Brazil: Biking in the Chapada

Basset Hound - Low Clearance Yesterday I observed (the start and finish of) a mountain bike race in Chapada dos GuimarĂ£es. I only observed the race, as I did not have any of my own equipment, but my friend allowed me to borrow his wife’s bike.

Despite the fact that it has a 15″ frame (I normally ride a 19″ or 21″), a hard tail (I usually ride full suspension), an itty-bitty front shock (compared to the things that could well service a motorcycle on mine, rather slick road tires (as opposed to mine, which very well could be mounted on something branded “John Deere”), no clip-in pedals or toe clips (actually a good thing, given I only had sandals), V-brakes (no disc), and the ground clearance of a Basset Hound (compared my my Splinter, which can straddle a Volkswagen) , I rode the trail from the finish line back to the start with many of the competitors. The trail was a lot of fun. I had to regularly remind myself that I was not on my own Sinister Splinter MX when it came to huge washouts and trees that were lying across the trail. A few times I said to myself “I’ve got this,” only to find out that, while I did have it, the bike was far from having anything other than the influence of gravity, and I had to do all of the work. As much fun as it was, I would have had much more on my bike, with my equipment, as I was lacking water, gloves, proper shoes, padded shorts, and all of the other gear I normally wear on a trail like this.

Also worth noting is that this was the first time I’ve had the pleasure of mountain biking in December. Excellent.

After we returned to town, while waiting for the winners to be recognized, I was treated to some riders showing off their stuff.