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  1. #51
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    I grew up on dirt bikes, rode them until I enlisted into the USAF. Once I left the Air Force, I returned to college and was pretty broke, dirt bikes were not an option, at the same time the area in MD I was living was experencing urban spraw and a lot of the areas I rode dirt bikes were housing developments. So for the decade of my 20's I rode mountain bikes, I started off with a used Columbus with bio-pace gears (anyone remember?) soon after I picked up a used Gary Fisher HK II which I still have.

    When I was 29 or so I returned to the MX scene pretty hard, and stayed there for the past decade and a half. Last year I dusted off my HK II and started pedaling a bit, this year I got a Specialized Stump jumper comp and have been bitten pretty hard by the MTBR bug again.

    Been riding locally here in the high desert as well as the Lake Tahoe area on weekends.

    Two wheels+dirt=great times!
    And if you no longer go for a gap that exists, you are no longer a racing driver. A. Senna

  2. #52
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    I always rode bmx as a kid. A friend and I always jumped our bikes at a dirt bike track, seems I crashed every day, but had some of the best times of my life. Recently I got back into bike riding as it's something I've been wanting to do for several years now. The flame was instantly re-kindled. Now to start upgrading!

  3. #53
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    I was a bit of a loner in middle and early high school, i guess choosing a far away high school meant it took a while to make any real friends.

    Between my home run BBS and model car building i did not get out much, although my home practically nestled out behind a sweet network of 50+miles of trails.

    Fortunately my Scottish/Canadian neighbour took notice, and having just bore his 3rd consecutive girl, he was happy to goad me into riding some trails on my sears bought special mtb

    That did not last long at all and as components started failing i soon returned the bike in lou of an offering at the LBS.

    Using my baptism savings i picked out a trick KHS that i have been riding to this day, upgrading as parts deteriorate but trying to stay period correct and carefully wrapping up and saving the old goods in gratuity of a long well tenured service life.

    Some valueable wisdom was passed freely during those rides and its something i'll always be grateful for.

    Best thousands of hours and $875 i ever spent, over a decade later i still have the invoice and enduring memories of unending good times.

  4. #54
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    Wow great story, but good luck on starting a mtb club. I am trying at my school but I need a teacher to start which here in mass are nonexistent... But good luck and happy trails.

  5. #55
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    I rode mostly roads for a long time with some trails here and there but no real downhill or technical single track until one of my friends took us on a trail that he thought was a nice easy ride around a lake. We ended up doing a fairly technical single track trail for 10 miles (I say fairly technical mostly because I was struggling on 28mm slicks). I have loved any type of trail I can find on since.

  6. #56
    Master Bukkake Blaster
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    sooooooo i got my dads Trek Mountain track out of the shed one day, and just started doing wheelies up and down the street and from there i started riding more and more and going every where, paved trails, off road, and eventually i beat the bike to a pulp (i have a lot of off road experience, I've been riding motocross for 10 years) and i had to get a new one lol. so i got a 2014 Trek X cal 6. The rest is history. (but the bike breaks way too much, getting a downhill rig in the spring)

  7. #57
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    I quit surfing and started mountain biking. The number of waves out there is finite, but the number of surfers fighting for the keeps growing. So when mtb's came along, I gave it a try, and I got hooked.
    Plus, I never got the kind of cardio workout from surfing that I get from mtb riding

  8. #58
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    I was fat and started road riding. My friend had a mountain bike. He convinced me to buy one. I started riding a lot and he sold his a month later and bought a dirt bike.

  9. #59
    King of the Idiots
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    How did I discover mtbing? I looked under a rock, and there it was.
    aw crap, that hurts!!

  10. #60
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    College in Arizona. Bought a GT Bravado hardtail, with some sort of elastomer bumper yellow colored Rockshox fork, to mtn bike in the Phoenix area. Funny, I learned to ride on trails in Phoenix which, I'm told here, should not be ridden without at least 6 inches of FS travel. Well, that sure would have been nice.

  11. #61
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    Started riding in Jr. High with my friend and his dad. Started off the first year and a half riding a Huffy. Rode that thing real hard and one day on a fairly large jump i taco'd my front wheel on a fairly rough landing. A lot of blood shed that day! But good riddance to that bike and saved up money and bought myself a "brand new" 1997 Trek Y3. At that point that changed everything in my riding skills. It was awesome...

    Well that bike isn't so awesome. I still have it, and I still ride it. Trying to convince my wife on letting me buy a new bike!

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrmattjohnson View Post
    Started riding in Jr. High with my friend and his dad. Started off the first year and a half riding a Huffy. Rode that thing real hard and one day on a fairly large jump i taco'd my front wheel on a fairly rough landing. A lot of blood shed that day! But good riddance to that bike and saved up money and bought myself a "brand new" 1997 Trek Y3. At that point that changed everything in my riding skills. It was awesome...

    Well that bike isn't so awesome. I still have it, and I still ride it. Trying to convince my wife on letting me buy a new bike!
    Maybe you should bribe her into letting you buy a new bike. That bike is ancient, you deserve a "new" one.

