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  1. #1
    Bored Carp
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    What is your greatest *riding* accomplishment?

    In light of recent posts...

    We spend a lot of time on this board helping beginners and making fun of Kawboy, both very important activities. However, I think that sometimes we forget that there are some really experienced, awesome riders on this forum who don't need a lot of coddling.

    Now the fun part.

    What is your best riding accomplishment? The one that made you pump your fist, swagger a little and maybe stand just a bit taller that day? The one that made you think that maybe, just maybe, you ought to consider getting your headshots done, just in case the magazines hear about it ;-) ?

    Come on, chicas. Pick one and brag! Tell us all about it. I want stories. (Who has the gumption to go first?)

    Cheers,
    Chuky
    I only attempt to change the world in the appropriate World-Changing venues and forums.

  2. #2
    you know your crazy right
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    Well so far

    I would say it was landing my first 4 foot drop and then then a few weeks later going on a group ride and kicking all but one guys butt on the climbs & keeping up with the 3 guys on their fs bikes while I was on my ht..it was a great day so good that next june I will ride in the test of metal race....67 km with 1200 feet of climbing. That should put me in my place. But over all I had a great season of riding this summer. It Rocked
    Boobs to the tube.......

  3. #3
    life is a barrel o'fun
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    For 2005:

    Tackling a couple of steep rock rollers that had me stumped all season long. Woohoo! (not as bad as they look actually, shhhhh don't tell anyone.)

    Putting my own HT together after shipping it to NC, then solo-riding the local rooty trail three times (27 miles total) without it falling apart. Also took on a couple of playthings while there, including a teeter-totter.

    THEN took the bike apart, packed and shipped it back w/o incident

    Tried my first 24-hr race and contributed 2 consecutive night laps to the team effort. The course wasn't that bad but the initial climbing nearly crushed my spirit.

    Finished the VT50 a good hour and 1/2 faster than my time last year (which wasn't really all that fast anyway, shhhhh don't say a word.)

    None of this is impressive, but it's all meaningful to me- the actual challenges were more mental than anything.
    "We sat outside the dentist, tooting a horn on the guy's bike."-overheard in the Underground

  4. #4
    ride like a girl
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    Just one? My first 24 hr solo race - 231 miles. My first teeter-totter. A few weeks ago, cleaning a steep nasty rock face that many of the guy rode around.

    thanks for the inspiration, this is a great thread.
    Though she be but little, she is fierce.
    William Shakespeare, MSND

  5. #5
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    130 miles in one day

    The thought of a century is tough enough, but then a friend wanted me to do the Boston to Cape Cod ride. It's 130 miles with the biggest hills in the last 30 miles. I did it in 10 hours and wasn't even that tired afterward. Now, I feel that I can do anything. The limitations of my mind are gone.

    I'm started training for the "Longest Day" ride for next year. It's 210 miles from high point NJ to Cape May NJ. You hardcore riders really keep me motivated. Thanks!

  6. #6
    Don't worry, be happy!
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    Last year, 2004 at camp. My second day there I was really, really on. Everything I pointed my bike at I just flew down. I love this pic, it's a good one to look at on days when I'm riding like a dork.


  7. #7
    pewpewpew Moderator
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    great thread!

    I think the best accomplishment I ever felt was racing at Sea Otter one year after my first foray on to singletrack. It marked the anniversary of a great year and I was 8th in my category.

    Most of my accomplishments are the small variety - cleaning the local trail perfectly, chasing down and passing someone successfully.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Impy
    Most of my accomplishments are the small variety - cleaning the local trail perfectly, chasing down and passing someone successfully.
    I know the feeling! Earlier this year we went on an XC ride - with a friend who turns everything into a race. I was feeling great and after 15 miles or so I had moved up and was riding right behind him (very rare for me to be in front of my husband). We'd stop and wait for the rest of the group and start the race again - this guy's idea of a normal ride is that if he looks back and you're in sight he speeds up and tries to drop you. And I kept speeding up right on his tail. And finally - 25 miles or so into the ride, on a steep climb, his rear wheel spun out and I passed him. Woohoo! So much fun.

    My biggest accomplishment was racing in Durango a couple of years ago - I was terrified of that big drop under the lift - it's like 8-10 feet or so. I wrecked the first time I hit it and about knocked myself stupid, but got it the next time (it really is easy if you hit it with any speed) and ended up winning my first national race as an expert.

    My friends managed to get a couple shots of me approaching the drop and riding away afterwards... you know how it goes. And because the women rode first the photographers who sell photos of the race weren't set up yet and missed us all too. Oh well.

  9. #9
    life is a barrel o'fun
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    Whoa! You guys are definitely inspiring. I've got some catching up to do!

    That's it, where's my bike.......
    "We sat outside the dentist, tooting a horn on the guy's bike."-overheard in the Underground

  10. #10
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    Warning: a road response

    recent big accomplishemwnt was completing ride the rockies (2005). A week long road ride, 405 miles and too many passes to count. Just didn't know if I could do the ride much less the training. It sure cut into other activities, like mtb and river time, but it was definitely a challenge worth doing.

    All subsequent 20 mile moutain days seem really short. Improved stamina (obviously), did little for bike handling skills, improved appreciation for the road, improved my flat fixing skills, and met many great people. Saw a lot of lycra.

    Good to mix it up. Also makes me want to do more multi day trips, mountain or road.

    sarah

  11. #11
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    Mine is a road one, too.

    I finished 10th on the last day of Redlands in 04. Because of the way the schedule worked out, there were 10 days of racing in 11 days, and the last day was a hard road race on a technical course. I was exhausted from riding support all week and a bit nervous about the course.

    At the finish, I felt like everything I did that winter to prepare paid off. Every weighed meal, every long week on the bike, and all the gym work... I really felt good about it.

    Later that day, I totaled my truck ;-) A quick lesson in why you shouldn't drive after 11 days of racing.

    On the MTB, I think my trip to Gooseberry this year was awesome. I've spent a lot of time this year trying to build OR skills after so many years on the asphalt, and it was really fun to go out and just feel flowy on the slickrock.

    Keep the stories coming - we still haven't heard from a lot of the regulars!

    Cheers,
    C
    I only attempt to change the world in the appropriate World-Changing venues and forums.

  12. #12
    Dirtmistress
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    Don't get me started...

    Great stuff. Some of us have been riding for so long and there are so many accomplishments and memories. Some of mine include: climbing Mt. Ventoux on a tandem(loaded with panniers) with my partner/stoker (a woman also) and having French guys look on in amazement and cheer.
    Cleaning this dangerous off-camber edgy switchback on a group ride and this one woman that was always kind of...snotty competitive, I overheard her say(as I took off and they all walked it) "did she just make that??"
    1st in the sport masters at Sea Otter a few years ago and 2nd in the masters road race. Wow! That was such a cool feeling.
    Kicking my ex's ass in a race!
    Not believing the old adage of "look where you want to go because if you look where you don't,that's where you'll go." Another hairy switchback with a steep slope to slide down if you fell and as I was rounding the corner, I looked down the slope and saw sunglasses and a Park tool. Sorry for whoever lost them the hard way!
    Alas, I'm not a jumper. Wish I was. Not much of a high speed downhiller anymore, wish I was.Still like the technical stuff but seem to have gotten more cautious with age.
    Coming in 3rd behind Dotsie at a local race. (She mustve been taking it easy!!)
    Having legs powerful enough to do just about anything in my middle ring!
    Remembering to be humble enough to keep better riders ahead of me because I can still learn!!! (jeez, how corney)
    WWXD.
    What would Xena do?
    She used to clean the whole trail.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtmistress
    Cleaning this dangerous off-camber edgy switchback on a group ride and this one woman that was always kind of...snotty competitive, I overheard her say(as I took off and they all walked it) "did she just make that??"
    Haha. Gotta love that!

