Conquering the down-up

3 02 2011

The evening trail ride is a big commitment.

By the time I jockey the car parking and loading of the bike, drive out to UBC, then drive home again, it’s two hours of logistics to achieve one solid hour of riding. And that’s not even counting the post-ride clean up that’s inevitable this soggy, muddy time of year.

I could save gas, two hours of driving, catch up one episode of True Blood, and not worry about getting muddy and cold by pedaling an hour on the trainer. Or I could still get the exercise burn by pulling on my sneakers to go for a 30-minute run and still be home in time to catch Entertainment Tonight.

After a tentative rebuff earlier in the week from one of my riding buddies, I was resigned to one of the latter options Wednesday.

But when Dan had a change of heart and called to ask if I was in for an evening trail ride, I didn’t hesitate.

It was cold enough to put on the booties, but at least it was dry.

Dan and I met as riding buddies. One of his work colleagues had joined our little group of mountain bikers who rode the trails out at UBC and the occasional excursion up and down Burnaby Mountain. The colleague’s interest waned, but Dan kept coming out.

Embrace the up, don't fear it.

One fall, as the daylight and riding season faded, we all decided we’d get lights and keep riding through the dark winter season. Back then it was a big deal for us to descend down to the beach as that meant an arduous climb back up. The “dreaded down-up” we called it.

I’m not sure why we feared it; it’s only about a 100 meter climb after all.

Today, I can’t remember the last time we didn’t do the “dreaded” down-up. Sometimes, when the weather’s warmer, we do it multiple times.

On my own, I once did it five times. After all, I”m all about the “up.”




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