Mountain biking. A sport that has changed my life. I thought it only fair to publish a post on what it has done for me, so this is the summary of my account with mountain biking to the best of my knowledge.
It all started when my old car’s transmission broke down. Long story short I didn’t have time to fix it myself so I bought a new Trek 800 from the local shop(www.donsbikeshop.com) in Rialto, CA for $250. At the time I thought that was a TON to spend on a bike…little did I know. An old Air Force buddy of mine found out I had bought a mountain bike for a commuter and invited me out to ride some single track. I went to give it a try and became instantly hooked. My oldest son wanted to see what all the fuss was about and tagged along on his full suspension Next. He got hooked. Then my youngest finally asked to have his training wheels taken off and in no time was out on the trails with us in Loma Linda, CA at Hulda Crook Park. My 2 boys have been riding single track since ages 11 and 5. They’ve both raced. We’ve adopted it as our family activity and have ridden in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Colorado, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and probably some other place I am leaving out. It’s made me lose weight…well, it did until I discovered downhill at least. We’ve taken at least a dozen friends/family out on their first rides ever and created a few new lifers.We’ve met some awesome friends that are more like family along the way. It probably sounds cheesy to admit this but I honestly think this sport has kept my 2 sons and I really close. Outings consist of riding together, caring for each other during emergencies/accidents, giving each other advice, cheering each other on and most importantly having a blast together with our friends. It’s one of the few sports I feel that is very welcoming to new comers and is very accepting of those at lower skill levels than others. We’re all very supportive of each other and don’t want to see fellow riders getting injured because injuries mean less riding. And less riding means less fun. Riding really does make grown men feel like kids again. My bicycle is my fountain of youth. And as an added bonus I feel its taught my sons valuable life skills as well. Skills like not going in over your head, look before you leap, commit without hesitation, helping others, teaching others to do things correctly and most of all confidence. I’m sure any fellow riders with kids will agree with me on that.
We even went as far as to move up here to the pacific northwest because it has the best trails and dirt in the country! The riding community is great, shops are great and all these sick trails are just a short drive away. All you need is a rain jacket occasionally and you are set. My sons and I also have a large group of mutual friends which consists in large part of our riding buds. I highly recommend giving mountain biking a try to anyone with a sense of adventure and at least average hand eye coordination. You will not be disappointed. The best way for me to describe mountain biking is to say that it’s on par with riding a roller coaster sans seat belt or harness to keep you in place. You do all your own driving and control the speed to as fast or slow as you want it. And the more comfortable you get on it the faster and faster you will go. Until you are riding at the edge of your abilities and your body kicks in some adrenalin to help you stay focused. It’s impossible not to have a blast doing it. It’s even hooked me as far as trying to make a job out of photographing others having a blast on these 2 wheeled joy machines!
Here’s to hopefully having coerced some of you into giving the most awesome sport on the planet a try. Cheers! Now get out and ride!!!