    This has been my year for climbing. I rode up an uphill switchback that I really didn't think twice about, but there were two women standing on the inside of it and one said "Oh my God, did you see how easy she made that look!" That kind of thing definitely lifts your spirits. We also ride a few trails that you share with dirt bikes - my husband and I dirt bike too, but there are a few climbs where the guys stop their motorcycles and cheer you on as you're huffing it to the top. That always makes me feel great as well, despite wishing I could swap bikes for the climb!

    Heh - and one day this fall, there were two guys coming the opposite direction - one of whom (from his outfit, condition, and their conversation) was obviously a roadie just getting accustomed to dirt. There's this road crossing and a couple of sharp switchbacks as you go around the guardrail. I'm riding up the sharp switchback as the roadie guy endos OVER the guardrail - he was hanging upside down off of it and his bike landed in front of me in the middle of the trail. I rode up around the carnage and onto the road as I was asking if he was okay. Which struck me as funny because I often have trouble getting up that switchback, but with the carnage and bike in the middle of the trail it was easier than it's ever been. Guess I was distracted from the difficulty!

  14. #14
    Don't worry, be happy!
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    oh! I remembered another one. I have these free ridin' friends. I go out and ride with them a lot at times, on my 3" travel bike. My husband joined us one day, on some technical trails I know better than he does. He was following the guys in kind of a crazy way ( hanging on for dear life on his HT) and then came up on this one rollable rock drop. He stopped, was looking over it, and I just came barreling along, "get out of the way!! coming through!!! He grabs his bike, jumps out of the way and I ride it clean without even slowing down to look. My girlfiend high fives me and says, "heh heh heh, you should have seen the look on his face".

    formica

  15. #15
    life is a barrel o'fun
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    Ah these are fun to read! Love that last one- "Get out of the way!!" Hee hee.

    Just remembered another nice moment this year: Was coming up on a tricky downhill section that comes at the end of a long, fast, rocky chute that always turns my knuckles white. You have to suddenly slow down a bit, roll over a high bump/waterbar, then down the bumpy hill while making a sharp right turn in a sandpit into a long climb.

    About half the time, I walk it, but this time, I noticed a dad and his little girl standing to the side with their bikes. Heard the guy mutter, "Watch this guy go," and I knew it had to be done. I corrected him by saying, "You mean watch this GIRL go!" and fully expecting to wipe out, actually cleaned it without a problem.
    "We sat outside the dentist, tooting a horn on the guy's bike."-overheard in the Underground

  16. #16
    ~*~*~*~*~
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    Over all accomplishment...
    Riding the first 8 days of Beth's Continental Divide trip with her in Montana.
    I was worried about being able to hold up my end, carrying 30-40 lbs in the panniers, riding over the mountains and through the woods with someone 20 years younger than me. It was tough, but nearly as tough as I had feared.
    (Granted, it pales compared to Beth's accomplishment of riding the whole darn thing, but, I'm pleased with what I did.)

    Next best accomplishment….
    Riding this....
    This bridge is narrow, angles up and then makes a turn. I was able to ride it for the first time last winter and I think it was because the water was frozen so the fear of falling into a mucky swamp was gone.
    (That is not me in the pic.)
    Attached Images Attached Images

  17. #17
    Slothful dirt hippie
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    For us mere mortals

    I'm just grateful to still be out riding 15 years after I bought my first bike and still enjoying it.

    Career high water mark: I'm NOT a technical rider, but was a little pleased with myself a couple years ago when talking to the builder of the local huckem-jumpem-major-dropitus trail I've merely observed rolling sedately down the ridge.... I was talking about a trail closer to my house, and he said "oh we don't do THAT- too narrow and twisting, it's insane!" I burst out laughing- he can have his jumps, I rather enjoy the challenge of the banked curves of the winding snake.

    This year: riding until I was a watermelon on wheels of course.

  18. #18
    One Gear More Beer
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    Competing in the Lumberjack 100 in Michigan and winning! I rode singlespeed and beat all the geard girls!

    Riding DH at Bromont and riding things that I never thought possible. Clearing rock and rutted switchbacks, saying to myself that I'm not getting off my bike unless I fall and actually clearing stuff! The feeling is amazing when you ride things that totally freak you out.

  19. #19
    it's not about the bike
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    Wow, this is intimidating !!!!

    some awesome accomplishments here

  20. #20
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    Shouldn't be intimidating...

    ...just consider it your list of resources. Connie for DH questions, Konahottie for learning drops and Formica for roosting those technical bits. Y'all get the idea right?

    We are a pretty diverse group - from the very experienced to the very competitive to the very mellow to the greenest newbie. Hopefully every one of you has one of those "greatest" moments soon.

    Been really enjoying the stories - keep 'em coming. Still lots of regulars who haven't contributed - it would be fun to hear from you. SMOGG girls - you know who you are ;-)

    Cheers,
    Chuky
    Last edited by chuky; 11-07-2005 at 06:27 PM.
    I only attempt to change the world in the appropriate World-Changing venues and forums.

  21. #21
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    okay, time to chime in.

    Racing has always been something that I don't really like because I've not felt like I could figure out how.
    I've been a runner for years and years and I know how to run a race, but the bike race has been so difficult for me to get a grip on. I've struggled with how hard to go, when to go, getting my mental game in order etc.. Well this year early in the season, I found myself in the front of the pack, freaking out a little. Then, an experienced racer came flying past me and told me to go with her. Riding with her that day and observing how she did it, was a changing day for me. I really enjoyed racing this year and did well, that is my biggest accomplishment so far.

    cheers

  22. #22
    mechmann_mtb
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    i will post one for my wife because i am super proud of her.

    she has been riding about 2 months now and yesterday we went on a ride with some really great people we met not so long ago.

    anyway, the ride consisted of 18.3 miles and 3200 feet of climbing/decending with the peak altitude at 6200 feet in the Angeles National Forest (statistics accurate to within a hundred feet or so according to my GPS track). most of the climbing was fire-roads and most of the decending was single track.

    she was a total trooper and did the best she could to ride the harder parts.

    we were both quite a bit slower than the rest of the group (there were 12 all together) but we gave it our all and had a blast doing it.

  23. #23
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    My mountain bike on the road...

    My biggest biking accomplishment was awhile back when I decided I was tired of work full time, school part time, and I needed a big physical challenge to amp up my life...

    I loved to mountain bike (and still do of couse) and wanted the "physical challenge" to include a bike. So I rigged up my Trek 6000 hard tail mountain bike with racks and pannies, packed it up, quite my job, finished school, and headed from San Diego to St. Augustine, Florida. I made it in about 9 weeks, and even though I didn't have the typical touring bike, my little old mt bike deposited me on the other coast with no mechanicals (2 flats) or problems.

