When I started my second season of mountain biking our local trails, I didn't go into it with expectations. I had no idea if fatbiking during the winter would've helped me with confidence or my handling skills. Let's just say, it was an unknown.
I'll admit, I was nervous. I had accomplished a lot during my first season due to a lot of trial, error, and diligence. Hard work and persistence paid off, yet there were still goals I had yet to accomplish. Certain trails to ride dabless and hills I had yet to climb...and those started to hang over my head a little.
"Will I finally learn how to ride Julia without messing up?" and "Will I EVER climb Old Randy's?"
There are other trails that I have yet to master, such as riding up all of the Palisades trails. I can accomplish riding down them (excluding Dead Pet- which I still need to work on more!)
I think it's more or less worrying that I've reached a plateu with my riding and I started to question myself. Mountain biking, truly, is more about learning about yourself than it is pedaling a bike around in the dirt and grass.
I am thankful to say that mountain biking my local trails has not gotten old, nor do I think it ever will. Once you get comfortable going a certain way and learn to successfully ride a section, there is always another goal to work on or another way to ride it (such as reverse.)
A minor gearing update for me opened up my oyster and I found myself being able to ride climbs I struggled all last season trying to make. Just the other day I was out with a friend of mine and made a climb up Little Big Horn that I never came close to making last year. I was in shock! I feel it's a combination of multiple things- learning more about body position, having a gear ratio that works for me, and getting stronger.
I've also found that my riding speed has picked up a bit from last year- I'm taking corners a little faster and working a little harder. I can also ride more sections of trails without having to stop and have a break.
I've found myself pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone and I've grown as a person. Our local trails are extremely special and I feel very fortunate to be in a position where I can introduce others to the joys of our dirt. (Or snow, whichever season one chooses to ride!)
All I can say is- if you like a challenge, then you should really consider mountain biking. You won't become a master in a year, but you can see improvements continually. I'm still finding new ways to grow with my riding in my second season, and that inspires me to keep rolling!