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  1. #1
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    How the hell did you get into mountain biking?

    Hi, guys (Sorry for cross posting. Posted in General Forum as well.)


    I am working on a school project and I need your help.

    I need to know what made you to realize mountain biking is so awesome and made you purchase your first MTB.

    What was your motive?
    Did you have any cycling background prior to that?

    I need to know!
    Any comment would help.

    Thanks in advance!

    C
    Last edited by THE DESIGNER; 06-28-2013 at 04:24 PM.

  2. #2
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    because i hated running

  3. #3
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    I suck at endurance sports - therefore road biking. Love the technical workings of bikes and how they mesh w/ athletes. For bodybuilding I needed something to burn fat.
    Finesse is everything.

  4. #4
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    Around 1985-86 I saw some kind of tv show about these new fangled things called mountain bikes. It looked like fun so I saved up my money and bought a shiny chrome Ross at Lechmere for about $300. I was a freshman in high school. We don't have any mountains, but it was fun to ride on trails and I rode it all over town.

    My previous cycling experience was standard kid riding around town stuff.

    I didn't ride it much in college, but then I saw a picture of Bob Weir mountain biking and it motivated me to get out and explore some more and actually do more trail riding. Then a buddy of mine started to really get into it and I traded a quarter oz of mushrooms for a Trek singletrack 970 frame (made in America chromoly, it's sweet, still have it). The rest is history.
    NEMBA Freetown VP

  5. #5
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    How the hell did you get into mountain biking?

    I moved to Colorado and needed something to do in the summer.
    Soulforce Cycling | Riding apparel from size Small to 5XL. Visit us at - http://www.soulforcecycling.com

  6. #6
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    I was a pretty decent distance runner in high school.. I tore the IT band on my hip and for rehab I was told to ride a bike. My parents house backs up to what was fort ord so I got a mountain bike.. I liked it a whole lot better than cross country running and track..

  7. #7
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    I'm a connoisseur of fine adrenaline.

  8. #8
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    saw one in a bike shop way back in the day (late 80's) while shopping for a road bike... said hey that would be fun... been hooked ever since...
    broadcasting from
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    build trail!

  9. #9
    CrgCrkRyder
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    Used to hike a lot and jog a lot. Knees and ankles started bothering me, quit jogging and got fat. Bought a mountain bike and never looked back.

  10. #10
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    I just decided one day that mountain biking would be a fun way to exercise. At the time, I had no friends that did it.

  11. #11
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    Bought a copy of MBR back in 1995; shortly after got a Trek 810, one of my friends at the time was into biking as well so it worked out well.

    I lost interest a few years after that, then recently started working in a bike shop, got a new bike and don't think I will be looking back any time soon

  12. #12
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    Re: How the hell did you get into mountain biking?

    New Mexico kept shutting down the USFS land due to fire danger. As in closing it for all of Spring and Summer. This included the rivers, go figure. I was a pretty hardcore boater with no where to play and got tired of staring at my boats in the garage. So I sold them and bought a decent bike. I could ride state, private, BLM, and the reservation during the closures. I was shortly hooked there after. But once the NF and river opened again, I just didn't have time to boat as I could get a great ride in the same amount of time it took just to get on the water.
    Should you do more trail work?

  13. #13
    squish, squish in da fish
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    In 96 I fell into a some cash from....we will say a business venture. I've always been into wake and snowboarding and wanted to try something new. Past by a LBS and ended up buying a barracuda. Rode it for several months then got in a nasty car crash. Been outta the loop until last summer and now have a '12 giant talon 1, '13 canfeild nimble 9, '12 trek cobia frame to be built for my daughter. I've got OCD so when I'm in I'm all in.

  14. #14
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    I've loved bikes since I was 5 years old and growing up in the country there really wasn't much else to do. BMX bikes were my transportation to freedom although they weren't that great for climbing hills of which they were many. Fast forward a few years and one day my brother showed up with a mountain bike. The brakes actually worked, those big tires would just roll right through the woods and the best part was there wasn't a hill around that couldn't be tamed. I've been hooked ever since. Sure there were a few years where I didn't have the time but it was never far from my thoughts and 25 years later it's as much fun now as it was then.

  15. #15
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    When I was a kid in the 60's in San Diego our house backed up to a canyon. We built a trail and raced around it with all the neighborhhod kids. There was also a steep area we dared each other to go down.

    Fast forward 20 years and I've been riding the roads for a while and I share a house in Santa Barbara with 3 mountain bikers. All the memories of kid play got me motivated to buy a mountain bike - a Trek 850 Antelope. So I spent my college years at UCSB exploring the trails in the area.

    Fast forward another 20 years and I live in Seattle and am hiking as much as I can and commuting to work on my road bike. Then, I hear about the Mountain Bike Alliance partnering with the local gov't to turn an unused open space into a dedicated mountain bike park and the park is going to be ONE MILE from my house. I went out shortly thereafter, bought a new bike, and started riding off road for the third time in my life. Lovin it as much as I ever did.

