Yesterday, I headed back to Camp Milton, in Duval County (FL) to take my new Xooter-Mg for a test-run.
The Xooter Mg is very portable and consumed only a small amount of trunk space in my Chevy Sonic. To keep it from sliding, I packed the sides with some old, clean towels.
The first walkways encountered had a slight decorative texture. This prevented the Xooter from picking up excessive speed – helpful for a beginner – but it made steering a bit more challenging.
There was a steady breeze, and initially my back was toward this. I was surprised at how long I could glide with only a few kicks.
I made my way out to the bike trail. As I continued to practice, the wind increased in strength. Riding against this became difficult, and at times I found it easier to walk.
In Florida, most trails are relatively flat. At one point, where the trail crossed a rivulet, there was a slight downward drop. The Xooter quickly picked up speed. It was the only time I used the brake. Most of the time I was going slowly enough to simply hop off. Someone stronger or with longer legs might go faster and brake more frequently.
The ride was a full-body workout, but a lot more fun than going to the gym. I’m glad that I wore a thin sweatband beneath my bike helmet because, by the end of an hour, I was sweating profusely. A day later, the back of my legs and the back of my arms are still a bit sore.
During the ride, my hands also hurt, but I think this is because I was nervous and gripping the handlebars tightly. Also, I had opted for the optional ergonomic pads, and the grip proved a bit wide for my medium-sized hands. I will have to learn to rest my hands on the handlebars rather than grip them.
I also wore kneepads. When selecting these, I didn’t think the ones sold for skating and skateboarding looked very comfortable. Instead I bought pads made for volleyball players, specifically Nike Dri-Fit size XL/XXL. These were comfortable and were easily worn beneath my cargo pants.
I didn’t fall at all, or even really stumble. There was a place on the bike trail that had collapsed a bit. Had I hit this at a fast pace, I might have taken a spill. However, the tires easily passed over normal trail debris, such as twigs and scattered leaves.
I had hoped to ride ten miles, but was exhausted after one and a half. Nevertheless, with practice and increased endurance, I am confident I’ll increase distance quickly.
Do I want to go out again? Yes! Definitely! I had a great cardio workout – at my own pace and in nature. And the movement and sweating left me with a euphoric feeling I’m eager to experience again.
Today there’s rain in the forecast, but I’ll be going out again when the storms pass and the winds slow down. A couple days maybe?
LEFT: At Camp Milton, there is a boardwalk trail that goes for some distance. I didn’t take my Xooter on this. Too often, I’ve walked boardwalks and found myself bounced around by passing bicycles. I can only assume that, if the bikes bounce me, they also loosen the fittings that hold the boards together, causing the boardwalk to age prematurely.
Why do I worry about such things? Just can’t help myself.