    It changed my life and made me realize that if I can peddel my bike that far without any help, I can certainly take better control of my insulin dependent diabetes. I was in a slump and the bike trip helped my out. I was depressed, bored, in denial of my disease, and time on the bike across the country helped me see the world and my life in a whole different way.

    My heart is "in the dirt" and hope to do some more touring, but mountain bike style instead of road.

    My recent accomplishments these days are usually on my local mt bike rides where I try to clean as much technical stuff as possible on my little travel bike (my heart is riding a full DH rig, but my body is actually riding my Burner!). I'd probably still be on my trusty Trek 6000, but it was stolen about 6 months ago. I'm not much of a climber, to every climb I do feels like my greatest accomplishment ever!!!

    Great posts everyone!! Jewell
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    -Paul Cornish

  24. #24
    brg
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    what a great thread! thanks Chuky

    It's not an accomplishment - but my biggest breakthrough was learning to relax when my mind is screaming at me in terror.

    i was riding a trail with a girlfriend for the 1st time in Fruita and cruising along pretty good and all of a sudden I came up on a drop very unexpectedly. (This is a drop i wouldn't have ridden if I knew how steep it was ahead of time) But by the time I hit it - it was too late to do anything but ride the darn thing. So as I'm going down I see at the bottom a huge boulder (maybe 3 feet in diameter) and I'm heading straight for it. In less than I second I thought "uh oh -this is it - i'm gonna endo big time. oh well - if I crash - I crash" and I mentally shrugged and accepted I was going to crash and felt my body relax.

    Much to my amazement I somehow missed the boulder and stayed upright. I have "no idea" how in the world I got past that thing. But ever since then i can't believe how relaxed I am on the technical downhills. A GREAT feeling!!

  25. #25
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    Wow, this is fun to read about everyone's accomplishments...it's very inspiring!

    I've really only been mtb-ing for a little over a year, so it still seems like every ride is my greatest accomplishment. Riding without wrecking every 10 feet...that's great. Riding through technical rooty sections, cleaning an climb for the first time, learning how to look at the trail, stay focused and pick the line I want to take rather than hopping off at the first sign of sketchy-ness. I've also done a couple of distance events on the mtb...didn't finish first by any stretch, but finished and felt great about them all...Vision Quest to start the year, Off-Road Assualt on Mt. Mitchell, and this past weekend did the SWANK 65 on my singlespeed...that was a rush to complete it....I was beaming...and I did finish first in my category there, had there been categories (no one has to know that I was the only female ss).

    And there have been a couple of comments that indeed made me stand a little taller...at a team race I did a couple weeks ago, my teammate (who's been riding for 3+ years) gets off and walks a rooty section, I ride through it and keep cruising...she says "Dayum girl, I didn't even ride that." Yep, well I did. The next was riding with 2 guys and another girl, we were all on singlespeeds, and we're climbing a hill with a crazy root section at the top...that I'm not sure I've ever cleaned...and I passed boy #2 on the rooty section when he spun out. Yipee!!!! Gosh it's fun to clean stuff...and it's fun too when others share in your accomplishments.

    Stop reading here if you don't wnat the sappy part...
    I'd say another accomplishment that has come from riding is the community that I have found here. It's fun to get out and ride around, and I do ride by myself some...but having a group of friends that enjoy the same things, and we can relish in each other's accomplishments is second to none. Riding has indeed helped me enjoy life more...have goals to look forward to and achieve, have friends to hang with and have stories to tell.
    Long Live the Mountain Bike!!!!

    ca
    Whatever you can do or dream you can do, do it now. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.
    ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

  26. #26
    Loose Nut Behind d' Wheel
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    In the 25+ years I've been riding, I've had many very memorable moments, but a lot that I would consider real "accomplishments." Accomplishments are something I associate with work. My bike is a vehicle for exploring and experiencing the world for the most part. I've done a few races, but I'm generally not competitive on a bike. I guess there are a few times where I pushed a little harder or stretched a little further, like riding at night for the first time at a local night race, or riding my first century (back in the late '80s). Building my first wheel, or successfully dismembering and fixing my Fox Talus fork, with all of its itty bitty parts, did feel like accomplishments at the time. Riding down the Waterfall on National Trail in Phoenix, AZ on the first try felt as much like a personal accomplishment as anything, though it's no big deal to some riders. It's a very visually intimidating section of trail. At the AZ Spring Fling 1, I watched others ride it, or crash trying, but couldn't muster the nerve to try it myself. At AZSF2, I stood and watched other folks ride or attempt to ride it for at least half an hour before I finally got the nerve. I'd handed my camera to someone who's name I didn't catch, and he snapped this pic.


    Later that evening, at the post-ride barbeque, I won the Ventana El Fuego frame that inspired my handle. It really was an "on" day.

    Not sure I'd do this one again, though. That was about half a dozen broken ribs ago.

    Kathy :^)
    Last edited by Lucky; 11-08-2005 at 07:41 AM.
    Look where you want to go. This is as true in life as it is in mtbiking.

  27. #27
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    Well mine are both road and dirt

    Nothing as awesome as some of you gals but I'm pretty happy.
    I did my first century ride on road in May of this year and that was after riding the road bike for only two months, then did my second century at a faster time in June and ALL BY MYSELF.
    Now I'm riding dirt again and getting use to all the techinal stuff that you don't have to deal with on the road. Can't tell you have many spills I have taken in the last few months riding dirt. I hope next season to enter some races and show my bf that I'm one of the fastest girls on the front range in Denver. (Some FAST CHICKS HERE AND THEY KICK BUTT) I love to challenge myself and can hardly wait.

    Thanks to all you girls who make it possible for girls like me to come out of the woodwork!!!
    Ride Fast, Take Chances!

  28. #28
    you know your crazy right
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christine
    Ah these are fun to read! Love that last one- "Get out of the way!!" Hee hee.

    Just remembered another nice moment this year: Was coming up on a tricky downhill section that comes at the end of a long, fast, rocky chute that always turns my knuckles white. You have to suddenly slow down a bit, roll over a high bump/waterbar, then down the bumpy hill while making a sharp right turn in a sandpit into a long climb.

    About half the time, I walk it, but this time, I noticed a dad and his little girl standing to the side with their bikes. Heard the guy mutter, "Watch this guy go," and I knew it had to be done. I corrected him by saying, "You mean watch this GIRL go!" and fully expecting to wipe out, actually cleaned it without a problem.
    I so get that...on the one big xcountry ride I did this year we got to the last part of the DH.I was chasing the 3 guys on their fs and there were about 5 riders behind me...there is a very steep rocky section, that I cleared last year after 2 years of having to walk down,as I get to it and start down I notice the group of on lookers with cameras out ..... I believe my picture is some where in the uk...I got a few ohhhs and ahhhs and one "that was a girl" the rest of the pack walked down. That is one of those slient moments that in your head your all"hehehehe Look at what I just did" I was super happy with my ride that day..but also just for being out with such a fun group..Kona
    Boobs to the tube.......