  16. #16
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    How I Got Hooked....

    I was a homeless, former meth addict who used crappy, disposable bikes to get around. I always admired "real" mountain bikes - but my then-current circle of "friends," would never allow ownership of one(they stole them all the time).

    In 2006, I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure(CHF) at age 42, after 22 years of non-stop tobacco, alcohol and being strung-out every day. As I lay in my hospital bed - I told myself, "If I even survive this (CHF)...I'm quitting EVERYTHING and taking-up Mountain Biking." Well, I survived and the first thing I did when I was released from rehab, was buy a new 2006 Trek 4900 Disc. Problem was, I could barely ride around the block twice, without gasping for air. I was out of shape, fat and had to hold my breath just to tie my own shoes! The road to recovery was a tough one. But, I held on tight and made tiny strides, every day. I rode the bike to my new job - after 15 years of being unemployed.

    Before I knew it - the 90 pounds of post-rehab weight gain was gone. It was time for a new bike. The 33-pound Trek hardtail was very instrumental in building my fitness up and got me to and from my "recovery job" of spinning Pizza every day. By then, I was riding almost level dirt paths and I was wanting something more up to the task of handling real-world trails. I befriended an XC racer who was hard-up for cash, and bought his 2005 Cannondale F2000SL race hardtail for $1300. The 18-pound Cannondale disc hardtail was really what got me "into" my bike. After being on a bike that was twice as heavy - the race HT was a welcome "reward" for my weight loss and newfound fitness. My first outing on the trail was a bloody mess; I crashed almost every quarter mile.....but I LOVED every minute of it. Obviously, the race bike I had was way too fast for my skillset. If it was not for this Cannondale - I would not become the hopeless weight weenie that I am today. Riding a light bike is almost like smoking crack.....once you try it - you'll settle for nothing less.

    One of my best friends owns a few bike shops - so I get to demo literally every brand of bike out on real trails, and not just a parking lot. Read my bike and component reviews. So, basically MTB replaced my destructive lifestyle, with a healthy one. For the first time in my life - I discovered I do have abs! Although I'll never race(my heart condition will not permit it) - I can always look and feel like one(my new "race" 29er below). I intend to ride MTB until I drop dead....

    Last edited by Cayenne_Pepa; 06-29-2013 at 10:06 AM.
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  17. #17
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    BMXd as a kid in the 70/80s. Started weight lifting at 16 years old and hated doing cardio and legs. By 20 years old i was well on the way to a jail build (huge upper body with stick legs) and knew i had to come up with a way to work my legs/lungs/heart that i enjoyed. Decided to get a bike. I had planned on just getting a cruiser size BMX, but my step brother sold me on getting a MTB. 22 years later i have to go to the gym to keep my upper body matching my legs.

  18. #18
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    Great story!
    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    I was a homeless, former meth addict who used crappy, disposable bikes to get around. I always admired "real" mountain bikes - but my then-current circle of "friends," would never allow ownership of one(they stole them all the time).

    In 2006, I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure(CHF) at age 42, after 22 years of non-stop tobacco, alcohol and being strung-out every day. As I lay in my hospital bed - I told myself, "If I even survive this (CHF)...I'm quitting EVERYTHING and taking-up Mountain Biking." Well, I survived and the first thing I did when I was released from rehab, was buy a new 2006 Trek 4900 Disc. Problem was, I could barely ride around the block twice, without gasping for air. I was out of shape, fat and had to hold my breath just to tie my own shoes! The road to recovery was a tough one. But, I held on tight and made tiny strides, every day. I rode the bike to my new job - after 15 years of being unemployed.

    Before I knew it - the 90 pounds of post-rehab weight gain was gone. It was time for a new bike. The 33-pound Trek hardtail was very instrumental in building my fitness up and got me to and from my "recovery job" of spinning Pizza every day. By then, I was riding almost level dirt paths and I was wanting something more up to the task of handling real-world trails. I befriended an XC racer who was hard-up for cash, and bought his 2005 Cannondale F2000SL race hardtail for $1300. The 18-pound Cannondale disc hardtail was really what got me "into" my bike. After being on a bike that was twice as heavy - the race HT was a welcome "reward" for my weight loss and newfound fitness. My first outing on the trail was a bloody mess; I crashed almost every quarter mile.....but I LOVED every minute of it. Obviously, the race bike I had was way too fast for my skillset. If it was not for this Cannondale - I would not become the hopeless weight weenie that I am today. Riding a light bike is almost like smoking crack.....once you try it - you'll settle for nothing less.

    One of my best friends owns a few bike shops - so I get to demo literally every brand of bike out on real trails, and not just a parking lot. Read my bike and component reviews. So, basically MTB replaced my destructive lifestyle, with a healthy one. For the first time in my life - I discovered I do have abs! Although I'll never race(my heart condition will not permit it) - I can always look and feel like one(my new "race" 29er below). I intend to ride MTB until I drop dead....


