me, a bike, and the mountains

It didn’t start well when the trainer from my gym laughed when he saw my bike when he got out of the car to load it on. Actually, that’s not true. It first didn’t start well when my alarm went off at 5:20 am. Him laughing at my bike was just another ominous sign. At least I had 2 water bottles!

It started out fine. I mean, who doesn’t love hurtling down a rocky cliff on a bicycle that has already been proclaimed unfit for the ride? I managed not to fall, and to not lag tooooo far behind. And when I wasn’t about to faceplant into a bunch of rocks and slide a few kilometers down a mountain, it was fun!

As we finished the first downhill section, the trainer looked again at my bike (I think it was disbelief, really). “You don’t have enough gears on your bike.” Well. That might have been good to know BEFORE I was in the middle of the mountains! Anyhoo off we went, into an uphill so gnarly most people don’t even hike that kind of thing. I only almost fell once, and that was only because apparently my bike sucks.

“Oh ya, I forgot to tell you,” the trainer said as we got ready for the uphill, in a parking lot across from where we came out of the downhill section and before the next path started, “You are going to get hit on, a lot.” Some riders had just smiled and said hello to me (us, I had thought, but I guess not). I guess there aren’t a lot of chicks insane enough to do that kind of thing. I told him maybe that would be a good thing, I could get one (or some) of them to just pull me up the hill. He laughed.

The guys (the trainer and this soccer player he trains) went ahead at some point, since I would be catching up. Except, of course, I am me. Which means, I got lost. In the Jerusalem mountains. Without a cell phone. But I did have 2 water bottles.

I realized I had taken a wrong turn, so I went back to the fork. I started going up the other path, which was (of course) ridiculously steep. And I kept not seeing the guys. Now I am the first to say that a girl can do anything a guy can do, but I felt pretty sure that at least the trainer would have stopped or come back at some point just to make sure I was still alive or whatever. I decided to go back, in case he had done that, also.

Except I got lost again. And then again. And then I stopped keeping track. I must have covered every path on that freaking mountain. Finally I made it back to where we had started the uphill. Of course, no one was there. So I sat down to wait. A woman with her kids drove up, waiting for her husband and a friend to return from their ride. She would have let me use her cell phone to call the trainer, but I didn’t have his phone number.

I sat there for a bit longer. I watched people come and go. I watched two cars drive in past the regular parking area, into the mountains somewhere, and then I watched the two drivers drive away in one car, together. I don’t want to know what was in the other car. Finally I realized that I could call home, have my roommate get the trainer’s number from my phone, and then call him. So I waited for someone to come by, so I could ask to use their cell phone. Finally a group of riders got back and I borrowed a cell phone to call the house. I woke the roomie up, got the number, and called the trainer.


“It’s you! Where are you? Are you ok? I’m with the police.”

“I’m fine, I just got lost. And then I got lost again, and then again. I’m at the parking lot where we started the uphill section.”

“Don’t move. I’m coming to get you in the car.”

Because I was going to MOVE at that point?? And thank goodness he was coming with the car, because I wasn’t getting back on that bike. In the end everything was fine, but it was an adventure, for sure. I got home smelly, dirty, and quite natured-out, let me tell you. My shins are going to be purple, and I have a scratch on my thigh from I don’t know what. I believe the moral of the story is that I really can and will get lost anywhere. And that my bike is not really a mountain bike, even though I still love it anyways. And that I shouldn’t try hardcore mountain biking for the first time with a crazy trainer-mountain biking expert and one of his trainees.

What a story though, huh?


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