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  1. #1
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    How did you discover Mountain Biking?

    how did you get into Mountain biking?

    I was on YouTube (like any normal teenage girl), watching Gaming videos. Soo I stumbled upon this guy's channel, Syndicate, and I watched some of his old COD videos. So, in the recommended thingy, I saw a video titled downhill commentary by syndicate. The audio was awful, but I really was surprised by this new thing called Downhill. I looked in the corner again and saw a video by Redbull... And the rest is history.

    i went through 2 bikes in a week, then finally got my dad to take me and my eighth grade graduation money to a bike shop. The guy tried to sell me a trek 3500 disc, but I just felt really awkward on it. Well, actually, the last time I rode before that week was when I was nine or ten, so I was not very comfortable on any bike. Anyway, I had about 550$ to spend, so I checked the rest of the bikes, not wanting to regret my purchase. I spotted a bike, the x cal 4, and asked to try it out. When I rode on it, I was an awkward, unsteady rider, and I crashed because I had no idea how to brake. I loved it, I had the dorkiest grin on my face after I stepped off the bike. I looked at my dad, and said that I wanted this one. I spent every last penny I had on my bike, but it was worth the feeling of giddiness and sadness I felt whenever I couldn't ride it.

    two months and 240 miles later, I can't get enough. I am no longer so awkward on my bike, and I have never had this much passion for any other thing (except history and art). I am a girl in a sport dominated by men, and I want to work together with them to show other girls that they can do it. I am actually very scared of some things that no one even thinks about, but my bike has given me the confidence to realize that, yes, you crash, yes, you get hurt, but if you really love something, none of that matters.

    i am currently working with my school to start a mountain biking club in hope to introduce people to this wonderful sport. I also hope to inspire other girls to give it a try, cause we can always use more people, especially women to help get the sport some more attention for funding of bike parks and single track. There is actually a great article on this stuff. I forgot where it was though..

    So that is my story.... Yep.

  2. #2
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    Go young lady. Glad you love to ride. Me, I always rode bikes - even before they called it mountain biking. Have fun, enjoy your ride, enjoy our tribe.
    I was gonna stop by and see you, but the Jehovas witnesses came by. When they left I started drinking. Voicemail from Paul

  3. #3
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    Impressive story. Good luck getting your school to start a mountain bike club.

    Me, I grew up in an area where most of the roads were not paved and we rode our bike on trails through the woods to get to other neighborhoods so, in reality, I've been mountain biking since I was about 8 years old.

  4. #4
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    Great read, thanks for sharing it. Good luck on getting the MTB club started at school.

    I started riding for fitness, I was a runner until back surgery stopped that and I piled on some pounds. I'm old in years and young at heart. I rode a big ole honking 3 speed first. I pushed that thing through the streets of my home town and on the local canal path for a year. Up graded the next year and got off road more.
    The technical stuff is beyond my need so I rid what and where I can most days of the week.

  5. #5
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    Friends took me to a Yeti demo in Denver. Once the trail rash healed on my forearm and knee I bought my own bike
    2 Hands Working Do More Than 1000 Hands Praying

  6. #6
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    Awesome story, good luck with your club! I wish they had had one at my school.

    As for me, I grew up racing motocross with my dad. When I moved out and couldn't afford to ride dirt bikes I put on a bunch of weight. I asked my mom for a MTB for Christmas and she got it for me. I rode for a few months and then gave up because my fitness was terrible and winter had come to Colorado.

    Then last year after losing over 50 pounds I noticed that a lot of my local hiking trails had tire tracks on them and looked like they would be a lot of fun to ride. So I put my Scott Speedster road bike up on Craigslist for trade. I only got one offer, a 2009 Motobecane Fantom DS Elite in my size and like new. I made the trade an hour later. After that first ride I have been absolutely hooked. I've lost another 20 pounds thanks to riding and I even started racing. Mountain biking changed my life.