  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    I was a homeless, former meth addict who used crappy, disposable bikes to get around. I always admired "real" mountain bikes - but my then-current circle of "friends," would never allow ownership of one(they stole them all the time).

    In 2006, I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure(CHF) at age 42, after 22 years of non-stop tobacco, alcohol and being strung-out every day. As I lay in my hospital bed - I told myself, "If I even survive this (CHF)...I'm quitting EVERYTHING and taking-up Mountain Biking." Well, I survived and the first thing I did when I was released from rehab, was buy a new 2006 Trek 4900 Disc. Problem was, I could barely ride around the block twice, without gasping for air. I was out of shape, fat and had to hold my breath just to tie my own shoes! The road to recovery was a tough one. But, I held on tight and made tiny strides, every day. I rode the bike to my new job - after 15 years of being unemployed.

    Before I knew it - the 90 pounds of post-rehab weight gain was gone. It was time for a new bike. The 33-pound Trek hardtail was very instrumental in building my fitness up and got me to and from my "recovery job" of spinning Pizza every day. By then, I was riding almost level dirt paths and I was wanting something more up to the task of handling real-world trails. I befriended an XC racer who was hard-up for cash, and bought his 2005 Cannondale F2000SL race hardtail for $1300. The 18-pound Cannondale disc hardtail was really what got me "into" my bike. After being on a bike that was twice as heavy - the race HT was a welcome "reward" for my weight loss and newfound fitness. My first outing on the trail was a bloody mess; I crashed almost every quarter mile.....but I LOVED every minute of it. Obviously, the race bike I had was way too fast for my skillset. If it was not for this Cannondale - I would not become the hopeless weight weenie that I am today. Riding a light bike is almost like smoking crack.....once you try it - you'll settle for nothing less.

    One of my best friends owns a few bike shops - so I get to demo literally every brand of bike out on real trails, and not just a parking lot. Read my bike and component reviews. So, basically MTB replaced my destructive lifestyle, with a healthy one. For the first time in my life - I discovered I do have abs! Although I'll never race(my heart condition will not permit it) - I can always look and feel like one(my new "race" 29er below). I intend to ride MTB until I drop dead....

    Beautiful story! Great to hear such a powerful turn-around! Keep it up and keep ridin'!
    "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9

  20. #20
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    I bought my first mountain bike as a mean to get around campus at my college. Rode on a couple trails and was hooked. Now I have a road bike for my campus commute and ride trails at least 4-5 times a week. Getting out and riding a mountain bike on the trails is the best feeling I have ever felt. No better way just to get outside and forget about life for a while.

  21. #21
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    Prior experience with biking came as a kid on BMX bikes and later on an old free spirit road bike. I started mountain biking when one of my neighbors asked me to ride in he woods behind my house. At the time, I had a cheapie Nashbar AT1 MTB, The trails were mostly fire roads with areas that were cleared for future housing developments which were fun due to the hills and mud created by construction equipment.

    After two months of doing this every weekend, I was hooked. I ended up building a singlespeed hardtail mountain bike, bought a roof top bike rack and find myself driving up to an hour to hit good trails.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    I was a homeless, former meth addict who used crappy, disposable bikes to get around. I always admired "real" mountain bikes - but my then-current circle of "friends," would never allow ownership of one(they stole them all the time).

    In 2006, I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure(CHF) at age 42, after 22 years of non-stop tobacco, alcohol and being strung-out every day. As I lay in my hospital bed - I told myself, "If I even survive this (CHF)...I'm quitting EVERYTHING and taking-up Mountain Biking." Well, I survived and the first thing I did when I was released from rehab, was buy a new 2006 Trek 4900 Disc. Problem was, I could barely ride around the block twice, without gasping for air. I was out of shape, fat and had to hold my breath just to tie my own shoes! The road to recovery was a tough one. But, I held on tight and made tiny strides, every day. I rode the bike to my new job - after 15 years of being unemployed.

    Before I knew it - the 90 pounds of post-rehab weight gain was gone. It was time for a new bike. The 33-pound Trek hardtail was very instrumental in building my fitness up and got me to and from my "recovery job" of spinning Pizza every day. By then, I was riding almost level dirt paths and I was wanting something more up to the task of handling real-world trails. I befriended an XC racer who was hard-up for cash, and bought his 2005 Cannondale F2000SL race hardtail for $1300. The 18-pound Cannondale disc hardtail was really what got me "into" my bike. After being on a bike that was twice as heavy - the race HT was a welcome "reward" for my weight loss and newfound fitness. My first outing on the trail was a bloody mess; I crashed almost every quarter mile.....but I LOVED every minute of it. Obviously, the race bike I had was way too fast for my skillset. If it was not for this Cannondale - I would not become the hopeless weight weenie that I am today. Riding a light bike is almost like smoking crack.....once you try it - you'll settle for nothing less.

