Women, bikes and beer. - beating a mental block

When riding into the Beginner Room my first thought was "crap. this should be interesting."
The first thing the coaches recommended we do are narrow wooden slats called skinny's. Some had twist's and turns, one with half a log in the middle and one with a nice dip, all of them were about 3-5 feet in distance to ride. 
The technique: look ahead not your feet! I started with a 2 flat pieces of wood on the ground, did that a few times,onto the next one. Then progressed to each one as I felt comfortable. 
Here is a shot my friend Emily took and I stole from the facebook.  Thanks Emily! 

It took me about 10 try's over 2 days to be able to do this one a few times in a row, and pulled it about 2 hrs. before we left Sat. Persistence. 
One of the mental blocks I have is going down "steep" drop in's. I have this vision I am going to just tip forward and land on my face. So I asked the coach for a tip on how I can triumph over this. Her response was as I expected it to be, but it seem to help a few ladies who have the same fear, "Butt out of the saddle, hover it back over the rear tire and go. Do not panic and squeeze your brakes, or the possibility of flying over the handle bar's might just happen is more likely. I cannot give you courage, you just have to commit and do it." 
All of the areas in the beginner area have a slight drop in to give you some momentum.
Where are you, courage?! Apparently it is with the 5 year old that showed me how it is done.

There are several "drop in's" into this area (photo above) with multiple options on run's you may want attempt. Riding the wood slats, or around a berm and over a section of logs, there is also the circular section in the middle called a switchback. The switchback I never really got, it involves a lot of balancing, tight cornering and ratcheting. I am good with balance and ratcheting but not tight cornering. Next time I will master it.
Here are a few more shots of the obstacles in the beginner room, all do-able. Just grit your teeth and let the bike do all the work.

Note to self: Make it down the left side of this rock garden, next time!

At 3pm the men were allowed into the riding area's (a few had been lingering all day) and I was not surprised to see the women continue to dominate the park and give the guys a run for their money. 
Friday night was a party to remember. It involved alcohol, bad pop music (not enough 80's), and an angry male stripper. You may or may not want to know.
I have a few more random photo's and good places to eat if you are able to venture to Cleveland, OH.


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