  7. #7
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    I grew up in the suburbs in Southern California. Bikes were the best way to get around as a kid so all the neighborhood kids would cruise around together, to the comic shop, McD's, whatever... Back then the 'burbs were surrounded by undeveloped land (it's all cookie-cutter houses now ) and of course curious kids would venture out there. It all progressed naturally from there. I've always loved bikes. Although I would take a break here and there, and at some point I lived in the most topographically challenged city in the country, there was always a place in my heart for riding around in the hills. I miss packing a lunch and bringing a mini boombox along with a few friends for a day in the chaparral. Though yesterday I got my wife and a few friends to go out and ride with me for some thai food and ice cream. Riding around town made me feel like a kid again

  8. #8
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    An exboyfriend of mine was a wannabe roadie and wanted me to start riding so we'd have something to do together and something for me to do to build fitness and lose weight. I wasn't into the road thing so I suggested mountain bikes. I hadn't touched a bicycle in half my life, let alone ridden one... bought a 29er hard tail... started racing a month later on my own accord... two years later and luckily he's out of my life (and doesn't ride anymore, LOL!), and I'm racing XC at the cat 1/expert level, definitely road ride/race now, and love everything involving bikes! Just something I started with and ran with it... definitely not the typical "girl gets a bike because the boy said to" story


    Original poster: good luck with your HS team! My hometown's HS MTB team is majority female with a female coach, so you may be surprised with how many girls would be interested!

  9. #9
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    I had some friends that rode their bikes with some other friends out on the local paved trails. I said I wanted to come along, and so I did. When I was following them I realized that the trails they went to was a 2 minute ride to my house! I started going on my own cuz I had gained a little weight cuz I was a videogame nerd. Soon enough, I started riding some actual trails and fell in love with the sport. My first bike was a 1995 Rockhopper and it was a terrible bike lol. I crashed so many times and got so many cuts but I pressed on until I got the 2013 Cannondale Trail 5 which was a lovely bike to ride.
    I started to ride everyday and explore some of the trails and I've found so many trails so close to my house. I've never had to drive to trails so that probably fueled my love of riding.
    The friends that I first started riding with don't even ride anymore lol.

  10. #10
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    Started using it as cross training & excersice for the moto & soon became addicted but still great cross training.

  11. #11
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    I always thought that mountain biking was cool and eventually I started watching some videos on youtube and hit up my local hiking trails (no biking) and I really started enjoying it. A little less than a year ago my friend got pretty involved and picked up a Santa Cruz Tallboy. We hit a couple of pretty tough trails and I loved it.

    My bike was a broken Genesis V2100 so I used his 1990's Mongoose Hilltopper for a couple of races last season. It was only Cat 3 and I was mid pack but I loved it and bought an Airborne Guardian 2.0. Now I'm starting to upgrade and will definitely be doing more races and maybe hit Whistler before I graduate. Keep an eye open for the Goon Squad.

    Last season's bike

    Next season's bike

  12. #12
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    I like your story a lot. You keep on riding, I know I will.

    Yeah, I hope a lot of girls join.

  13. #13
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    Nice bike! I am currently broke, but I am hoping to upgrade to a Santa Cruz Bronson next season.

  14. #14
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    Love the story )) The best to you young lady ! About 2 n a half yrs. ago I got news that I had heart issues ! I have Losed 200 pounds since then ! )) So I started to ride a road bike 29 for about 3 months . Then I traded that for a Mongoose . So I was hooked ever since then I been on The Search for a rugged / not expensive / light M. Bike ! I love the sport )) I do 70 percent on road 30 present trails . I will get my first Kona In less than 2 weeks ! So happy / excited ! ! !

  15. #15
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    I got into Mountain Biking back in 2000 when I was stationed in Bogota, Colombia. Another Marine transfered from Cuba to my Detachment and he brought along his GT Avalanche 1.0. I ended up buying a Giant ATX. Had it for about a year before I upgraded to a Giant NRS Air. Loved that bike but had to sell it when I came back to the states (2003). Here we are now in 2014 and I'm back into the sport with my Jamis Dakar. Can't spend the money like I did before but I'm pretty much happy with what I have.

  16. #16
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    I found this forum because everytime I did a 'seach' about components I would end up here. I tried riding my 3 speed Columbia in the woods when I was a kid and it wasn't really possible, so I never tried it again. The part of the paved bikepath that I like the best goes through Stratton Brook State Park on a stone dust trail with a large brook following on the side. You guys have definitly tweeked my interest. Maybe next time someone starts a topic like this I will have a different answer! (I read about mountain biking on this web site so I bought a .....)