    One of my best friends owns a few bike shops - so I get to demo literally every brand of bike out on real trails, and not just a parking lot. Read my bike and component reviews. So, basically MTB replaced my destructive lifestyle, with a healthy one. For the first time in my life - I discovered I do have abs! Although I'll never race(my heart condition will not permit it) - I can always look and feel like one(my new "race" 29er below). I intend to ride MTB until I drop dead....


    Dude, that is awesome!

  23. #23
    Rogue Exterminator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    I was a homeless, former meth addict who used crappy, disposable bikes to get around. I always admired "real" mountain bikes - but my then-current circle of "friends," would never allow ownership of one(they stole them all the time).

    In 2006, I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure(CHF) at age 42, after 22 years of non-stop tobacco, alcohol and being strung-out every day. As I lay in my hospital bed - I told myself, "If I even survive this (CHF)...I'm quitting EVERYTHING and taking-up Mountain Biking." Well, I survived and the first thing I did when I was released from rehab, was buy a new 2006 Trek 4900 Disc. Problem was, I could barely ride around the block twice, without gasping for air. I was out of shape, fat and had to hold my breath just to tie my own shoes! The road to recovery was a tough one. But, I held on tight and made tiny strides, every day. I rode the bike to my new job - after 15 years of being unemployed.

    Before I knew it - the 90 pounds of post-rehab weight gain was gone. It was time for a new bike. The 33-pound Trek hardtail was very instrumental in building my fitness up and got me to and from my "recovery job" of spinning Pizza every day. By then, I was riding almost level dirt paths and I was wanting something more up to the task of handling real-world trails. I befriended an XC racer who was hard-up for cash, and bought his 2005 Cannondale F2000SL race hardtail for $1300. The 18-pound Cannondale disc hardtail was really what got me "into" my bike. After being on a bike that was twice as heavy - the race HT was a welcome "reward" for my weight loss and newfound fitness. My first outing on the trail was a bloody mess; I crashed almost every quarter mile.....but I LOVED every minute of it. Obviously, the race bike I had was way too fast for my skillset. If it was not for this Cannondale - I would not become the hopeless weight weenie that I am today. Riding a light bike is almost like smoking crack.....once you try it - you'll settle for nothing less.

    One of my best friends owns a few bike shops - so I get to demo literally every brand of bike out on real trails, and not just a parking lot. Read my bike and component reviews. So, basically MTB replaced my destructive lifestyle, with a healthy one. For the first time in my life - I discovered I do have abs! Although I'll never race(my heart condition will not permit it) - I can always look and feel like one(my new "race" 29er below). I intend to ride MTB until I drop dead....

    I just wanted to quote the story one more time because it is so cool.

    Seriously though congrats on your success.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  24. #24
    High Desert MTBer
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    From as early as I can remember, getting away somewhere on a bike was an adventure that thrilled me. 'Adventuring' was, and always has been, a great escape for me, and a great way to find calm. Every time I go out on my MTB now it is an adventure in some way, larger or smaller, but still an adventure.
    Put alongside the thrill and the challenge of exploring new trails, conquering trail sections, and constantly striving to improve, sometimes successfully, sometimes not, this pastime will always inspire me.
    Reading the meth guy's story is an inspiration too, I know that MTBing can pull people out of adversity because it has happened with me also. Not to that extent, but I know only too well how therapeutic it can be to get out on the trails. When life is tough, a good bike ride is a step in a healing direction.
    It's all Here. Now.

  25. #25
    9 lives
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockerc View Post
    Reading the meth guy's story is an inspiration too, I know that MTBing can pull people out of adversity because it has happened with me also. Not to that extent, but I know only too well how therapeutic it can be to get out on the trails. When life is tough, a good bike ride is a step in a healing direction.
    Can't agree with you more, rockerc!

    I was strictly a road cyclist until 2007 when I met a guy who introduced me to mtnb and then dh in 2009. It was a steep learning curve for this 40ish yr old female who only rode pavement. After 6 years, several bikes, broken bones, difficult cancer treatments, mishaps and adventures later, I married that Singlesprocket guy. We are still solidly together building trails, and shredding the gnar.

    We look forward to further adventures to Mont Ste Anne to the Okanagan and beyond!
    F*ck Cancer

    Eat your veggies

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockerc View Post
    From as early as I can remember, getting away somewhere on a bike was an adventure that thrilled me. 'Adventuring' was, and always has been, a great escape for me, and a great way to find calm. Every time I go out on my MTB now it is an adventure in some way, larger or smaller, but still an adventure.
    Put alongside the thrill and the challenge of exploring new trails, conquering trail sections, and constantly striving to improve, sometimes successfully, sometimes not, this pastime will always inspire me.
    Reading the meth guy's story is an inspiration too, I know that MTBing can pull people out of adversity because it has happened with me also. Not to that extent, but I know only too well how therapeutic it can be to get out on the trails. When life is tough, a good bike ride is a step in a healing direction.
    ^ this
    From my early bmx days to today riding has always been a grounding energizing escape. For me it teaches confidence, determination as a path to success and of course the adrenaline endorphin piece as a bonus.

