The Mountain Bike Life

Countless pedal strokes, sweat dripping from every crevice of my body, a pain from each and every muscle, and a back pack full of warm water. Rocks trudging under my tires as I spin through the grit on my way to the top of the mountain… For what? One measly run down the mountain, not good enough or at least I think this to myself as I pedal up. If only I could go to one of those bike parks, you know, the ones with ski lifts… yeah that is the life… I think.

Well, to cap of my summer of escaping the Phoenix heat, I headed to my proverbial mecca, my one true home. Lift access mountain biking.

Four dudes, four bikes, and an excursion of a lifetime | Photo: Jeff Quihuis-Bell

Four dudes, four bikes, and an excursion of a lifetime | Photo: Jeff Quihuis-Bell

After a quick bargain with the boss and a half day Friday, a small group of us headed out to Southern California, Big Bear Lake to be more precise. It is there that the Snow Summit Bike Park resides, and with it, a one mile lift to the top. We rented a small cabin for the weekend. It was eccentric to say the least. Plush, brown carpeting welcomed our feet as we walked into the cabin that appeared to have been decorated in the winter of ’78. I loved it. It had beds, a grill, and a fridge to hold our beer.

The morning after arrival we hit the park. We had one first timer to a bike park, and the rest of us were noobs to Snow Summit. Luckily for us, there weren’t a whole lot of ways to get lost at the top of the mountain. There were basically two trails, one to the left (Miracle Mile) and one to the right (Westridge/Party Wave). We mainly stuck to Westridge/Party Wave which was the more fun, fast, and flowy trail. It had plenty for us to practice on since it isn’t every day we have jumps and berms to play on.

A gnarly bunch | Photo: Jeff Quihuis-Bell

A gnarly bunch | Photo: Jeff Quihuis-Bell

We hit the park hard, with a full day of runs. We stayed from open to close and loved every second. Our final challenge of the day was cracking a beer with our brittle, exhausted hands. I hate to admit it, but my pinky was out of commission due to exhaustion and I had to drink my beer like the common folk, pinky down. We grilled monstrous steaks, talked about nothing, and enjoyed the gorgeous weather.

Our next morning was less than energetic, and our hands still ached but we made it back to the lift for a few more runs. Luckily for us, we managed to pull off a run in the rain after the lifts were closed down. Our crew made it back into town Sunday night, our bodies crumbling at the thought of walking, our hands- cramping at the wheel, yet all we could think about was the next trip.

The Frugal Mountain Biker: Variety is the spice of life
Reaping the Rewards

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