  17. #17
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    Very sweet ride ))

  18. #18
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    I rode dept store mountain bikes on the street for years as it was my only transportation....around 1993 I picked up a bright yellow diamondback outlook from my LBS.... 6 months later I traded it back in and picked up a cannondale M400 that had been stolen from the shop and recovered, was sold at a reduced price because it had a 6 inch long scratch on the down tube.....brought it home and picked up some automotive touch up paint to use on the scratch......fast forward to 1996, I had bought a raleigh M-80 and put a rock shox Q21R fork on it....met a co-worker that rode too...... we did lots of riding on rails to trails paths and also rode all over powell butte.... from then I was hooked.......I got back into it a few years ago after a 10 year break due to lack of time to ride....working on losing some weight......first I got a genesis v2100... was too heavy and didnt like the bob of the suspension.... I was down for 1 1/2 years because I almost died from a seizure( I have epilepsy) a few months ago I picked up a 1997 specialized rockhopper at a garage sale for $5 in bad shape... stripped it down to the frame, fork,bottom bracket and cranks, stem and handlebars....used the V2100 to get the bike together and sold the V2100 frame.....gonna upgrade slowly once I get money coming in again....I also pick up cheap bikes at garage sales and fix them up for a little money in my pocket..... today I cleaned out my boneyard and dropped it off at a guy that scraps cars..... nice to see someone your age out riding a bike instead of gaming.....good luck in getting the club started.... wish they had something like that when I was in school
    97 specialized rockhopper.- winter beater
    2013 GT aggressor 3.0- summer commuter

  19. #19
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    After graduating University // breaking up w/ a long-term BF (it was an eventful spring), I moved in w/ my best friend...

    For the next month, I sat at home bored out of my mind, staring at this sexy beast of his:
    How did you discover Mountain Biking?-image2.jpg



    I now have a little 4500 and my local MTB club is never going to get rid of me. ;]



    Note: I will forever be obsessed w/ that paint job.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Rider Specs: new grand master of the "tactical dismount and barrel roll" combo

  20. #20
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    1979, 6th grade. I was a paperboy with a Mongoose and Motomags. My buddy's mom was dating a guy named John that had stingray style beach cruisers with motorcycle brake levers and drum brakes. He took me up China camp from 7-11 hiking trail out in Skabow (that's what we called Santa Venetia). We rode and pushed bikes past those little caves, up to little log cabin thingy that had walls 3 feet tall and no roof. He smoked a joint, I ate a Chunky, the one with raisins. Pushed up to fire road, started to bomb it and he was laughing his ass off as I kind of crushed him on an adult sized bike. I'm lucky to be alive. No gloves, no helmet, not really accustomed to fire road speeds as we were BMX kids. I think about that guy almost every week for 37 years. Never saw him after 7th grade in 1980. I hope he sees this, he's probably in his 70's.

  21. #21
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    OP make sure you check out the NICA/High School form along with the woman's forum here.

  22. #22
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    Awesome testamonial Bluelightning! Your passion for mtb shines through and I hope you continue to grow and discover aspects of the sport.

    I discovered mtb in my late 40's. I met a guy who took me mtb on our first date. I was an avid road cyclist and I had no clue what to expect. Initially it was fun rolling dirt trails. Then on my first descent, I went over the handlebars, crashed hard. I dusted myself off and kept riding (masking my pain "with a goofy grin"). I remember how much I loved being in the forest. I loved the landscape (river, rocks) and seeing the plants and spotting animals. The air was definitly fresher in the forest than on pavement or in the city traffic. Oh and I really enjoyed my date's company. The next day I discovered a bruise the size of my hand on my hip and I was determined to learn to ride and keep up with my new boyfriend. It was a steep learning curve

    Many trails and bikes later including bruises and broken bones , its been 6 years for me since that first day. Today I am riding DH at an advanced level, I ride trails year round (including snow and ice) and I am building up a hardtail bike to practice freeriding and dirt jumping.