    Sent from my skz_tenderloin using Tapatalk HD

  27. #27
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    Back in the 70's, I used to spend hours and hours riding the walking trails in some timber by our house w/ my next door buddy. I don't remember the bike, but it was one my folks bought for me @ Western Auto. We preferred the woods to riding on streets any day. We then advanced to hauling camping gear with us in backpacks and spending the night. These are still 2 of my greatest passions: Mt. Biking and Camping! P.S. Age wise I am sneaking up on "fiddy" this year!

  28. #28
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    I had hiked this trail a week before and it was an overnight with a significant push to finish before dark the second day. I rented a bike and did the same trail combination in a little over five hours. Hooked! In the 25 years since I've seen more backcountry places than I ever could have on foot in a lifetime.

  29. #29
    CrgCrkRyder
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    I was a homeless, former meth addict who used crappy, disposable bikes to get around. I always admired "real" mountain bikes - but my then-current circle of "friends," would never allow ownership of one(they stole them all the time).

    In 2006, I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure(CHF) at age 42, after 22 years of non-stop tobacco, alcohol and being strung-out every day. As I lay in my hospital bed - I told myself, "If I even survive this (CHF)...I'm quitting EVERYTHING and taking-up Mountain Biking." Well, I survived and the first thing I did when I was released from rehab, was buy a new 2006 Trek 4900 Disc. Problem was, I could barely ride around the block twice, without gasping for air. I was out of shape, fat and had to hold my breath just to tie my own shoes! The road to recovery was a tough one. But, I held on tight and made tiny strides, every day. I rode the bike to my new job - after 15 years of being unemployed.

    Before I knew it - the 90 pounds of post-rehab weight gain was gone. It was time for a new bike. The 33-pound Trek hardtail was very instrumental in building my fitness up and got me to and from my "recovery job" of spinning Pizza every day. By then, I was riding almost level dirt paths and I was wanting something more up to the task of handling real-world trails. I befriended an XC racer who was hard-up for cash, and bought his 2005 Cannondale F2000SL race hardtail for $1300. The 18-pound Cannondale disc hardtail was really what got me "into" my bike. After being on a bike that was twice as heavy - the race HT was a welcome "reward" for my weight loss and newfound fitness. My first outing on the trail was a bloody mess; I crashed almost every quarter mile.....but I LOVED every minute of it. Obviously, the race bike I had was way too fast for my skillset. If it was not for this Cannondale - I would not become the hopeless weight weenie that I am today. Riding a light bike is almost like smoking crack.....once you try it - you'll settle for nothing less.

    One of my best friends owns a few bike shops - so I get to demo literally every brand of bike out on real trails, and not just a parking lot. Read my bike and component reviews. So, basically MTB replaced my destructive lifestyle, with a healthy one. For the first time in my life - I discovered I do have abs! Although I'll never race(my heart condition will not permit it) - I can always look and feel like one(my new "race" 29er below). I intend to ride MTB until I drop dead....

    Weight Weenie story of the year. An inspirational lifestyle turnaround - congratulations.

  30. #30
    The White Jeff W
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    I was an ice hockey junkie and was looking for a way to keep my cardio up over the summer. I hated running so I dragged my old Walmart bike out of the shed, cleaned it up & started riding around the neighborhood.

    At first I had to make myself go, especially on hot days. Then as my rides started getting longer I really started to enjoy them and look forward to them. It was very therapeutic, and I always felt great after a ride.

    One weekend I set out to do about a 20 mile rails to trails ride and on the way back I could feel my old bike coming apart under me. Time for an upgrade.

    I lived close to the C&O canal, a 185 mile dirt 'road' that follows the Potomac River from Washington DC to Cumberland MD, and figured it would be a great place for my training rides.Off to the local Trek/Gary Fisher store and $700 later I had my first mtb, a GF Marlin with a Rockshox Dart suspension fork & mech disc brakes.

    When I picked it up the salesman suggested that I take it to Greenbrier and drag the brakes down 'Big Red' to bed them in. I had no idea that there were mtb trails in the area so I got on the computer and started searching to see what else was around. Holy crap, there were tons of parks with single track open to bikes! That sounded way more fun than flat dirt roads.

    That Sunday I set off for Greenbrier to do some exploring. Turns out there was a race that weekend so I bailed out of there & went a little further down the road to Gambrill in Frederick MD. I rode the yellow blazed trail solo, a pretty technical & difficult 7 mile loop with lots of rocks. I fell, I crashed, I was beaten, battered & bloody but I had the time of my life! I was hooked. Soon I was ditching hockey to go riding.

    I moved away from that area a few years ago but last spring went back & rode that race at Greenbrier. I didnt finish very well but I finished and, as always, had a blast
    No moss...

  31. #31
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    Back in the '70s my roommate and I had fancy road bikes, but they weren't practical for errands, so we built up a couple of one-speed "klunkers" to use as town bikes. One day we took them on a trail and had a lot of fun. So we put together a couple for our friends and a bunch of us started klunking the trails. Then my buddy saw some guys who had put derailleurs on old Schwinns, so he put one on his. It was such an improvement that it inspired others to upgrade the bikes.