  29. #29
    you know your crazy right
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    ooops how could I forget

    This thread is so great and the stories are so amazing!! Whistler.....riding there for 4 days and not crashing once.Going up the second chair..all double black runs..I was so scared but just thought the worst thing is that I walk down and at least I tried..BEST run of my life.Super steep and tight and technical.It took over an hour to get down but it was the best.Then on the A-line run...hitting all the table tops..Laughing the whloe way down..then the second time down watch guys go around stuff I tried..and the best coming up to where my bf was waiting for me as he look in shock.."How were you that fast I was going as fast as I could and though I would be waiting for a bit and you'r right on my a**" that rocked..I cant wait for Whistler again..ti showed me just how good I was..it was the best feeling. Kona..sorry can't believe I almost forget that
    Boobs to the tube.......

  30. #30
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    I too am in the catagory that "every ride is an accomplishment" even if I'm learning to crash better and pick myself up again.

    My biggest accomplishment this year has been a season long growing ability to follow my husbands recommendation; that is, "just don't brake"...in reference to anything steap, technical, seemingly slick, narrow, or intimidating. With those three words, I've learned to descend incredibly confidently at a pace that will keep up with the guys some times, jump off stuff...after all the trail is not technical when you're in the air, and ride things whole-heartedly and with focus. Trails really do get easier when you use speed to your advantage. And every time I ride something mean, I appreciate my partner's encouragement.

    My other great accomplishment has been growing the team of women in my area...sharing my accomplishments while teaching and inspiring others to do the same. As a bike shop hunk recently said "Just a couple years ago girls were non-existent on the bike [in Knoxville], now they're everywhere and it's awesome!" I haven't built this team alone, but it's been rewarding doing what I can.
    The secret to success is honesty and enthusiasm.

  31. #31
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    This is a funny thread to read in the WL because if I actually start telling ANY women I know what my greatest accomplishments are on the bike they look at me like I am some freakziod. That is the type of information I have found it best to hide carefully from other women if I ever want them to talk to me again - let alone consider riding with me.

  32. #32
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    Unfortunate, isn't it?

    But we don't have to be that way.

    So what is yours?

    Cheers,
    C
    I only attempt to change the world in the appropriate World-Changing venues and forums.

  33. #33
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    "Just don't brake." MUCH easier said than done! I still berate myself while white-knuckling the brakes. "GET OFF the FRONT BRAKE, you DUMBASS!!!" Even while yelling at myself, I still tend to clutch them like a child clings to a blankie.

    As for men, I'm guessing that guys listing their accomplishments could involve a list of stuff that gets bigger and bigger to the point of ridiculousness
    "We sat outside the dentist, tooting a horn on the guy's bike."-overheard in the Underground

  34. #34
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    Chuky - thanks for asking again after my whining. I am so so tired of the trailgirl type response I was a bit cynical of the whole thread. It can be such a disappointment to see my enthusiasm for cycling turn toxic when I share it with other ladies.

    I've been riding my bike for a loooong time and it is thing I love to do most in this life. I love to ride it often, sometimes fast and sometimes slow - I like it all. It is hard to pick out my greatest accomplishment of all time. A long time ago before I had kids I won a few different national championship titles and raced on the national team at worlds. A recent one that is very sweet and fresh was this summer finishing a 100 mile mtb race in under 9 hours - first woman ever to do that on that course and only 12 guys managed to stay in front of me Now that was fun.

  35. #35
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    ME TOO!!! ME TOO!!! I'm glad to know somebody else has hands that don't obey the brain screaming DON"T STOP, Don't Brake, Don't Bail!!! I can't count how many times I have crashed, (or just toppled over at slow speed) because I chickened-out half way down something. ARRGH.

  36. #36
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    [QUOTE=Christine]"Just don't brake." MUCH easier said than done! I still berate myself while white-knuckling the brakes. "GET OFF the FRONT BRAKE, you DUMBASS!!!" Even while yelling at myself, I still tend to clutch them like a child clings to a blankie.


    I cant speak for all guys, but I know I have my brakes on far to often. The older I get the more cautious I get. Id have to say my greatest riding accomplishment has been climbing. I just started riding in May, to improve health( heart problem). Ive gone from having to stop and rest 12 times(4 hrs) to no stops and completing the same loop in 2hrs 20mins. Guess you can say I got bit by the bug, now I ride for fun and the fitness is a bonus.
    Sean

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by fairyweatherider
    Chuky - thanks for asking again after my whining. I am so so tired of the trailgirl type response I was a bit cynical of the whole thread. It can be such a disappointment to see my enthusiasm for cycling turn toxic when I share it with other ladies.

    I've been riding my bike for a loooong time and it is thing I love to do most in this life. I love to ride it often, sometimes fast and sometimes slow - I like it all. It is hard to pick out my greatest accomplishment of all time. A long time ago before I had kids I won a few different national championship titles and raced on the national team at worlds. A recent one that is very sweet and fresh was this summer finishing a 100 mile mtb race in under 9 hours - first woman ever to do that on that course and only 12 guys managed to stay in front of me Now that was fun.
    Ok..to start..that is an amazing race to me and that you kicked some butt on it is great...but, and I am not one to start shi* , it seems that you really dont have any supportive women around you to be so put off by a thread that just gives us a place to be proud of what,we as women, have done. You say that you dont feel comfortable talking to other women about how good you are at a sport you love because of thier reaction and then you start off your post cutting down another women on here who my just not have strong women around her and this is a bit intimidating..even for someone like me who has been riding for about 10 years on and off..I doubt that I will ever be strong enought to do a race like the one you did.. I hope one day I will, but who knows...I just think cutting down another women reaction on here is exactly what you said you dont like about sharing and that just keeps it why women cant always share with other women..sorry just really bugged me. K
    Boobs to the tube.......

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by fairyweatherider
    Chuky - thanks for asking again after my whining. I am so so tired of the trailgirl type response I was a bit cynical of the whole thread. It can be such a disappointment to see my enthusiasm for cycling turn toxic when I share it with other ladies.

    I've been riding my bike for a loooong time and it is thing I love to do most in this life. I love to ride it often, sometimes fast and sometimes slow - I like it all. It is hard to pick out my greatest accomplishment of all time. A long time ago before I had kids I won a few different national championship titles and raced on the national team at worlds. A recent one that is very sweet and fresh was this summer finishing a 100 mile mtb race in under 9 hours - first woman ever to do that on that course and only 12 guys managed to stay in front of me Now that was fun.
    Hon - you are a goddess! There's no reason to let other non-riding women influence the way you feel or what you talk about.

    I love the crazy looks when I tell some cute girl who is afraid of dirt that I blew my ACL but had it fixed and can't wait to tackle the course that got me again, or how many stitches I got last year. Let them gawk and think I'm nuts. It just makes it more fun. I don't need to be like everyone else! You should be so proud of your accomplishments - don't let anyone else bring you down.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by connie
    Hon - you are a goddess! There's no reason to let other non-riding women influence the way you feel or what you talk about.

    I love the crazy looks when I tell some cute girl who is afraid of dirt that I blew my ACL but had it fixed and can't wait to tackle the course that got me again, or how many stitches I got last year. Let them gawk and think I'm nuts. It just makes it more fun. I don't need to be like everyone else! You should be so proud of your accomplishments - don't let anyone else bring you down.
    heh, what Connie said. Let them worry about ripping thier nylons and the lastest Nordstroms sale, I'll be out on the trail.

