The Mountain Bike Life

It all started about five years ago when I was in the eighth grade. My Dad and I would go for mountain bike rides, and seek new trails to try out. The next year, as a freshman in high school, I got into cross country racing. Now I am going into my fourth year of racing, and could not be more stoked!

If you asked me then, where I thought I would be now, I would have no clue. One of my favorite racing memories is still the first race that I lined up for. It is the most nervous that I have ever been before a race. Not only was it my first time, but the start was particularly tricky. Would there be a massive pileup in the first, sandy corner of the course? Would I be fast enough to keep up with the other racers? As it would turn out, I was plenty fast compared to the rest of the competition. There was a crash in the first corner, but it was behind me.


It is cross country season so I have been riding my cross country bike. You forget how fun riding a completely different bike can be!

That same day I remember watching the older, faster kids racing. I watched them go through a rock garden on the first descent of the course. They were fit and fast. They looked like they knew what they were doing. Little did I know that a few years later I would be hoping to animate that same race division.

Fast forward to now, I am reflecting on my first race of the season. February first was my first go on the race track in 2015. At first I was not having the best race. I was wondering what I was even doing out there in the first place. After a while, I really started to enjoy myself. I focused on going my own pace and being smooth After I found my rhythm, I think my race went pretty well.

Deep in the pain cave at the first race of the season. | Photo: Jeff Vander Stucken

Deep in the pain cave at the first race of the season. | Photo: Jeff Vander Stucken

The fact that I write for a website titled The Mountain Bike Life is proof enough that I love this sport. I know that my passion is strong when every pedal stroke feels special. Every turn of the crank screams, “This is awesome!”. It is that feeling that reassures me that I am doing something right. If it feels forced you are doing something wrong.

I can not be sure how my future turns out, but I sure do know that I want to keep riding my bike for years to come. As long as I can pedal a bike, everything will be alright. Those pedal strokes fuel the fire. They take me to new places, higher and further than I have ever been before. I enjoy being in nature, riding fast, and getting an adrenaline rush. I enjoy the ride.

The Reluctant Wrench 13: Memories on Ice
Off Season