Friday, July 4, 2014

To Be a Mountain Biker

What I love about mountain biking is that mountain bikes go just about anywhere anytime. When the pavement ends, the ride goes on, and usually gets better. It is about unstopped adventure and true enduring with little to no boundaries. It is freedom.

Mountain bike national championships are only a few weeks away and while many would expect me to blog about racing or training, what interests me the most these days is fun rides and building cool trails. I look forward to my Thursday trail build day each week.

This week, we were working on a repair a few miles in from Lot C. With severe thunderstorms pressing, we opted to ride bikes in and haul tools with a trailer. This way we could high tail out if rain came before dark. We got only an hour or so of work done when it started to sprinkle. Working under the canopy of trees, it was hard to tell how hard it was really raining, but it seemed light enough to keep working. Then our phones gave off the verizon severe weather alert, and Art said “two more buckets!”.

Art dug and I started packing up. He dumped dirt and I tamped while he packed tools. We were on our bikes and heading out in no time but it was already dark in the woods from the storm clouds. I could see fire flies light up as I rode down the trail. The clouds opened up and drenched us with what seemed like warm water. I had this comforting dejavu feeling taking me back to nationals last year.

I could taste sweet rain mixing with sweat as it ran down my face and found it’s way onto my lips. My wet pants clung to my thighs. All these subtle sensations reminding me how good it feels to be alive and moving. As I passed duck pond, I noticed it was transformed from glass to texture from heavy rain. Then, everything went white in a flash of lightning. I hurried a bit up the final hill and hoped for the best as I passed down the corridor of trees going to lot C. Under the last tree there was another flash. Luckily it did not strike the area. We got into the truck and noticed it was hailing. What a great night of trail work, and how nice to just be a mountain biker!

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