    I have to add this, non riding but definately mountain biking related. One, infecting a few beginners with the "disease" this summer. Really it's selfish of me to make sure they have fun and want more, makes more riding pals for me. Also, with the help of some great people I got a mountain biking club going in my community this year, and we've already built almost 1000' feet of trail.

    formica

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by fairyweatherider
    Chuky - . I am so so tired of the trailgirl type response I was a bit cynical of the whole thread. .
    Ouch,

    what I meant was that the accomplishments listed on here were amazing: Sea Otter, Redlands, 8-foot drops, solo 24-hour races, single-speed race victories, etc. I can't do that stuff and I admire those who do. Yes, that IS intimidating for me, I'm sorry.
    BTW, my avatar isn't me, it's one of the Luna Chix that I wish I could ride like.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christine
    As for men, I'm guessing that guys listing their accomplishments could involve a list of stuff that gets bigger and bigger to the point of ridiculousness
    Up to now, all the male lurkers have been content to lurk and not interfere in this awesome thread, but you had to throw us (me) a bone...

    one of my better accomplishments has been watching my daughter develop as a mountainbiker. This years she has tackled some long rides, some tecchnical rides, some surprising obstacles, and now a bad crash that she bounced right back from.

    another accomplishment was following up littleb's example and winning a 24 hour solo race.

  42. #42
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    There have been quite a few accomplishments for me. Many of them personal, like taking my kids out on trails and watching them succeed. Having someone tell me that my son is "just ripping down the trail like nobody's business" is absolutely wonderful.

    But I guess that's not riding accomplishements. My first big riding accomplishment came when I did the White Rim in a day (100 dirt miles and 4 paved miles). That came after the first attempted failed (the first time I tried I only made about 70 miles). My second big accomplishment came this spring at the 18 Hours of Fruita. My team mate and I were on singlespeeds (we were the only women on ss in the race) and as the only female duo we beat every other women's team except for the 6 person racing team from the local college. We also beat many of the men's teams, too.

  43. #43
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    My riding accomplishements pale in comparison to some here, but we've all got to start somewhere. My most recent accomplishment was realizing that trackstanding (if only for a couple of seconds) is actually within my capability range. Granted, I've only done it on moderate terrain and have much more confidence when I'm not clipped in so I know I can't crash, but it was such a rush to realize I could actually do it at all. (I've since challenged my fiance to a "slow" race--basically, to see who can take the longest time to get from point A to B without putting a foot down or leaving the path. We'll see how that goes, and who knows, maybe I'll have another great riding accomplishment soon!)

  44. #44
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    Ooooh, cool.

    Having just "retired" from racing, I am pretty curious about the endurance stuff. I get pretty grumpy in the morning though, if I don't get my 8 hours, so maybe not any 24 hour racing. ;-)
    6 and 12 are intriguing...

    Which Worlds did you race at? Maybe you were on my friend Beth's team... that would be funny.
    I only attempt to change the world in the appropriate World-Changing venues and forums.

  45. #45
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    I understood what you meant (I think)

    Intimidated to post your accomplishments , not intimidated to be friends with, or ride with girls w/ such impressive resumes.

    I was all set to detail my sport class state championship and other race results, but after reading some of the super impressive responses...I don't think that's gonna be necessary *grin*.

    So here's my reconsidered greatest riding accomplishment: I broke my leg, tib and fib, in so many places they had to use 9 pieces of Titanium(what else) to mold it all back together. Was back on the bike in 3 months, singletrack in 4. No whining.

  46. #46
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    ... and if we just ... Noble Canyon on a hardtail

    My greatest riding accomplishment, hmmmmm.......

    I'd have to say it was riding Noble Canyon on my first "real" mountain bike (Trek 400 - step-through frame, no suspension). I still have scars from that one. Crazy switchbacks and rough, but beautiful terrain. That last bit of downhill was AWESOME!

    I rode it again about a year later on a full suspension superV900. Great ride, but not quite the same level of bragging rights.

    http://www.mountainbikebill.com/NobleCanyon.htm

    "Girls can ride, too!"
    Time to wipe the dust off and get movin'!

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by xltbaby
    My greatest riding accomplishment, hmmmmm.......

    I'd have to say it was riding Noble Canyon on my first "real" mountain bike (Trek 400 - step-through frame, no suspension). I still have scars from that one. Crazy switchbacks and rough, but beautiful terrain. That last bit of downhill was AWESOME!

    I rode it again about a year later on a full suspension superV900. Great ride, but not quite the same level of bragging rights.

    http://www.mountainbikebill.com/NobleCanyon.htm

    "Girls can ride, too!"
    The first time I did Noble it was on a Stumpjumper hardtail.I was so beat up at the end I felt like never doing it again. Now that I have an Enduro I do it about once a month.My biggest accomplishment was riding 11 miles after a major accident where my face was split open from the base of my nose all the way through my lip and I had a gash resulting in 36 total stitches.I made it back to my buddies car and went to the ER. While they were stitching me up I overheard my friend say to the orderly " that guy is a f'ing warrior" Tests like those dealing with extreme pain teach you what you are truly capable of. Now If I could just learn to deal with getting smoked by you women.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by konahottie_311
    you start off your post cutting down another women on here who my just not have strong women around her and this is a bit intimidating..even for someone like me who has been riding for about 10 years on and off..I doubt that I will ever be strong enought to do a race like the one you did.. I hope one day I will, but who knows...I just think cutting down another women reaction on here is exactly what you said you dont like about sharing and that just keeps it why women cant always share with other women..sorry just really bugged me. K
    Cutting down trailgirl was sooo not my intention so I am terribly sorry it read that way. I would love to have some ladies to ride with. I would love to take newbie lady riders out on the trail and show them some skills and share some of my experience but I am never allowed to get that far by them. The first thing that comes out of their mouths are things like "oh I could never ride with you" or something along the lines of me taking them out and crushing them to death and leaving them in the desert for the buzzards. Honestly I am a nice person and have no ego to prove and would never do that. I don't get it but that is what I get and I haven't figured a way around it yet other than to keep a really low profile and ride with the guys or by myself - mostly by myself.

    Rock on, on your bike.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by fairyweatherider
    Cutting down trailgirl was sooo not my intention so I am terribly sorry it read that way. I would love to have some ladies to ride with. I would love to take newbie lady riders out on the trail and show them some skills and share some of my experience but I am never allowed to get that far by them. The first thing that comes out of their mouths are things like "oh I could never ride with you" or something along the lines of me taking them out and crushing them to death and leaving them in the desert for the buzzards. Honestly I am a nice person and have no ego to prove and would never do that. I don't get it but that is what I get and I haven't figured a way around it yet other than to keep a really low profile and ride with the guys or by myself - mostly by myself.

    Rock on, on your bike.
    Thanks for the reply and I am sorry if I took it the wrong way..I just,as you find it hard to find a place to say what I want about why I ride and what makes me feel like I did some thing great as I usually ride with guys that are far better then I...so in this place I get some positive female feedback and just dont want someone to feel like if the speak up someone will cut them down...so thanks again for the reply..later Kona.
    Boobs to the tube.......

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuky
    Having just "retired" from racing, I am pretty curious about the endurance stuff. I get pretty grumpy in the morning though, if I don't get my 8 hours, so maybe not any 24 hour racing. ;-)
    6 and 12 are intriguing...

