a moving on my bike once... or twice. No I didn't bring a couch on my back but you have to agree, bikes are practical. They are fun too, I've been mountain biking for years, I had my first mountain bike some twenty years ago and I sure liked to go ride through puddles of mud, my mom enjoyed it much less although I'm sure she prefered that than have me bothering her at home...

Where I ride changed too. In the last few years, my regular and one of my favorite trail network was Rougemont, close to Montreal, it's a nice place with a good balance of climbing, downhills, twisty trails, fast trails, technical trails infested with roots and rocks... Unfortunatly though, Rougemont is no more. The many land owners are confusing nature loving mountain bikers with polluting and nature destroying drunk red necks with Jeeps and motocross so everybody got banned except the hikers... but hiking is quite boring, I'm a cyclist you see. While I'm at it, thanks to the owner of the Érablière Mont Rouge who was always welcoming to us, even had drinkable cold water, a hose and stands to wash our bikes afterwards... he was one against many I guess.

We had fun in Rougemont, right Steakface?

This forced us to find new places to ride that were not a 2-3 hours road trip. Bromont sucks for XC riding, Coaticook is a long drive, Mont Sainte-Anne and the Kingdom Trails are even further, I needed places that are not too far from Montreal to spend more time riding than time driving to get there. So yes, this forced a change in my riding. I now go to the trails maintained by Les Coeurs Vaillants, even closer to Montreal compared with Rougemont and the trails are quite fun and nice. I also go to Mont-Habitant once in a while, very rocky and technical. I also went to Prévost for the first time this year, again, very rocky and technical... So all is good I guess, you lose some, you find some... but, what's next?

Well, I pretty much decided I will enter a few races next year. Cross-country races, marathons, raids, 12 hours, 24 hours, I'm not sure yet, I'll probably start with good whole lung busting cross-country races at first. Maybe do the Quebec Cup? So another chapter will start in my cycling career, if I can call it that. That also means that I should do a few changes: try to stay in better shape in the winter so I dont start from zero when spring comes, figure out what races, what caliber to enter, figure out the licensing things with the cycling federation. I will also probably get a new bike for next season... you know, the kind of bike that can win U23 World Championships or World Cup finals... So if I'm not fast, it won't be the bike's fault.

Okay, now that I wrote it, I'll have no choice but to actually do it so it's something that you will have to follow in the future: my bike build process, my first race report... I guess it's better to read than me complaining that my favorite trails closed.

1 comment:

Dan Gerous said...

Before someone asks what the hell I'm doing not on a Cannondale: how do you think I know how much better Cannondales are compared with other brands?