September 29th . 2014

Queen For A Day

Proud Lake Recreation Area really is our home course when it comes to mountain biking. We can enter the trails within a 1-2 mile ride from our home. Yet we rarely get on the course because it’s, well, scary. Thorns rip your skin open, the hills are huge, and just this weekend it was swarmed with hunters wielding actual guns. HOWEVER.

I feel like if you love the sport of mountain biking (and we do) and you live THAT close to a place designated for mountain biking (we do), you should try to own it. So that’s what we set out to do with our short free time this weekend.

The place is made up of four different loops that connect more or less like a shamrock. Before Saturday we had ridden all of them except the Loop of Pain. Please note this is the only loop that has its own name on the map. With scarily-named features listed as well. Despite these obvious warnings, I really wanted to ride this loop and I was so excited that our time worked out just so that we could squeeze it in just before we needed to scoot home.

So after some brief navigational challenges we got onto the right path and PEOPLE! It was beautiful! I’ve actually not had my breath taken away strictly by beauty on the trail before. Hills, yes. Beauty? Well I’m growing immune to beauty these days because of all the time I’ve been spending right inside all the beauty. Regardless, the Loop of Pain was stunning.

So we were cruising right along wondering if each hill we climbed was “The Wall” as labeled on the map. In retrospect that was very funny because The Wall and the Large Moguls were quite obvious once we got to them. Obvious and also impossible I might add.

No matter though, because at the end of the ride I came in second out of four women using the Strava App to conquer that loop. This is known as QOM, or Queen of the Mountain. I was very pleased with myself, to say the least.

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So fast forward a day. We’re picking up the kids from Sunday School and their teacher tells me she just saw my name. On Strava! So I’m about to faint because not only am I QOM, I am now a recognized name!

Er, WAS a recognized name. For like five seconds. Because as it turned out she overtook me on that loop the very. same. day.

I do not even know the chances of this happening considering there are four Strava women total riding that loop. And the previous record probably stood still for weeks. And she, coming in as the fifth (but really first place), just happens to be someone I recognize. It’s all very weird. But let me tell you, I am itching. ITCHING to get back on that loop and own it, people. If it’s the last thing I do. This queen will not be so easily dethroned.

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