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Survivor's guilt

 I try to stay positive and I like to encourage others to try new things. I'm gonna be the guy yelling, "yeah dude, you got this!" to someone standing at the top of the jump. Usually this works out and we all cheer when the rider overcomes the new challenge. yah! Sometimes it doesn't go that way though, sometimes it goes badly and I was the guy saying "you got this." Even if you didn't. And sometimes other factors in my life can infect my mountain biking. Here's an example of how one specific day went. It started with my wife challenging everything I said. Me: I'll just take the puppy outside to go. Wife: Oh she won't go yet. Me: I'll just use the trimmer to cut those thistles. Wife: I don't think the trimmer will work on thistles. ect. Me: whatever. Then I made it to work where my boss challenged everything I said. Me: That oil leak is the pressure sender. Boss: You don't think it's something else? Me: That head is aluminum.
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Duck (a short story)

Our knobby tires rolled along the single track, each pedal stroke was accompanied by a quiet whir from the electric assist. Cody lead the way, intermittently glancing down at his phone on a handlebar mount. He was following a gps course laid out by previous riders. Aki trailed behind him and I followed along in sweep.  We had started riding before dawn and now the sun was just starting to creep over the horizon, lighting up the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. I pulled in behind Aki and heard the distinct sound of his dry chain running through the derailer. You know I had chain lube back at base you could have used. He didn’t look back, he just said, I’ve got some with me. And you’re saving it for just the right moment? I asked. Is it bothering you? It’s just noisy. It’s not as noisy as you hassling me about it. He had a point. I backed off of his wheel and left some more space. It was fun giving him grief, it reminded me of the rides we used to do together before all this shit. I sto

Everything in moderation

I’m watching a guy get fat. He’s in his early thirties and he’s at a point in his life when he’s ready to move into the body of a larger man. It’s not a secret, he jokes about it himself. He grabs his belly and shakes it with pride.  I’ve seen plenty of old friends get big, but never as it’s happening. Usually I run into someone I haven’t seen in years and I realize they are much larger. But this guy I see every workday. And six months ago he was many pounds lighter. When I met him last fall he had the kind of frame that could go either way.  I heard he used to x-country ski and asked him about it, he proudly claimed how he was a nordic ski racer in high school. I’m not saying this just to fat shame some guy. I know life is stressful, and finding time for a healthy lifestyle isn’t for everyone. I guess I’m only on this topic as another way to explain the weird dichotomy of my life. I have my feet squarely planted in two separate worlds. I scroll through my Strava and see friends announ

The kids are alright

 You know when you start a streak? Maybe you start clearing a section without any flaw. Maybe each time you ride the park you do one new thing you haven't done before. My friend Matt will bang out six, ten, twelve days in a row at Left Hand. Streaks are fun. I'm on a streak, it started in Arkansas and followed me home. Each time I ride I meet someone cool. I'm engaging just as many people as I normally do.  I just keep meeting more bangers than duds. It's totally random, sometimes I just fall into pace with someone on the climb, other times it's waiting to drop-in on slopestyle. Interactions can go lots of ways, but it's nice when it results in some positive back and forth for a quick moment in time. Like Tyler Durden describes it, a "Single Serving Friend" for a few laps. Experts tell me today's young people are in distress. I hear they are afraid to face challenges, they don't know how to interact socially and they have no drive. I think the

Arkansas Eclipse trip '24

I’d better do another bike post before I drop more fiction on you people. Sorry, it’s coming. Also I’ve been reading a ton of Bikesnob NYC blog posts. I really don’t know how he does it, Ok maybe getting paid to write posts helps. But he’s so good, and he drops two bangers every week! He’s kind of what convinced me to start a blog. Just write about bikes and the rest will come together. I did do a bike trip though, to Arkansas! I keep explaining this to people so I might as well tell it here. Bentonville, AR is the hometown of Walmart. They have their corporate office there and a Walmart museum and tons of Walmart stuff. Ironically it’s a small town where Walmart is supporting all the locally owned independent shops…weird. But, the story goes, some of the Walton heirs are into mountain biking and they asked Gramps for some land and money to build trails. So, hooboy! Did they ever! The internet is full of videos describing what’s out there. The Disney Land of Mountain biking is a pre

No-Handers, still a great trick

 Hello beautiful people. I promise this is still a mountain biking blog. I won't force my fiction writing on you very often.  I have a lot of stories that I start and then they just fizzle out. So I though if I posted the first chapters on here I would have to commit to finishing it.  Since I spent my weekend mornings writing, and not hiking into the woods for trail maintenance, I'm very out of shape. Mountain biking is sort of like a deal with the devil. It will keep you healthy and happy, but the catch is you can never stop. Any time I break from mountain biking physical fitness, the years come flooding in and I begin to feel my actual age.  I'm trying to get back at it. The smart thing to do would be to start with a strong cardio base and work from there introducing new challenges. Instead I wanted to make sure I could still dirt jump and do wheelies. Each new year I worry if I've lost any dirt jumping tricks. So I'm always happy to throw the first no-hander of t

The White Room (a short story)

FRIDAY After a short struggle I located Cliff at the airport. It was good to see him again. I had my bag packed and my skis on the rack of my Audi. Instead of going back to my house, we blew past the exit and cruised through Denver. We made a quick stop at a dispensary, then started climbing into the mountains. Five hours later we rolled into the town of Crested Butte. Matt had driven out from Arkansas the day before and we all converged on Kevin’s house. This was a reunion almost thirty years in the making. We pulled into Kevin’s driveway, kid’s bikes and other toys were poking out from the snow in the yard.  A master bedroom had been added to the house, but it still lacked siding, leaving the insulation exposed. Kevin came out to greet us wearing slippers, jeans and a tee shirt. He gave us each a hug. Nice addition Kev, that’s new since the last time I was here. Cliff said. Yeah I started it four years ago, maybe in another four I’ll finish it. Kevin’s just doing what he can to