I learned to ride a bicycle many many years ago. The most vivid memory I have is getting over excited as a kid when I could hear the ice cream truck turning onto my street. In the moment of excitement I fell off my bike, scrapped both knees and palms and immediately started crying. I got over it when I got my ice cream. I have always had a bike; but from middle school through my senior year in college I had the same bike. It worked when I needed it around town and it didn't do anything fancy. When I graduated college I took the check from my grandmother and bought a nice and new steel frame road bike. I commuted on it almost everyday into work for about 8 months. Then the snow started to fall I started working at a ski hill and I had to go back to a car.
The next spring I found myself working at a mountain bike shop so I picked my my first ever mountain bike, it was a full suspension. I spent 2 years being afraid of the bike and only casually riding and very cautiously at that. Last summer I finally grew some balls and showed up for an all women's group ride. I chose one of the hardest climbing days, I had forgotten my inhaler but survived and was hooked. I started mountain biking as much as I could as often as possible. In July I had a chance to demo a Yeti 575 out in Colorado for two days of riding while on vacation- not only was I still hooked but I was also lusting over getting a new bike. By the end of the season I learned how to and went downhilling 3 times and had my old bike for sale on Craigslist. I wanted to keep progressing.
This summer I have a new mountain bike, a Yeti SB-66 and 3 different mountain biking memberships/ passes. Mountain biking has become a somewhat transformation aspect in my life and I can't imagine not riding- I learn something new every time I go out and it's always fun, whether I am alone or with friends. I know I am not the best or the fastest, I'm still learning, but I LOVE riding my bicycle. It gives me a freeing sensation to let loose and feel like a kid again- except now I'm riding the brown POW and not around the cul-de-sac from my youth.
This past weekend I attended the New England Mountain Biking Festival in East Burke, Vermont. I got to ride Friday- Sunday with my crew of ladies and did a variety of trail group trial rides at Kingdom Trails as well as going to the Burke Bike Park for some downhill action. As I am gearing up for another mountain bike filled weekend with friends I am not sure what I would be doing had I not taken the risk of buying a mountain bike without any experience, but I am glad I did and will continue to push my own personal riding every-time I go out because you never stop learning.
"The important thing is to be loving what you are doing all the time and to be doing things in a way that's right for you." - Steph Davis