First few outings on a mountain bike

I didn’t mention it on this blog so far, but earlier this month I bought a mountain bike. I’d been toying with the idea for quite a few years, but my runner’s mindset always prevented me from taking the plunge. But before the easter holidays (and the start of better weather here in Luxembourg) I reconsidered my position and realized that I was missing out on valuable cross training and recovery options. These days it’s not prudent for me to run two days in a row because of the achilles tendon, but biking creates less of a strain so I can still get something done even on days where running would be painful.

So far, I’ve ridden six times, around 70km total. Yesterday was my longest outing so far, at just over one hour. Thankfully, I’ve run extensively in the “Haard” reserve, so I know which trails to take and where to be careful.



(Two random screen grabs in potato GoPro 2 quality.)

They say once you’ve learned how to ride a bike it stays with you forever… I’m not sure I agree. While I didn’t fall off so far, I am still pretty timid. I ride the brakes on all downhills and have gotten off voluntarily on some difficult (for me) spots. Or maybe I never fully learned to bike – while I had two bikes in my life so far (one in primary school and one in highschool), I don’t think I ever really mastered the skill. And then I went nineteen years without sitting on one.

So where does mountain biking, or cycling in general, fit in with any future training and competition plans? Am I giving up on running? Actually, no. But it gives me a few additional options and will hopefully contribute to a better overall fitness.

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