A mountain bike named Ginsburg

No, that is not the name of a play I am reviewing. After a sexist encounter at the REI where I bought my first mountain bike — the first clerk made me feel invisible, but the experience ended well once I was turned over to a second staffer — I decided to name my first mountain bike after Supreme Court Justice and all-around bad ass Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

(Considering I christened my road bike Chesty La Rue, I had plenty of feminist karma due regardless.)

I’ve been happy with my road bike for the year (!) we have lived in Colorado, but with more inclement weather approaching I had been considering getting a bike that is less… finicky. One which can, for instance, ride over a small stone without sending me into a complete panic. I would like to be less of a fair weather cyclist, but it would be hard to tackle rain and snow and small pebbles with my dainty Chesty La Rue.

And so, enter Ginsburg. Dan helped me shop for her, knowing that I did not want a $4,000 bike that I would be afraid to let out of my sight. I need a beater. I am not gentle on things, and I am forgetful, and I am a klutz, and I am easily distracted. After 15 minutes on this bike I almost slammed into a parking berm. This is just my life, friends.

It snowed in Fort Collins two days ago, and is due to snow again tonight, but for a few incredible hours the weather was 60 degrees and extremely sunny. (I have been told to expect this kind of fluctuation throughout fall and winter.) Before taking off on a 22-mile ride of his own, Dan showed me a few mountain bike-friendly routes where I could get my dirt legs. (Think sea legs, but with unpaved trails. Yes, I made this up.)

I did okay! It’s a completely different kind of riding than my usual. After a few minutes I was feeling visually overloaded from watching for every rock and twig and sudden fork — nothing I need worry about on my familiar paved trail rides.

Dan taught me how to keep in lower gears to pass over obstacles with slightly more grace… and then he left me to it. I cruised around a couple of local ponds, then picked my way through trails along the Poudre River to find my way home. I returned home feeling as though I’d had every muscle clenched for an hour.

P.S. I will never understand why my mountain bike doesn’t have a kickstand. Apparently it simply Is Not Done.

Hello, gorgeous.
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