I've made a new friend this winter, a borrowed Trek 4300 mountain bike complete with badly worn platform pedals, kickstand, and wheel reflectors. Brand new this is a $400 bike. I acquired this one far from brand new. In addition to the worn pedals the front suspension is completely frozen and not functional. The back of the saddle also appears to have been the choice snack of some household pet at some point. But even given all of these annoyances the temporary acquisition of this bike has been great and has energized my winter training. Never have I ever put in anywhere close to the outdoor riding hours in a December that I logged last month. I've really enjoyed the change of pace, offroad riding, and general change in routine. I've found offroad riding to be very challenging, there's no way to coast or ride easy through loose gravel. I'm sure my heart rate stays far higher on a mountain bike ride than an easy spin on the road bike. Having never spent any real time on a mountain bike before this winter I have no idea how this training will translate to my tri racing next summer, but I'm excited to find out.