Throughout my life, I have considered myself a thrill seeker. My first car (if you don’t count the ones I bought and sold prior to turning 16) was a 69
Camaro SS with a 4 speed and I never went anywhere without burning rubber. Needless to say, my parents told me to sell the car before I went to jail or killed someone. Yes, I listened to my parents. The problem was that my next car was a VW Baja bug. I could do off the road, what I couldn’t on the road. Again, seek thrills.
In my pursuit of thrills, I have gone bungee jumping, rock climbing, sky diving, got my pilots license, still love to snow ski, and just when I thought I would have to buy an expensive ticket to Mars in order to take it to the next level, my son introduced me to Mountain Biking!
’s fault. There was a time when I would drop Austin Austin off at the top of and then find him in Town a couple of hours later. Mount Ashland was about 10. Because I am a caring father that worries about what his son is up to in the deep woods, I decided that I should take my Jamis hard tale with rim brakes and follow him on his stinky 24 down the mountain. Despite the bouncing, lack of braking, leaking front fork, and general beating I took, I loved mountain biking at first pedal! Austin
My desire to increase the level of thrill and diminish the level of abuse led me to buy a used Specialized Big Hit with the worst suspension ever. I spent some time talking with others that were kind, tactful, and encouraging. In a subtle way, I was told that my bike was a piece of crap and that I needed a better set of wheels. My next purchase was my Trek Session.
The need to find thrills in biking has escalated with each year. Despite the set back in 2012 on Chucks (a major concussion), I still love the thrill of biking in every way. Well, except on my head. That’s no Bueno..
The more joy and thrill I found in biking the more I felt a small sense that I was doing something weird, even demented. Not that riding bikes is a perverse sport but the fact that I have a permanent grin whenever I ride has scared me a bit. Am I mentally challenged? Am I too old to derive this much pleasure from a bicycle? Am I a Pedal-Phile? Do I need therapy?
This self reflection turned to observation. In my pursuit of accepting the joy I find in biking led me to observe others in the act and to my joyous surprise, others had that same infectious grin. Others used the term Epic. Others couldn’t quit talking about berms, jumps, the dirt, the tires, and so on… I was beginning to accept my affliction by understanding that hundreds of thousands of others are doing the same thing! Every cult gains acceptance by shear numbers of believers! This sport is bigger than any church I have ever been a part of and, it’s a healthy way to provide a sense of community to my family! I have found my way! Hallelujah brothers and sisters!
With my full acceptance of my addiction and the understanding that it is a healthy and fulfilling way to spend my days, nights, weekends and summers. My whole way of life has changed. My summers are not planned around anything other than what bicycle event is coming and will the other things that I want to do interfere with my need to ride my bike? What riding area did I love last summer and what new ones can I make it to this summer? What races will I attend and can I improve upon my performance from the prior year? OH, did I say this was a family thing? As long as they want to ride, I do ask them where they would like to go to this year…
So, with that in mind, I will offer from time to time, anecdotes about the experiences that I and we find along the way. A couple of noteworthy events this summer…. Black Rock in 2 weeks and then off to Whistler in July. In between… who knows? I have some ideas! Keep an eye out for the crazed, Thrill Seeking Pedal-Phile. There is one in all of us!