After a seriously helpful session at Raining Faith Massage, my arm is now feeling much better. The bone seems pretty solid, but prior to my session I was having a ton of pain and strength issues in my forearm. Obviously this is a challenge since controlling your bike is so critical in cross and not having confidence and control in one arm is fairly detrimental.
The first test was a lunch session with a 1-2 cross racer on my team this last Friday. Chad is pretty fast and has phenomenal bike handling skills. He was gracious enough to take me through a few laps out at Valmont Bike Park. The arm felt awesome. I barely noticed it. I was quite surprised since the arm was killing me Wednesday on the exact same course. Confidence was growing.
After a Saturday spent at soccer games and working on the house, I decided to give the arm the ultimate test on Sunday. Hall Ranch. This trail is about 10 miles from my house and a great mountain bike trail. I am a pretty big fan of riding my cross bike on single track and thought this would be a fun place to get out and ride. The trail is a mix of tough loose climbs, big rocks and flowy trail. It seemed like mostly rocks and climbing to my out of shape legs. I thought I would do the initial climb and then descend since the trail is pretty rough for a cross bike, but after getting to the top I was having too much fun to flip around. So I did the full top loop and had a blast. The arm felt great. A bit fatigued from the effort and the braking (it’s not too easy to break as hard as needed on the steep turns with a cross set up after being used to hydralic mountian bike brakes).
I was pleasantly surprised by how well a cross bike handled the terrain. I guess I can understand the 29er revolution. Big wheels on rocky trails are great. I can definitely see this becoming a regular ride and surely a testing ground for my new cross frame I just built.