    Then one of us had the bright idea that we should have a downhill race on a steep dirt road. We figured out a timing system and had a race. Then a bunch of other guys heard about our race and wanted in, so I started putting on the races regularly.

    Problem was that I kept on shattering the old bikes I had modified, so eventually I asked a friend who could build bike frames to make me one for riding in the dirt. Some other people got in on the order, and eventually he made ten bikes. But my old roommate didn't get one of them, so he asked another guy to build him a frame. This frame builder decided to make a lot of this type of frame, but he found he couldn't sell them, so he called my buddy and asked if he would help. My buddy enlisted me in the effort, and we rented a garage to assemble bikes in. We decided to call our company "MountainBikes," but the guy we paid to trademark our name screwed up the application, so we didn't own the trademark on our name.

    After that a bunch of big manufacturers copied our design and made millions of bikes like the ones my buddy and I were building in the garage, and they called them all "mountain bikes." Riding off-road became very popular and a lot of people took it up.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by THE DESIGNER View Post
    I need to know what made you to realize mountain biking is so awesome and made you purchase your first MTB.
    Remembering how much fun it was to tear the woods up on a spyder bike.
    Chasing bears through the woods drunk with a dull hatchet is strongly not advised

  33. #33
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    Re: How the hell did you get into mountain biking?

    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider View Post
    Back in the '70s my roommate and I had fancy road bikes, but they weren't practical for errands, so we built up a couple of one-speed "klunkers" to use as town bikes. One day we took them on a trail and had a lot of fun. So we put together a couple for our friends and a bunch of us started klunking the trails. Then my buddy saw some guys who had put derailleurs on old Schwinns, so he put one on his. It was such an improvement that it inspired others to upgrade the bikes.

    Then one of us had the bright idea that we should have a downhill race on a steep dirt road. We figured out a timing system and had a race. Then a bunch of other guys heard about our race and wanted in, so I started putting on the races regularly.

    Problem was that I kept on shattering the old bikes I had modified, so eventually I asked a friend who could build bike frames to make me one for riding in the dirt. Some other people got in on the order, and eventually he made ten bikes. But my old roommate didn't get one of them, so he asked another guy to build him a frame. This frame builder decided to make a lot of this type of frame, but he found he couldn't sell them, so he called my buddy and asked if he would help. My buddy enlisted me in the effort, and we rented a garage to assemble bikes in. We decided to call our company "MountainBikes," but the guy we paid to trademark our name screwed up the application, so we didn't own the trademark on our name.

    After that a bunch of big manufacturers copied our design and made millions of bikes like the ones my buddy and I were building in the garage, and they called them all "mountain bikes." Riding off-road became very popular and a lot of people took it up.
    Awesome to have someone that was there at ground zero when MTB started, always think "that's Repack Rider " when I watch Klunkers"

    Sent from my ADR6300 using Tapatalk 2
    Just circles turning circles....

  34. #34
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    I remember my first mtn bike, a small wheeled specialized hard rock. I must have been 8 years old or so. Then came the next one with a rockshox indy xc suspension for and v brakes!! I took some time off riding from 16-24.

    Here's how I got back into it and what addicted me to the sport of dh. I went back to college and bought my first full suspension Scott nitrous 10. Rode it all summer, then ended up joining the school race team that fall.

    The first race had a decent size drop (this one below)



    I remember standing on top of it thinking, "No way I'm hitting that!!" It was one of the most intimidating things I'd ever encountered on a mountain bike. I stood back as some riders came up. I noticed they each took two pedal strokes into it, and it looked easy.

    Something in my mind shifted, maybe my competitive side coming out. I'd never "dropped" a cliff on a bike before, but if they could do it, so could I!!

    I pushed my bike up the hill to the spot where the other riders had started. Deep breath. Focus. Took my 2 pedals into it. Flew!! Then stomped the landing. It was one of the greatest feelings I had ever felt. I was addicted, and have been ever since.

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    I started out surfing as a lad 50 years ago. Back then, there was very little in the way of "localism" at the various surf breaks, with the exceptions of famous spots like Windansea. Surfing became my passion, bodysurfing at Boomers and Marine Street, Bellyboarding and kneeboarding at various beach breaks, and long boarding at Sunset Cliffs.

    I surfed to get back "in tune' with Nature and Mother Ocean, if you will, NOT to interact with other primates. My profession at the time was for the most part a martial arts instructor and security specialist/consultant. As the surf breaks got more crowded, (due to, IMO, the development of wet suits and board leashes, which enabled weaker swimmers and those too sensitive to the cold CA ocean temps to surf) altercations between surfers increased. Localism, etc. reared its' ugly little head. I was more than capable of fracturing it's little skull, too, and with little effort, but that was NOT why I was out there in the first place. So I found myself in an increasingly deep quandry: I would NOT tolerate disrespect to myself or my friends, but I did NOT want to be responsible for an entire spree of life-threatening injuries, which was exactly what was happening.

