Yes, another bike trip.  Yes, another two days of picture perfect weather.  Yes, yes, and again I say yes.  Brown County State Park (Indiana) rocks.  The trails there are so much fun — fast and flowy in some places, rocky and challenging in others, with spectacular climbs and views.

Ah, yes (I said it again), the views.  Right now it is the beginning of the Fall foliage viewing season in southern Indiana.  Every hotel in the area was booked to capacity, the campground at the state park full.  The place is awesome.  This was my third year in a row for a mountain bike trip with my friends to Brown County.  The weather the last two days was the best we have had.

Hesitation Point is my favorite view and we parked there yesterday, started our ride from that point.  Thus, I was able to take my yearly picture from there.DSC_0455

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My confidence is growing on the bike, evidenced by my performance.  I have learned to carve a trail and I left my friends behind on the fast downhills, forgetting that my bike has brakes.  Jon and I waited at the bottom of several trails for Mike and Frank to catch up, many times, something that makes me feel really good.  Mike and Frank have kicked my butt for years on the road.  Neither is a slouch on a mountain bike.  Not only did I kick butt on the fast downhills, but I was riding the rocky sections  today without fear, leaving the guys behind on a trail where I usually am left behind — Walnut.  My walnuts were big today.  That trail is a lot of up and down, rocky step ups and switch backs that in years past scared me into a dismount.  On the Hesitation Point trail, not only did I attempt a rock section that I wouldn’t try before, I completed it.

My buddies cheered me on, encouraged me as they watched from the side of the trail.  Jon commented on how I corrected my balance to find the line.  I felt like a different rider.  It has been years since I have had the confidence and fitness that I found today.

I went on this trip with my parents’ blessing.  Dad made it through Tuesday’s surgery, the doctors refusing to take the risk of open heart surgery, surprised that the angioplasty was as successful as it was.  Dad came home from the hospital on Thursday, is upbeat and ready for more living.  After his first heart attack, Dad came back very well, rode a bike event with me three months later.  He won’t be able to do that this time as he will have to slow down a bit, but I am sure he will be fine.

During that bike ride with my dad, a group zipped by us.  At that time, I was in very good riding shape.  Dad looked at my with a wry smile on his face.

“I bet you can’t catch them.  Go ahead and try.  I’ll buy you a Coke if you catch them and take the front.”

He bought me that Coke.  I caught them.. quickly.

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