    Which Worlds did you race at? Maybe you were on my friend Beth's team... that would be funny.
    Endurance races are so fun. Way low key and full of folks that like to ride their bikes for a long time. Most people are just out to complete it or do better than they did before and I like that vibe. I am super competitive with myself, not so much others. Super, super small womens fields so not really a race at all for them. At the last 100 miler I did 3 women finished with over an hour spacing us out by the end compared to about 40 guys.

    But the best thing about these 100 milers is that you ride about 20 miles or so and hit an aid station. Ultra aid stations have cookies, pringles, sandwiches and all sorts of goodies. Leadville 100 is like a Las Vegas buffet - it's incredible. It's great being able to go for a really long ride without having to carry all of your sh*t and water for the entire day. 100 miler are my fav distance of the moment. I did two of them this year. Most races have drop bags you hand in before the start and they'll take them to all of the aid stations for you so you don't need a support crew to follow you around all day. For a few it's a race but for most its more of a tour.

    I was at xc worlds in '94 (Vail) and '95 (Germany)

    Gooseberry is one of my local trails - love it.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailgirl
    Ouch,

    what I meant was that the accomplishments listed on here were amazing: Sea Otter, Redlands, 8-foot drops, solo 24-hour races, single-speed race victories, etc. I can't do that stuff and I admire those who do. Yes, that IS intimidating for me, I'm sorry.
    BTW, my avatar isn't me, it's one of the Luna Chix that I wish I could ride like.
    I wasn't meaning to be *****y. I was trying to say I hate being put in the position of being the "Intimidator". That is not me at all but I get stuck there all the time when it comes to biking and feel a bit helpless about it. I hate it.

  52. #52
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    Geatest Accomplishment?

    Last year at the TMBRA race in Cameron Park, Waco, TX there was a section called Highlander, with a series of steep EVIL switchbacks near the end of the lap; on the last one the trail dropped away down into an arroyo and shot up the other side. I could not make myself even try to clear these switchbacks in two pre-ride laps, but did watch a lot of Expert riders do them and thought about the tips from Blair Lombardi in Mountain Bike Action. Somehow I managed to do all of these switchbacks in the race and that was the AWESOME-EST feeling to shoot down into the arroyo and up the other side, knowing the hard part is over. The second greatest accomplishment was just finishing the race; it is a hard course with a LOT of climbing (for Texas!).

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by fairyweatherider
    Cutting down trailgirl was sooo not my intention so I am terribly sorry it read that way. I would love to have some ladies to ride with. I would love to take newbie lady riders out on the trail and show them some skills and share some of my experience but I am never allowed to get that far by them. The first thing that comes out of their mouths are things like "oh I could never ride with you" or something along the lines of me taking them out and crushing them to death and leaving them in the desert for the buzzards. Honestly I am a nice person and have no ego to prove and would never do that. I don't get it but that is what I get and I haven't figured a way around it yet other than to keep a really low profile and ride with the guys or by myself - mostly by myself.

    Rock on, on your bike.
    maybe you aren't talking to the right women. As we all know, the woman who wants to mountain bike is a less common breed that those that might like to do a lot of other things out there, but they do exist. You could always volunteer to lead women's rides through shops or clubs.

    I do know that head trips are easy to get into. I've ridden occasionally with a local gal who's nationally ranked expert, and I always am doing the "me? she wants to ride with me? " thing... and then one day one our big epic there was field buring and I had an asthma attack on the big climb and I was so embrassed, it could have happened to anyone...


    formica

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by xltbaby
    My greatest riding accomplishment, hmmmmm.......

    I'd have to say it was riding Noble Canyon on my first "real" mountain bike (Trek 400 - step-through frame, no suspension). I still have scars from that one. Crazy switchbacks and rough, but beautiful terrain. That last bit of downhill was AWESOME!

    I rode it again about a year later on a full suspension superV900. Great ride, but not quite the same level of bragging rights.

    http://www.mountainbikebill.com/NobleCanyon.htm

    "Girls can ride, too!"
    Think I heard about that....some crazy beautiful woman I knew did that on the same bike your talking about. Damn near broke her nose on a face plant right before the "ARIZONA" trail portion of the ride.

    She use to brag about being able to bunny hop...and I couldnt unless i was clipped in...funny thing is...Im 10x's the rider now...and still cant hop with out my trusty 747 pedals.

  55. #55
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    the short list

    riding this...


    cleaning this on the first try... (i actually whooped at the bottom i was so excited)



    finishing ORAMM for the 1st time...
    (sorry url lost somewhere in the mtbr ether)


    oh, and learning to hop really big logs. i still give myself kudos everytime i clean a really big log (and i've been doing it for 6 years)




    rt

    [edit] wow! i'm about a year late chiming in on this thread. doh!
    Last edited by *rt*; 09-07-2006 at 07:04 AM.
    "where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)

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  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtnz2Sea
    The thought of a century is tough enough, but then a friend wanted me to do the Boston to Cape Cod ride. It's 130 miles with the biggest hills in the last 30 miles. I did it in 10 hours and wasn't even that tired afterward. Now, I feel that I can do anything. The limitations of my mind are gone.

    I'm started training for the "Longest Day" ride for next year. It's 210 miles from high point NJ to Cape May NJ. You hardcore riders really keep me motivated. Thanks!
    210 miles?! that's insane!!! you go girl!

    i did a 130 mile ride this summer (actually it was 128.4 but it felt like 130....actually it felt like 1300!). i think it had about 6000' of climbing (the biggest climb at about the 1/2 way point) and it took us 7:15 to finish. When we were all done i came to the conclusion that there is really no reason for me to ever ride more miles in one day than a TdF rider does in one stage. hehe!

    best of luck on the longest day ride next year!!

    rt
    "where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)

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  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jewell of D(enial)
    My biggest biking accomplishment was awhile back when I decided I was tired of work full time, school part time, and I needed a big physical challenge to amp up my life...

    I loved to mountain bike (and still do of couse) and wanted the "physical challenge" to include a bike. So I rigged up my Trek 6000 hard tail mountain bike with racks and pannies, packed it up, quite my job, finished school, and headed from San Diego to St. Augustine, Florida. I made it in about 9 weeks, and even though I didn't have the typical touring bike, my little old mt bike deposited me on the other coast with no mechanicals (2 flats) or problems.

    It changed my life and made me realize that if I can peddel my bike that far without any help, I can certainly take better control of my insulin dependent diabetes. I was in a slump and the bike trip helped my out. I was depressed, bored, in denial of my disease, and time on the bike across the country helped me see the world and my life in a whole different way.

    My heart is "in the dirt" and hope to do some more touring, but mountain bike style instead of road.

    My recent accomplishments these days are usually on my local mt bike rides where I try to clean as much technical stuff as possible on my little travel bike (my heart is riding a full DH rig, but my body is actually riding my Burner!). I'd probably still be on my trusty Trek 6000, but it was stolen about 6 months ago. I'm not much of a climber, to every climb I do feels like my greatest accomplishment ever!!!

    Great posts everyone!! Jewell
    that's awesome!

    are you back on the bike yet? as i recall you took a pretty nasty spill a while back.

    rt
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  58. #58
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    I can actually add to this thread again: Won my first medal this year!

    It was kind of a fluke, not that many women in my category in that race, but it's nice to have a little reward for my efforts!
    "We sat outside the dentist, tooting a horn on the guy's bike."-overheard in the Underground

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    You ladies are awesome.

    Really.