    I was more than happy to wait for my "turn" on a set wave, but that interval was getting longer and longer....the number of waves was basically the same, but the crowd at my surf breaks went from 8-10 to 25-50 on a good day. I wasn't getting much exercise . Surfing was becoming less and less of a physical challenge to me.

    Enter, about 1989, mountain bikes. I tried a ride on some local, shaded, flowy single track, and I was amazed at the dirt-similaries to ocean waves. Plus, I got good cardio while I did it, and I could ride for miles and miles back then with no human company intervening.

    I've been at it ever since. I guess I'm a Lifer.

  36. #36
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    I've been a athlete my whole life. Grew up playing soccer, baseball and football. Being inactive is something that does not sit well with me. As I got older I stuck with football and ended up playing in college. Now that I am much older I find mountain biking gives me that absolute exhaustion and adrenaline rush that I got when playing football. It also does wonders for the mind.

    BMX and freestyle was also a part of my life growing up. I probably watched RAD one too many times and we used to build race tracks out in the desert (I actually bought a P.K. Big Ripper not too long ago). I remember nerding out on bikes then, neon green over electric blue. What ACS rotor to get and what pedals had the best grip for my vans.

    Not much has changed.

  37. #37
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    Had a buddy store a bike in my garage in 1990 (Novarro <REI Brend>).

    Took a ride. As they say , the rest is history.

  38. #38
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    I was riding a Schwinn beach cruiser offroad in '82 at the age of 12, then singlespeeded a Schwinn Varsity with paperboy bars, Snakebelly tires, Oakly 3 grips and a two finger brake lever. Two years later my parents bought mountainbikes for their anniversary. A Schwinn Sierra and a GT Tequesta, both of which I rode into the ground. In '85 I found a near new '85 Schwinn High Sierra at a police auction for $40 and haven't looked back since.
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  39. #39
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    Moved to Claremont CA because my wife was going to school in the area. Played a bunch of golf next to a mountain bike trail (Sierra La Verne Golf Club). Everytime I saw the mountain bikers I would get jealous of the cardio workout they were getting and the fun they were having. Eventually stopped golfing and got a $250 bike on craigslist and started doing local rides in the trails nearby.

    Then I took a 1 year respite when I moved to Pasadena. Discovered that there were some local trails (Brown Mountain) which were a lot more technical (El Prieto). My $250 craigslist bike didn't stand a chance and after a few bails and falls my derailleur snapped. Ended up walking my bike down the mountain and concentrate on marathon training and trailrunning.. A few months later, I decided with a buddy to get new bikes. I sprung for a $1800 specialized camber. My buddy likes to shuttle but I like the the challenge and suffering of uphills and climbs. Mountain biking is my primary form of exercise now and I love it!

  40. #40
    Hi There!
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    I've been trying to remember how i got into mountain biking since i saw this thread...and i just can't. i remember buying my first bike, a gt outpost sometime in the early '90's but for the life of me i can't even remember what prompted it.
    NTFTC

  41. #41
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    Because running is boring (and it wrecks my knees worse than biking). I find as I have gotten older (that statement is cringeworthy on its own) that I need more adrenaline rushes to make me feel alive. While pain is not something I have any desire to inflict upon myself, it makes you concentrate awfully hard on what you are doing...all that and I can afford a decent bike now...;-)

  42. #42
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    You guys are totally right - Golf is way too slow and boring; Running is monotonous and not fast enough; Gym is crowded and stinky of everyone's body odor......but only MTB can bring you one with nature, cool wind in your face and the best fat-burning cardio workout that will NEVER feel like a "workout." No two rides are ever the same!

    Keep 'em coming, guys....
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  43. #43
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    I was always on a bike as a kid. When I was in second or third grade, my father bought my brother and I Honda trailbikes... a 50cc and a 70cc. We went to Maine and rode them on some trails and I absolutely loved that.
    Living on Long Island, there was no place to ride the Hondas. I was always jonesin' for bikes in woods. Shortly pre mountain bike, I bought a Fuji 12 speed road bike (1981 or so) and rode that thing everywhere. I was enjoying biking but wasn't fully sold on the road.
    I was always trying to cobble bikes combining BMX stuff and the biggest tires I could manage to fit into a road frame. One day, while in the bike shop, I noticed a poster on the wall of a guy on a Ross riding across rocks in a river. I thought that's exactly what I'm looking for. A while later, in the same shop, I purchased a rigid Schwinn chromo High Plains. Found some Long Island singletrack and immediately fell in love with trail riding.
    I can count the times on one hand I've rolled a tire on asphalt in 25 years since.
    I like turtles

  44. #44
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    Like others here I rode around on a BMX bike all the time in the Eighties. We would build little dirt jumps and trails everywhere. By the time I was a teen mountain biking started catching on and I ended up with one for my birthday and have been riding ever since.