    Oh and I married the man who led me to discover mountain biking (singlesprocket on this forum). Together we ride, build trails and advocate to build more trails in the community

    OP I hope your passion leads you to discover many new paths and to meet new people along the way.
    F*ck Cancer

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  23. #23
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    I got started at age 45. That was in March of 2000. I needed to do some exercise and mountain biking seemed like a good way to do it. Plus I hate gyms. I had an old road bike but it just seemed like riding in the streets to be too dangerous. Too many cars. I really hadn't know much about mountain bikes and started shopping at the department stores. After a few of them I realized I should go to a proper bike shop. I found bike shopping to be a lot like car shopping. The bikes at the bike shops way exceeded the department store bikes. Plus I must have found mtbr.com as I was doing research too. Plus I also have this article in a trade magazine I got at work. It was this issue of Machine Design that had a Cannondale Raven with a Lefty on the front cover. At the time I got the magazine I hadn't even been considering cycling of any kind but I hung on to the issue because I thought it was a pretty cool article about bike tech. (I still have the issue). So when I was doing my bike shopping I got to see them in the shop. But I didn't want to spend that much money so I settled on an alum. framed bike. The SuperV700SX which I still ride. (It's a low mileage bike, that's another story). But I have been riding it more than I ever rode it before since this last spring. Here's a picture of it:

  24. #24
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    I was into bikes off and on in my life. to me they were just a mode of transportation, we never did anything crazy on them. In HS I was heavy into skateboarding and I had some BMX friends but that wasn't my thing. Then in college I started riding this crappy Schwinn department store mountain bike that didn't fit me around town. Around this time my moms boyfriend at the time was introducing her to mountain biking. Then when I moved out on my own and lost a car for a bit I bought a vintage 1980 something Schwinn Le Tour off of my tweaker neighbor who used to pick up old bikes and scrap them. I started working on this bike, got curious in bike co-ops (only went to one once but liked the concept) and got into bike commuting and road riding. During this time my mom noticed I was getting into bikes and offered to take me mountain biking. I went on the aforementioned department store Schwinn and had a pretty terrible unmemorable time. For me, at the time, mountain biking did not stick. I continued on being into bikes for road riding purposes mostly and even got my mom in to road biking. About a year and half ago I was getting into trail running and decided I would try mountain biking again. Just one little though of "I'll try it" was all it took to accumulate into the obsession that it is now. In a year and a half that schwinn le tour lays untouched in the garage and I've since gone through 2 mountain bikes, built my own 29er single speed and am currently building a 1x10 hardtail. I even got my wife obsessed too and she totally smokes me on her Airborne Guardian. She's getting ready to attempt her first race in October as a Cat 3. It's been fun and I plan to never stop EVER. Can't wait to get my daughter out there to start riding with me. After I finish my bachelors I was thinking of becoming a teacher and if I do I thought it would be really neat to start some kind of mtb/bike club. Teaching maintenance, before or after rides, weekend trips, maybe get parents involved. That would be so awesome.

  25. #25
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    The passionate people on here will never get tired of telling their stories. The OP's was a good one!

    Riding in the dirt seemed automatic since I was 4 y.o. If I fell down, it didn't hurt. Our neighborhood was a brand new development so there were a lot of empty lots and dirt piles. A lot of times it was the shorter way to go from one place to another. Then the guy down the street bought a dirt bike. He would sorta shepherd all the neighborhood kids and we would all go on these trails and ride for hours and hours on our "BMX" bikes. That was 1979-1980. Then my older bro. bought a dual sport motorcycle and did the same thing. We had days and days of fun doing that. Now it has been years and years!
    I didn't actually get a MTB 'til college (1990) because I was still riding my old BMX bike with high bars and a layback seat post. It was a logical progression.
    ...and I had to borrow money from 3 people to get that first RockHopper Sport.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueLgihtening View Post
    Nice bike! I am currently broke, but I am hoping to upgrade to a Santa Cruz Bronson next season.
    I wish I could get a $3000 bike next year too.

    Anyway, my story is that two years ago I took my 2010 Cannondale F9 out on some trails and I loved it. I got that bike as a gift the year before, but I never rode it anywhere offroad. The next season (2013) I bought myself a Trek Cobia, and after that I really got into the sport. After upgrading almost everything on the bike, I now have a really good bike that I love to ride.
    I, too, am trying to start a bike club in my school. But there are so many things to do for the possibility of not having anyone join, so I'll just wait until a teacher does it first.

    As for your next bike, make sure it suits your riding style. Just because it is big bucks and looks awesome doesn't mean you'll like it or it suits your trails.

  27. #27
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    I always wanted to surf as a kid, never had the chance. Now I surf dirt.
    Gone are the days we stopped to decide,
    Where we should go,
    We just ride...

  28. #28
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    I've done some research on the bike, it seems to fit my style. But we'll see next Summer .

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueLgihtening View Post
    I've done some research on the bike, it seems to fit my style. But we'll see next Summer .
    Well, what kind of trails do you ride on?

