Over the years I have done a lot of riding in different places around the world. Moab, Utah, Park City Utah, Boulder, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, California, the Midwest, the eastern USA, North Carolina, Texas, Mexico, Taiwan, China, Australia, Canada, the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Japan, Malaysia, etc. It's a pretty long list. Somewhere along the way, you literally get lost and really cannot remember how you got into all of this. It is all 2 wheels, but it starts to get a bit numbing. More roads, more trails, more bike parks...it all blurs. It's a great life, but somewhere in there it can start to loose its grandeur and its significance.
I have been proud to proclaim along the way in my life a bunch of different announcements about how important things with 2 wheels are to me. Some of these I am still proud of and others not so much.
- I love racing my bike.
- I love riding my 2 wheelers.
- Any day racing a motorcycle is better than a day not.
- If it has 2 wheels, I either own one or want one (not as proud of this one as some of the others).
- The perfect bicycle cannot be built.
- The perfect ride cannot be had.
- My butt hurts
- Lets go for a ride
- Odd that penguin being there
- Can I have that piece of fruit
- Go for a ride
In the end, it is about a boy and his bike. There has been a girl involved through most of it, sometimes a dog, but always a bike.
It is that constant that has worked so well for me. Yes, you can call it a one track mind – or in my case a 2 wheeled mind. Ha.
I am here to tell the story of finding my soul again, unplugging from the Matrix for a bit and getting my Mountain Biker back on.
Moab. Just the name says it all. Never have 2 vowels in the middle of a simple little word, ending with a b no less, been so significant. Makes it all even more exciting. Just say it aloud now. That’s right…
Moab is where it mostly all started. When I was just getting into riding my mountain bike, some time around 1984, I made my first trip to Moab. That trip was done with a steel rigid hardtail Ritchey. I think it was a Ritchey Ascent. Tig welded steel that came with a really bitchin' all in one bull moose handlebar. A rigid steel fork and a set of brakes that could only at best slow you down and with considerable hand effort at that.
Back in those days, a trip around the Slickrock trail or a day coming down Porcupine Rim was an all-day affair. You see, you couldn't ride very long. Your tail end would be killing you. You had to pick your way around all the rough stuff, as your only way of absorbing anything was with your body. Your hands would be so destroyed that on any downhill they would cramp up, forcing you to stop entirely once the ability to squeeze the levers had gone.
Reset – Moab trip May 2014.
2.5 days, 3 rides.
Where have you been my mountain biker self? Wow, I love this stuff.
So, if you have not been to Moab lately – you need to go. The old jeep trails that we used to ride a long time ago have mostly been replaced with sweet singletrack. The terrain is still burly, but with a bike like a Slash or Remedy you will be amazed at what you can ride that was a challenge back in the day (it was all uphill – both ways back then).
I landed in Grand Junction and hightailed it to Moab. Colorado and Utah highways have a speed limit of 75, which is already way faster than at home. But, then you combine that with the propensity for people in the area to drive 10 over and you have a damn fast highway. My bags were late, and I was just a wuss, so was about an hour or so late getting to Moab. Once I arrived, I assembled my bike and headed out with the crew to ride Amasa Back trail. The number of times we have done that over the years can almost not be counted. It is a way way better trail now than back then though. We topped that evening off with a visit to the Moab Brewery. Unfortunately, they did not have their Belgian on so I burned the place down (not really).
The next day was a testing day. We did a bunch of smaller loops and then another trip on a different loop on Amasa Back. Pizza and Moab Brewery were on tap again, as this is all just leading up to the Enchilada.
Yep, that is right, we had plans to do the Whole Enchilada. But neigh, we could not get up to the top. Ugh. Foiled again. Oh well, ¾ of the Enchilada is still a darn good meal. Fast sweeping descents, lots of techy stuff and some dang fine scenery. It was about a 5 hour ride that day – so big big fun was had. I cannot wait to try to get back there in the next couple of years.
So, now it is my mountain biking year. A bunch of mountain bike trips and outings planned.
The USA, Europe, my first Enduro, a Whistler trip, a big Alps rendezvous. The problem is choice. In this reset of the matrix, it is the mountain bike that will rise from Zion. I do it all a lot slower than I used to, but the grin on my face is bigger than ever. I hope to do it all and reconnect with the group of people that I have maybe ignored over the years, but not forgotten. Now, if I could just get myself one of those cool long overcoats with the stand up collar…
I think this says it all. Occasionally, the Matrix needs to be reset. The problem is choice.
Go for a ride!