Monkey bikeAs you may recall from my last post about my teaching my wife to mountain bike, she started making great progress. Well, I think I may have come within an inch of pushing her too far yesterday. After our successful trip of over 15 miles of riding last weekend, (she crashed) I thought she’d be ready to ride in Tannehill state park. Nice, mostly smooth, flowy single-track. Boy, did I mess up.

Once again, we invited our friend Mike along since he is great company and acts kind of as a buffer between my making it through the ride or as in yesterday’s case, my wife, Lesilie almost killing me. Thanks for being there Mike.

At the very start of the ride, Lesilie looked at me and said, “No, It’s wet, it’s narrow, it’s steep and I ain’t doing it”. Okay, I got it. So I took her to the other side of the park to start her off on the wider and not as creepy fire roads. She struggled a couple of times getting up the hills at the start but seemed be doing pretty good. Then, it was time to leave the fire road and get onto the trail. The first section was pretty easy for her and she seemed pretty relaxed. As we approached a major intersection we stopped to decide which way to go. I thought, she can do this next section. It was so smooth just made up of rollers…up and down and up and down. Okay, she’s prodding me right now saying, “did you happen to mention they were all steep and no further apart than on to two bike lengths? Okay, I said it. But this is my blog and I’m going to finish now. Each time we approached a roller, Lesilie got off the bike and pushed it. She refused to try. There was no convincing her. I said, “just ride over them, Lesilie”. We turned back, with Lesilie running her bike through the woods. At that point, we rode back the way we came in and did the fire road that circles the outside of the park. She was pretty okay with it but it was really wet. Oh, and she crashed again. Fortunately, it was slow and uphill.

After getting home, we sat on the couch and started talking about the ride. She says she feels like such a weenie but can’t process how to do one after another of the rollers. She said that she has enough trouble focusing on getting through a couple, let alone an entire mile of them. So at this point, it dawned on me that I could simply ride over them but I never told her how to do it. I just said, “ride over them”.

Then, I had an idea, I pulled a small metal bicycle statue off a shelf and picked up a stuffed sock monkey. I sat the monkey on the bike and began showing her technique and where to position her body on the bike and what she needed to do to keep momentum to continue. She agreed that this would have been helpful to have known before she was in the middle of the woods. She has agreed to try again. But this time, I’m bringing the monkey.