  30. #30
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    I signed up for an Xterra Triathlon and had to learn in a hurry. I love it now.
    Last edited by Khiori; 08-26-2014 at 06:50 AM.

  31. #31
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    When I was in high school, I was an BMXer who was more into freestyle and dirt jumping than racing. When I wasn't on my Haro Freestyle bike or SE PK Ripper, I was on my Raleigh road bike cruising around the city. In the early 90s, a few of my friends started mountain biking so it just felt like a normal progression for me. I sold my Raleigh that I Super Campy-ed out and that was enough to get me into an entry level Marin Bobcat Trail from an LBS. Started off on easy rides through the parks and somehow, I ended up on Repack in Marin. I sold the Bobcat Trail and upgraded to a Marin Nail Trail and eventually to a GT Zaskar. The Zaskar was the first bike I bought with just the frame and pieced it together myself and I loved that bike. More than 20 years later and I'm still doing it.

  32. #32
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    Technical uphill and downhill & Single track.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueLgihtening View Post
    Technical uphill and downhill & Single track.
    So why not a Santa Cruz 5010? You still will have the same basic platform, but the 5010 will be a better climber, while still keeping most of the suspension travel.
    Santa Cruz 5010
    It's more of a "tech trail" bike than a full blown Enduro racer.

  34. #34
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    Thank you! It looks like a great bike. I am also now looking at the Bantam as well, as a more budget friendly bike. Although I might go with either the Chameleon (Santa Cruz), or Stache 7 (Trek).

  35. #35
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    Thanks to various adds on Skateboard magazines in the early 70's, but it took my until 83 to get my first bike (Living in Colombia at the time)

  36. #36
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    Longish story...

    I was an Army officer living in Colorado Springs in 1988. I was a hard core mogul skier and my wife (fiance at the time) was a marathon runner. Obviously, as an Army officer, I did a lot of running when I had to but I didn't run for "fun" like my wife. I also didn't run marathons like she did. However, she somehow convinced me that trail running in the mountains was good dryland training for bump skiing.

    So one early fall afternoon, we were slogging up a trail above Manitou Springs, right around tree line. Ahead of us, hidden by one of the many bends in the trail, I heard a noise. It wasn't an animal or a runner but whatever it was it was coming towards us...fast. We stopped and stepped off the trail, wondering what the hell is going on above us. A few seconds later, two guys on bike came ripping past us. They were hooting and hollering and having a GREAT time.

    My wife looked at me and asked "what was that??" I nodded..."those are mountain bikes. I read about them in Outside. Too cool!"

    A week later, we rented a pair of Specialized Rock Hoppers and rode some fire roads around the Broadmore hotel. A few weeks later, I bought a Rockhopper for me and a Hard Rock for her.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueLgihtening View Post
    Thank you! It looks like a great bike. I am also now looking at the Bantam as well, as a more budget friendly bike. Although I might go with either the Chameleon (Santa Cruz), or Stache 7 (Trek).
    Send me a Private Message and I can help find the right bike for you and your needs.

  38. #38
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    1993....

    Friend of mine wanted to check out some dirt roads around Tucson with a bike... We both bought mountain bikes and headed out to Chiva Falls near Tucson Arizona... that was it... At that time there were no trails built for bikes.. only hiking trails (which were mostly impassable) and jeep roads...

    my bike -- full rigid 1993 Trek 930.
    How did you discover Mountain Biking?-23lbcd0.jpg

  39. #39
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    sometime in the late 80s. after years of riding/racing bmx, i bought a diamondback apex. all the skills transferred so easily that it was fun instantly. Having the bmx mentality of "let's go dig" coupled with the all day capability of it was all it took. i played around with moto as well but it was always on friends' bikes as i could not afford to do so. mtb was perfect. go ride deep into the woods (where i couldn't get my 20 or a loud heavy moto to go) with shovels and tools and make fun shite happen(obviously well before the days of land access issues). i definitely enjoy the gravity side of mtb most as i've gotten older. hard to get rid of the bmxican in me, i guess.

    ... to my first trail dog Jo and my first "serious" bike a '90 Yeti FRO! may you both lay forever peaceful in the loam!

