If you think I am stupid to try mountain biking under a highway or are confused with the title, you are not alone. Its hard to digest the fact that a Mountain Bike Skills Park is located under the I-5 highway in the city of Seattle. I had read about it a little while ago and decided to give it a visit with my Schwinn hybrid bike today. A review on Google had called it an expert only zone. For safety, I wore a thick jacket, jeans pants and helmet (as usual) and set to the park which is about 2 miles from my home.
I was quite surprised to see the park first time. It was a highly innovative approach to bring mountain biking to the city environment by making use of the space below a highway. There are many short trails with varied difficulty and some looked quite scary too. I hadn’t ridden my bike anywhere another than on the roads and pavement before. Since it’s a hybrid bike, I was not completely sure if the bike and I would be able to handle it. But I being me wanted to try atleast a bit. Thankfully there was nobody else – it which allowed me to try stuff without feeling embarrassed. I inspected the sight, marked the doable trails and started with my bike. Though I didn’t hurt myself much, I soon realized why the head tube of the mountain bikes are very low. Being very careful I slowly started on the trail. I was not very comfortable on picking up speed due to the lose mud and stopped while going up the bumps. Even while coming down some steep bumps I stopped in between and had great difficulty in getting to the flats since the sudden breaks would lift the rear tire and the cycle would sway side-wards. One good thing I did was I never did let got of the handles and fortunately I did not fall. Due to the lack of speed and thin tires, bike skid on the slant side walls. I tried the next difficult trail and again stopped in between. Learning from the mistakes I finally managed few steep bumps and I hadn’t had that kind of adrenaline rush since a long time. It was damn scary and I decided to stop for the day. I was still in that shock for quite some time and cycled back to the calm South Lake Union Park.
Well, Seattle is extremely bike friendly and I love biking here, except for waiting at the traffic signals. At some places there are even green mats for bikers alone which I haven’t seen anywhere else. It’s hilly and gets tiring but downhill is always fun. Looking forward to a great bike life 🙂