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Newbie Experience

I have recently had the pleasure of taking a newbie out for his first mountain bike rides. He was more than game and had a great time. I had a good time too.

We hosted Nathan, an out-of-town visitor who was just out of the Army, and when I offered to take him on a bike ride he immediately agreed. We started off of on a casual ride through nearby neighborhood and when I mentioned nearby trails he insisted on going so we diverted our ride up to Fremont Older. We rode up the hill to the trailhead and then hit the dirt. Though it has rained quite a bit a few days earlier leaving a few muddy spots, most of the trail was in good shape. Nathan gained a new appreciation of mountain biking when we had to climb the trail up first hill. After a short pause, we hit some single track around the 7 Springs Loop. Nathan did a great job considering it was his first ride and the trail conditions were not optimal.  He really enjoyed the fast ride down the road we had ridden up earlier.

The next day, we headed to Arastradero. Things went very well up and down the first hill and then around some of the other trails. We decided to climb up Arastradero Creek Trail (which I don't usually do) since many of the other trails were closed due to wet conditions. This was a pretty steep climb. Nathan gave it a good try but his biking muscles were not ready for this steep and sustained a climb given all of the training he had done (only a ride the day before).  After a short pause, he continued up to the top like a trooper. The rest of the ride was easy in comparison.

Finally, we took him up John Nicholas Trail in Sanborn starting from Black Road. This was a good ride. There was a lot of climbing but the grade was much more manageable and we did a better job of pacing so this turned out to be a bit better of a ride. We made it up to Skyline Road where we turned around and headed back down. Nathan did a good job negotiating the switchbacks and the downhill portions and made very good time on the the way down. He had a huge smile on his face at the bottom.

It was a lot of showing Nathan how to ride and taking him on the trails for the first time. He said the terrain is very different than back home in Oklahoma and he really enjoyed the hills, redwood forests and the views. He clearly enjoyed the downhill rides, but who doesn't after putting out the effort to get to the top of the mountain? His enthusiasm for riding brought back memories of when I started riding. The pain of trying to climb the hills also brought back memories of when I started riding.

I think we see Nathan on the trails again someday in the future.

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