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by CannondaleF9 View Post
    Maybe you should bribe her into letting you buy a new bike. That bike is ancient, you deserve a "new" one.
    the hard part is we have no money for me to bribe her with. I am still trying to convince her with the whole 0% 1yr financing. I am looking at a 2014 Giant Trance 3 (27.5) marked down to $1699

  14. #64
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    I live in northern Lebanon County. Schuylkill County borders mine to the north. That's where the coal regions start. Since coal died post WWII due to cheaper more efficient oil as an energy source, the mining was largely abandoned. Schuylkill County had at one time 1,000 miles of rail, mostly for mining operations, so that's how I got into it. My 700C x 23 tires of the early 1990s weren't up to running the abandoned railroads, so I bought a mountain bike.

    cheers,
    appalachian kamper

  15. #65
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    Great stories, everybody! And great thread, Blue! All the best to ya getting that bike club set up. That's a truly awesome notion.

    I got a Walmart Mongoose as a teenager. It was primarily for riding around the neighborhood, but I occasionally took it to the woods just to see what I could ride. I eventually discovered a trail system about a mile from the house. I got particularly motivated one day barreling down a fire road that came upon a creek with a 9" wide by 20+ ft long skinny bridge across it. I could've easily stopped since I had no experience with such things, but being a stupid teenager, I went for it. I made it! I was motivated to start looking for other challenges and took them all on even with a crappy bike.

    Well, it eventually got stolen and it was several years before my interest in bikes was renewed. I moved to Atlanta for school and got another cheap bike for commuting. That bike just got ragged out.

    Years later, again, I moved to Raleigh and borrowed my sister's hybrid to explore the greenway periodically. I'd always wind up taking it off road where it performed poorly and angered my sister for getting it muddy. So I got my own bike, this time a decent one, a 2014 Specialized Hardrock. That one I've been able to beat quite hard as I discover more trails and develop my skills without destroying it. Unfortunately, it broke me. My riding is put on hold for the year as I recover, but the passion has been infused into my blood at this point. I now know I love the sport enough to justify spending some real money and am hoping by the time I recover to have enough saved up for a Stumpjumper FSR, or some other 130mm-ish full suspension bike to push my skills and love of the sport to its next levels.
    Live like there's no tomorrow. But pay your bills just in case there is.

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by taco View Post
    How did I discover mtbing? I looked under a rock, and there it was.
    UNDER? Most of us prefer to go over them.
    Live like there's no tomorrow. But pay your bills just in case there is.

  17. #67
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    Some of us at the beginning (read 1970's) were cobbing together cruiser and bmx parts and pushing them farther and farther. "High end" back then was a schwinn frame from the 60's, Redline bars and Stem (with a shim) stuffed into a beach cruiser fork. We mostly used Ashtabula 1-piece cranks and would scavange hubs and ders from old schwinn Varsities or Contenentals to build on steel rims. My first bike had balloon tires without knobs (cause you couldn't find knobbys yet). You had to be resourceful back then because no one really build a mountain bike and we were years away from being able to buy one in the LBS. My first store bought All Terrain Bike (ATB) was a Nisiki, but the Cannondale that followed was much better (except for a weak rear caliper brake). No idea how I lived through that period, but I'm sure with modern bikes I'd have killed myself for sure.
    The most expensive bike in the world is still cheaper than the cheapest open heart surgery.

  18. #68
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    grew up riding road bikes in the 80s when mtb was a "new" sport in NJ. couldn't afford another bike so never considered it further. fast forward 20 years and I buy my first non suspension mtb, which wasn't a whole lot of fun in the rocks and roots (i own one of those 90s mtb with original tires). fast forward another 10 years, affordable front suspension. After that, I've been doing more trail riding than road for the past 5 years. granted i wish I started earlier, as a old man doing this sport you do fear breakage and loss of live more. compared to road bikes, technology has far more complimented mtbs to the point where I can't see riding a non suspension setup on the trails, but could take a 50 year old bike on the road

  19. #69
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    I'd always ridden bikes as a kid. I was at Colorado State in 1978, two guys from Marin, that I'd met skiing, loaned me their Junkers.
    I haven't missed more than a couple of hundred days since.

  20. #70
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    As far as I am concerned I have never not had a bike I have always had something to pedal...

    First bike was a blingy little dragster with banana seat, sissy bars, streamers... I was 3 when I got it, 3.5 when the training wheels came off and began terrorising the neighbourhood in a fashion not becoming of little girls (I could wheelie way better than the boys could - hahaha!!)

    Then came my first "big" bike - 26" metallic red steel ladies "MTB" (not really an MTB... more a commuter with chunky tyres) - I was 9 and it hung around till I was 22 and took me many places.

    Then I got a Raleigh M800 which mostly saw tarmac and a few gravel trails for a year... then bought a road bike and went full roady for about 10 years - please don't judge - it was fun!

    I went on a few XC rides with my partner over the years - on my sisters Kona fire mountain... pedals rusted on so I couldn't swap them out for SPD's - the trails I picked tp do were probably not the best ones for those inexperienced riding mountain bikes on steep loose terrain... The bike - it was heavy and I was defeated but enjoyed it a lot once I stopped feeling sorry for my self and my aching legs...

    So last year, I bought a Santa Cruz Juliana for my first foray into serious MTB... enjoyed it so much that 3 months later I decided I needed something with more travel and splurged on an ex-demo Yeti 575. Whilst they are both full squish, they are completely different beasts...

    No more road biking for me - after having several things thrown at me by vehicle passengers, a few smacks on the bum from bogan passengers in traffic, too many close calls with drivers that have massive bugs up their butts - Pulled apart the road bike and scavenged parts for my commuter which is a steel Cotic Roadrat.

    Now getting talked into and researching secondhand DH bikes so I can go riding with the local DH girls I think its going to be fun!!

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