I have to admit that I snuck out on Wednesday for a mountain bike ride. I knew snow was heading our way Friday and through the weekend. With temperatures in the 40s and the trail in great condition, I was a happy camper.
The particular trail I rode has some significant sections of rock gardens. It has been just recently, in the past two months, that I am able to ride all the way through the rock gardens.
I was reminded on Wednesday, that successful rock garden riding is never a guarantee and that getting ever so slightly off of my preferred route can bring about disaster.
On one of the downhill sections, I was carrying some speed. I missed my preferred turn, which put me into an area where the rocks happen to throw me into oscillations. These oscillations are not a problem unless they match the natural frequency of the system (me and my bike).
First, let me describe how this feels. I am bouncing along and traveling through the rock garden, and slightly gaining speed. The bouncing up and down begins to take a rhythmic feel. At first the rhythm is somewhat relaxing and I think "No problem it is good for me to ride non-preferred routes to increase my skills."
But, within a short amount of time I realized that I was gaining more altitude with each bounce and the rhythm was increasing. As I feel this oscillation beginning to become a problem, I can't help but think of the Tacoma Bridge disaster. (I know, I know, strange thing to think about, but that is what popped into my head.)
I'm thinking, "If I reach mechanical resonance, I'm going to go flying off of this bike and the result will surely require Band-Aids."
The entire scene seemed to go on forever, but probably only took about five seconds to unfold.
Luckily, I managed to avoid mechanical resonance and kept riding without putting a foot down. I can't tell you how I did it, only that it happened.
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