    I'm sure it will take me a long time to work up to some of the accomplishments many of you can claim - but it sure is good to know that so many of you are kicking *ss and taking names.

  60. #60
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    I'm still so new to .. EVERYTHING. lol Got my first mtb last fall, did a couple of little rides, nothing big and always alone. I didn't ride last winter at all. I did not know this site existed, nor was I aware of a local club. So early this spring I see an ad in the paper about the 1st meeting of the season for the local bike club. And so I went, and I met some great people. I started going on rides, and dating the mechanic from a LBS. That kept me inspired, HAS kept me inspired, I've ridden quite a bit this summer... 1,300 miles, mostly on the mtb. Less then two weeks ago, that man of mine gave me my first road bike, a Giant OCR C3. Last Sunday, we rode 80 miles, the halfway point ends at the top of a summit.. quite a climb! THAT in itself was a huge accomplishment for me. I still love the mtb, though am looking to upgrade (considering a marin east peak). I love the trails, I love the peace I find on the trails, and I am now able to ride everything that I could not do, a few short months ago. I have had a list of goals this summer, and have gotten through each of them, one by one by one by one.

    This summer has been nothing short of perfect. All thanks to a bike. Something so simple, has completely changed me.. both physically and mentally. I am happier and more content than I ever remember being in the past. I dropped 56 lbs. Another goal accomplished.

    My next goal is to do a century. And I'd like to try a bit of racing, if only for fun. I want to experience it. I want to experience everything.

    A couple pictures.. this is me, on my then longest mtb ride, turned into a hair over 40 miles. That flat road immediately starts going up up up into a gorgeous canyon. What a blast coming down out of that thing. I was so proud of myself that day.


    And then another pic from another ride I was so proud of, just last week. 40 miles in, 40 more to go to get back out. Both sporting our new road bikes.


    So my summer has been full of accomplishments, probably small by many people's books, but big to me. I'm one very happy woman.
    '07 Marin Rift Zone
    '07 Ridley Orion
    KHS fixed gear
    Jamis Allegro 1.0

  61. #61
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    1,300 miles in one summer?! Holy crap, I've had a bike for 15 years or so, have I even done that much in my lifetime?

    You sure have a lot to be proud of, 56lbs lighter to boot and a mechanic BF as a bonus...... talk about having it all!
    "We sat outside the dentist, tooting a horn on the guy's bike."-overheard in the Underground

  62. #62
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    Mine was probably over this last weekend. That, or riding 30 miles and climbing 6000ft on my mountain bike in Idyllwild this spring.

    I also just got my bike last August but rode all winter. I remember feeling then like I'd never improve and wasn't getting any better. I felt (and was) slow on every climb, always in granny gear. Wasn't at all confident or speedy going downhill either.

    Last weekend we rode in Mammoth, and while we didn't do much climbing I still feel like I attacked the trails better than ever before and had a blast doing it. Even when I was scared and nervous descending I enjoyed it.







    It's a strange thing, the progression of riding... all of a sudden you realize you can ride and climb better and for me, at least, I didn't really notice it until it had happened, I guess.

    I'm still a lot slower than some riders, but I can kind of hold my own and have a great time doing it

    Can't *wait* to hit up Moab and Fruita and see how I do at Gooseberry next month. Haven't ridden Gooseberry since January so I hope I can ride a ton more than I used to. Never have been to Moab or Fruita but it should be a blast.

  63. #63
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    Hmm, I guess mine is finishing the Cape Epic in an all womens team this year.
    Over a 1000km and about 16000 metres of climbing over 8 days has probably gotta top anything I've ever done... and ever will do
    The only person to get all his work done by Friday was Robinson Crusoe

  64. #64
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    I am loving this thread and glad it got resurrected. Cool stories of personal triumphs and every type of riding represented. For me, one accomplishment of this year was getting my hardtail built up and then riding over everything I used to do on my FS bikes (which were stolen last year) and that includes going to the local jump park. Once that was "accomplished" I decided I earned my latest new bike - an 8" Yakuza Kumicho R. I'd have to say doing this drop was my biggest accomplishment this year.

    Now I am thinking about what I want to work on next season or at least how to end this season on a bang not a whimper...


  65. #65
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    I'm writing this on behalf of my g/f.
    Last year we competed in a 7 hour orienteering event called the peoples urban polaris in Canberra. Hot day and strong winds.
    Halfway intl the event she gets a blinding headache so we head back to control to pull out. instead of pulling out though she takes some pain killers and rehydrates an hour later she wants to finish the event.
    We came second last but I am proud of her for carrying on and finishing the event when she could have pulled out with my support.

  66. #66
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    I finally cleaned puke hill without stopping.....anyone who rides in Utah knows what this means. It's been my demise for the past 4 years, and I finally did it this year.

    Probably a small accomplishment for a lot of people, but it feels good to finally pass all those people walking their bikes.

  67. #67
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    Long and I hope not intimidating

    I think it's the accomplishments large and small that really make mountain biking so satisfying. I have a few stories of what I consider some of my biggest accomplishments. I hope this doesn't come across as intimidating. First, one of my earliest mountain biking accomplishments:

    I started riding in the summer of 1999 and had the great fortune of hooking up with a group of expert women mountain bikers. Together with a group of expert men, we rode all summer and fall and even through the winter in Ohio. They were kind enough to let me tag along – they were all much faster and better skilled than I was. However, each week of riding, I found myself less and less behind the group. In January of 2000, one of the women asked me if I would race with them on an expert team at 24 Hours of Snowshoe. They had raced at Canaan before and made the podium, but their fourth rider had moved far away. Shortly after asking me to race with them, they met another expert woman mountain biker who was FAR better than I was at the time and had more racing experience than I (only a handful of beginner races). I know they were tempted to dump me, but they didn’t. Not even when I busted my knee open 6 weeks before the race, requiring 22 stitches and valuable time away from training

    At the race, my lap times were right up there with the more experienced riders. We were in 2nd place toward the end of the race with 3rd place right on our heels. We had time for one more lap and it was my turn. I suggested that we should allow our fastest rider to finish the race, thus better guaranteeing our second place finish. My teammates would have nothing to do with that, insisting that I was racing great and that they had faith in me.

    I raced hard, concerned that any rider passing me would be the 3rd place team. Most of the riding was “out there” in the woods, but one location on the course, about halfway through, brought racers along Solo Alley. There, my teammates, support, friends and total strangers cheered me on as I climbed up a hill. Go Team Bad Betty!!! I felt bionic! I completed my lap in good time, securing our 2nd place finish. I surprised myself at how well I did at my first (but not last) 24 hour race. More importantly, I learned the honorable nature of my teammates, who held true to their word and stuck with me. They remain some of my very best friends.

    Next, an accomplishment against horrible conditions:

    In February 2005, I competed in my first 24 hour solo race at 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo (24HOP). I raced on my singlespeed. I had done this race before as a four person women’s team on my singlespeed. Racing against the geared girls, we came in 2nd. I was ready to tackle the solo thing.

