Beginner mountain bike ride: Mansfield

Riders: Jill, Mike, John, Nathan, Doug, Andy, Natasha, Dave F., Sarah, Meghan, Tony, Jacob, Joanne, Lisa, Fernando
It was a beautiful Friday night for a ride, with a touch of humidity and very warm. This was a true beginner ride with a large group that varied in age from 9 to 50 years old. Jill explained the rules of the ride prior to hitting the trail and you could feel the energy in the air. After a long week everyone was looking forward to a great ride. We started from the school on 89 and headed towards the dam with the intention of splitting into 2 groups with Mike leading one group over the whoop trail, and Jill leading an easier path, but everyone was game to try the whoops so off we went. Everyone made it through and had fun although Sarah, Jake, and Meggie didn’t like looking down at the drop off to the south side of the trail. At the end of the whoop trail, Tony took a YouTube type header as he descended the steep step trail at a high rate of speed, and I wished I had a camera for the event. He had a sore wrist for the rest of the ride but otherwise seemed ok. We all did a short road ride to start the lake loop and finished that loop without incident. At this point all the riders were doing awesome and were game to try the brushy trail from the dump road. At the bridge I took Meggie, Joanne, Jake, and Natasha who were done for the night, back to the school while the rest of the group took a right down the brushy trail. I know Jill, they haven’t cut the brush! After dropping off the departing group I raced to catch the others and in doing so did an ugly endo off of one of the new bridges in the big meadow. I caught the group before the dam towards the end and we all finished together. This was a fun ride for all and the newer riders did awesome. Jakes little legs never stopped pedaling, and Lisa has a “rider’s attitude”, determined and willing to try everything. Natasha is improving with every ride and I’m sure it helps her adventure racing. Knuckles and Eight Foot had fun teasing each other all night. I think I speak for all in saying that this has been a fun year for the club. We have 20 new members and many rides added to the schedule to address every level of ability. Thank you Jill, John, and Mike for your dedication to the club, and for leading many rides. –Dave F.

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