  40. #40
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    Had some hiking trails near my house when I was in middle school we use to ride our BMX bikes on to get to some rope swings, eventually my buddy and i upgraded from BMX to mountain bikes and started riding farther and farther. Then we started doing more riding on different trails. 15 years later i just bought my first "nice" mountain bike (over $1000). Got a 2015 Santa Cruz Bantam and I love it, riding just got that much more enjoyable.

  41. #41
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    I hate flying so I used biking as an excuse to drive to my TDY location versus flying. Got down there and actually rode some of the trails (had a walmart bike at the time because didn't know of any other kind of bike) and actually enjoyed the experience.
    I don't use Strava. Don't need an application to tell me I am slow because I already know.

  42. #42
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    This was what got me into it 1998 Mt. Dew Commercial:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqsAR83g584

  43. #43
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    I had a roommate named Gary Fisher, and we had old cruiser "town bikes." We took them out on trails, and it was a lot of fun. We started thinking about what kind of a bike would work better for doing that stuff, and before we knew it, bikes took over our lives. We rented a garage and started making custom off-road bikes for our friends. Then we started making bikes for anyone with money.

    Then everybody started making bikes like the ones we had been selling, and calling them "mountain bikes."

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    My wife looked at me and asked "what was that??" I nodded..."those are mountain bikes. I read about them in Outside. Too cool!"
    Hah! I wrote that article.

    Here it is.

  45. #45
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    I was in high school and for my Design and Technology major project I decided to make a road bike frame. One of the teachers there was into mtbing and convinced me I should make a mtb frame instead. So I fillet brazed a Columbus Thron tubeset together and have at it ever since, 1996.

  46. #46
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    I moved to Tahoe in the mid 90's to be a snowboard bum. I needed something to do in the summer and I rode BMX bikes as a kid so it was a natural fit. My first bike was a specialized rockhopper hardtail and I was on it more days than I was off it.

  47. #47
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    I rode a LOT or BMX when I was a kid and well into my teens. Fast forward 20 years. I had a soccer career ending ankle injury. I used soccer as a cross trainer for my true passion, hydrofoiling. I picked up a 2004 Stumpy for a couple hundred bucks. It felt awkward, heavy and slow compared to my old 20" bike. I rode it, it broke, I fixed it. It broke and on went the cycle. I was huffing and puffing up the most minor hills. But after a few months I started climbing to top of various hills without stopping. That was my goal back then. Can I climb this section without stopping? I picked up a cheap RigSS 29er. It was light and fast. Made me a stronger rider and brought back memories of the BMX days. Sold the stumpy and bought a beat down Rip9. Been rocking that bike ever since. It's not light but it's comfy and it keeps me spinning.

    Congrats on the passion. Passionate people are a special breed. Set some goals and keep the cranks turning!

  48. #48
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    Me and my cousins all picked it up at the same time when I was in high school. Age 16. Back then it was no suspension front or rear, hardtail, rigid fork, rim brakes, and top shifters. Technical trails were bone jarring but still tried to go as fast as we could.

  49. #49
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    I went to my lbs to buy a "good" bike to ride with my kids around town and paved trails. Decided to go off of one of those trails on an mtb trail and was hooked before I finished the loop. Started the upgrading within the first week and haven't looked back.
    Now I'm in the best shape I've been in since h.s. and lost 35#.

    Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalk

  50. #50
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    I started out riding trails and jumping on a Schwinn Stingray sporting a banana seat and rear slick. Caught the attention of one of the big kids who gave me my first BMX frame. Rode that DG until it cracked. I rode every chance I could. Started freestyling throughout junior and senior high. Would even practice tricks in the living room when it snowed. Roll the carpet back before doing bar endos.

    Moving on to MTB just seemed natural. Bought a Giant Sedona in the early 90's. A month later sold that and bought a used Cannondale m1000 with Manitou 1 from the bike shop owner. That bike has been through so much.

    Just bought a fatbike. I'm having as much fun as I ever did on any bike.

    Make sure you get up and out of the saddle often. Use your entire body. Ride challenging sections repeatedly until you learn to clean them with efficiency while maintaining momentum. Have fun!

  51. #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

  52. #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!

  53. #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.

  54. #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.

  55. #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.

  56. #56
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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)

  57. #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

  58. #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.

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

  60. #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.

  61. #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!

  62. #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.

  63. #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

  64. #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

  65. #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.

  66. #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.

  67. #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.

  68. #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

  69. #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.

  70. #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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