    The race is held near Tucson, Arizona. The weather in February is usually nice – sunny and in the 70s during the day; cool, but dry, at night. Not so in 2005. The race started with chilly temps (mid-50s) and a light drizzle. That was the best it was going to get until the race was almost over. The rain intensified, the temps dropped, the wind increased, it started to hail. The water in the washes rose to above my hubs. I had brought an insane amount of biking clothes - including some Gore-tex wear – thinking I would NEVER need it all. However, by 10:00 at night (only ten hours onto the race) I was out of dry clothes and was recycling wet, gritty shorts and shirts. I even wore my Gore-tex hiking pants on night laps. I refused to quit and only took one significant break - a 45 minute cat nap that I knew I needed after falling asleep on my bike near 2:00 am. I awoke totally refreshed and finished the race with 9 laps (135 miles), winning my class.

    Most racers quit or stopped racing during the cold, wet night. I am very proud that I stuck in there and kept racing despite the awful conditions. I would have placed 7th in the men’s singlespeed category (a notoriously FAST class).

    Finally, an accomplishment against the boys:

    In February 2006, I once again competed in the 24HOP. The weather was perfect this year, so I was aiming for 12 laps (3 more than the previous year). In 2005, I beat my boyfriend (an excellent rider) by one lap, mostly through perseverance in crappy conditions. This year, I secretly wanted to beat him and another male friend racing solo, even though I thought they would trounce me under the perfect riding conditions. Don't get me wrong, I want my boyfriend to do well and have a great race. But we have found that we can have a healty competitiveness between the two of us in certain sporting arenas. In a short race, he can soundly beat me, but endurance events allow me to compete more evenly with him.

    I had an amazing race, not even needing to stop for sleep. On one night lap, my friend ended up riding behind me on his geared bike through twisty singletrack. He’s a FAR better and faster rider than I am, so I was concerned that I was slowing him down. He told me that my pace was super agressive and he was happy to stick to my wheel – that made my spirits soar! The funny thing about endurance racing is that it seems to level the playing field between men and women. As the night wore on, the boys began to wear out, whereas I kept feeling great. They took longer and longer food breaks. My boyfriend had a mechanical that took a lot out of him psychologically. Their mental fortitude was breaking down.

    I was soundly in first place for my class, although I was really racing against myself and the singlespeed men When I came in to the support tent after my 12th lap, the boys were hanging out, having decided that they wouldn’t do any more laps (they had both completed 11). It was a bit after 11:00 am, so there was time to start one more lap. I could have stopped, rested with the boys until the end and finished at my goal of twelve laps (and beating them). No WAY! I went out for one more lap and ended up winning the race with a record-setting 13 laps (195 miles). To add to my joy, my boyfriend conquered his bad mental juju and decided to go out for one more lap! It showed his wonderful character. In the end, both my boyfriend and my other male friend were surprised and impressed that I beat them. So was I!

  68. #68
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    I'm way behind all of you guys. My biggest accomplilshment this year is riding a skinnie and learning how to do drops. I much prefer the skinnie though!

  69. #69
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    Thanks for resurrecting the thread - as others have said, its really inspiring to read about everyone's personal achievements. One of my favourite things about mountain biking is the sometimes small, sometimes big steps in progressing skills.

    The cycling accomplishment that means the most to me personally was several years ago when my technical skills improved enough to join my husband on pretty much any trail. This August we did a two week trip through BC - Kamloops, Silverstar, Golden, Fernie, and Rossland. It's great to share the same passion and to both get so much enjoyment out of riding together.

    Some more tangible things to brag about - hitting some big drops in Rossland on our trip that I thought I'd never even consider riding, and completing a couple of 24 hr solo races this past year.

    Earlier this summer I was riding with a good friend and on the trail there is a ladder that is angled around a corner that has had us both a little scared. She decided that it was her day to ride it, and she cleaned it beautifully, and inspired me to do just the same. It was so exciting to watch her overcome her fear and such a good feeling to be able to share the thrill of successfully riding something new.

    Keep up all the awesome riding gals!

    pd

  70. #70
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    In the park by the river, there is a playground. And there is a little deck where it goes off the concrete path, and there are literly 5 steps that go into the bush. and my brother always "hucks" off of it, and he said "I will let you use my bike if you do it".
    But I was too scared and just rode down it about 30 times that day. then 2 weeks later I actually "hucked" off of it. And now I can do it with success.

    YAY!

  71. #71
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    I have a few. Despite growing up on a bike and crusing through the woods on my 26" Columbia 3 spd (did I just date myself? ), I didn't start "real" mtn biking till July 2003.

    Last year, after DH buys me a FS for xmas, I decide to try a race. After spinning to a 4 min victory in First Timers (I was sure I was off-course), I proceeded to do well in Beginners.

    This year I moved to Sport and got my butt kicked! I even trained this winter. So I had to re-evaluate and take this as a base year.

    So this year:

    I did a 64 mile road ride with 2 friends. I was so nervous, I had not done over 35 miles since late 2004. Not only did I survive with flying colors, but I often had to wait for the girl on hills and was often told by my male friend, when I was out in front, to slow down a hair so we didn't drop the other gal. I was just spinning at 100rpm (a month later I went out with a fast group and had to mash to keep up - took days to recover from that!)

    Mid-season I had a race I was really worried about. They were touting this is a super-long race. I had been getting beat by 20 mins, most of my races were in the 2 hr race. They said this would be about 2.5 hours so I figured 3+. There was also a 2.5 mile hillclimb. DH & I pre-rode the course and it took over 2 hours (one lap - race day would be two). I always take longer on a pre-ride but I was really getting nervous, however I made the climb. Race day comes and on the first lap I passed about half dozen guys on that climb. On the 2nd lap we were more spread out. I finished in 3:25 and felt like I could have done another lap. No nutrition or hydration or heat issues - and it was hot! And none of the killer gals showed up so I won my class.

    We also just did a 4-man 24 hr race and I did 2 laps day one, 2 night laps, and 3 in the morning (one was a double). Every time I turn around this week, someone says that one of the guys told them I was the team's glue, I did great, even my coach called me the energizer bunny! One guy said I looked way too awake & coherent for not sleeping all night. I didn't feel all that special, but hell, maybe they're right. I did feel pretty good. So now I'm thinking of a solo.

    I've gotten confident enough to ride alone. (with mace, cell phone and gps)

    I still feel intimidated riding with new people, or those I haven't ridden with before. I don't push myself hard but I can go for a long time. Of course when people find out I race, they feel they have to push hard.

    I'm doing better on downhills and will work on that more this winter.

    DH doesn't have to wait for me as long as he used to (he's damn fast too!)

    I've led a couple of beginners girls rides and have given a few people confidence to ride - 2 even got new bikes! That's a great feeling!

    I know I still have a long way to go but I also know I've come a long long way.

  72. #72
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    These stories are great! I'll throw mine in here.

    At 39 I decided I was not going to get old gracefully and took up MTB. Within 6 months I did my first race and fell in love with the people and the competition. Fast forward 2 years and I'm doing endurance MTB racing and loving it. I have great riding accomplishments all the time. Just getting over a log or down a drop I've been too afraid to try in the past is such a thrill.

    So far my what I am most proud of is I did my first 24 hour race this year and did it solo. My goal was to ride the entire time, that's it, nothing else. Ok so I'm really insane....I did the BURN24 and it was fantastic, I took 3rd in the women's category and 9th overall solo out of about 50 riders. Sweet! I rode the entire time, my longest stop was 18 minutes and most were 2-3 minutes. Wow, I still can't believe I did it. It was so much fun I never stopped smiling the entire time.

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