  45. #45
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    Running in high school-->knees became unhappy-->road bike to do something else-->1991 DiamondBack Ascent EX graduation present-->WTF? I can't ride this thing on the road-->later, hippy MTB type sees me riding to class-->dude, bro, you got a MTB? wanna ride?-->my roady butt gets destroyed (but completely hooked) on some local trails-->no road bike for many years-->now have one road bike, four MTBs, and once in a great while still enjoy running.
    Florence Nightingale's Stormtrooper

  46. #46
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    Figured if I ever had to travel through miles and miles of single track faster than the general population, I could do so on a mountain bike

  47. #47
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    As a kid I rode my BMX bike in the woods because I did not enjoy being constantly buzzed by cars. As I got older I started going further into the backcountry which gave me the ability to see views/ rock formations etc. that many people will never see. Then for some crazy reason chasing girls became priority one. In 1988 I bought a Specialized Stumpjumper after a few years of not riding. Till that point nothing else had given me that happy to be alive/ care free/ everything is cool feeling that most of us seem to lose as we enter adulthood. I've felt this way since ride one. Riding also satiates the innate need that I have for daily "adventure", luckily I live in an area with tons of trails. No other sport gets you deep into the backcountry faster with minimal impact.

  48. #48
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    Moved to Utah to ski, needed something to do in the summer. I had grown up riding bikes everywhere (like most kids), playing around on my grandpa's original Diamondback RidgeRunner, and riding dirt bikes a lot, so it was a pretty natural thing to do, I suppose.

    All of my siblings ride, and my parents are getting into it as well, so it has developed into our family pasttime, if you will -- most of our family gatherings are planned around where we can ride.
    '11 Specialized Enduro Expert for the trails
    '13 Felt Z4 for the road

  49. #49
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    After talking to your "buddy" about this recently it's a pleasure to read what you just wrote. Thank you (both) for being the goofballs that you were then so I could be here today making a living selling and working on mt bikes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider View Post
    Back in the '70s my roommate and I had fancy road bikes, but they weren't practical for errands, so we built up a couple of one-speed "klunkers" to use as town bikes. One day we took them on a trail and had a lot of fun. So we put together a couple for our friends and a bunch of us started klunking the trails. Then my buddy saw some guys who had put derailleurs on old Schwinns, so he put one on his. It was such an improvement that it inspired others to upgrade the bikes.

    Then one of us had the bright idea that we should have a downhill race on a steep dirt road. We figured out a timing system and had a race. Then a bunch of other guys heard about our race and wanted in, so I started putting on the races regularly.

    Problem was that I kept on shattering the old bikes I had modified, so eventually I asked a friend who could build bike frames to make me one for riding in the dirt. Some other people got in on the order, and eventually he made ten bikes. But my old roommate didn't get one of them, so he asked another guy to build him a frame. This frame builder decided to make a lot of this type of frame, but he found he couldn't sell them, so he called my buddy and asked if he would help. My buddy enlisted me in the effort, and we rented a garage to assemble bikes in. We decided to call our company "MountainBikes," but the guy we paid to trademark our name screwed up the application, so we didn't own the trademark on our name.

    After that a bunch of big manufacturers copied our design and made millions of bikes like the ones my buddy and I were building in the garage, and they called them all "mountain bikes." Riding off-road became very popular and a lot of people took it up.

  50. #50
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    I moved to Crested Butte.

    I had Huffy "mountain bikes" growing up as a way of getting around town, but my first singletrack experience was in CB and I've been hooked since. Terrible knees and I hate running, so biking is perfect. No desire to ever race or do it in a competitive manner...but love the trails and bike community here.

  51. #51
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    I grew up in the 70's and 80's when it was OK for kids to ride their bikes clear across town and not come home for hours. We rode our "BMX" bikes (BSO's) all over the place, looking for dirt jumps, short cuts, drop-offs, and pretty much any dirt. I wasn't so good at jumping (but better than I am today), but I WAS good at shredding singletrack and climbing hills on 20" wheels.

    Once I was too big for the 20" bike, I really needed a MTB. I was looking at those Murray ATB's for the longest time, but they weighed about 50#. Finally, I borrowed $$$ from 3 different people and bought a 32# 1990 RockHopper Sport in ATL, GA. (What's this "granny gear" thing do? WOW! I can climb walls!) After a month or so the shop guys sent us up to Ellijay, GA with a crude map because they were convinced that we were going to kill someone in the local park with our awful riding. That first season of "real" MTBing is forever etched in my memory - countless more triumphs than failures in thousands of attempts at conquering the terrain.

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

  52. #52
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    How the hell did you get into mountain biking?

    Quote Originally Posted by THE DESIGNER View Post
    I need to know what made you to realize mountain biking is so awesome and made you purchase your first MTB.
    I suspect this is the other way around for most people, actually.

  53. #53
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    No paved roads when I grew up.

    Way back, I grew up in an area where most roads were not paved and it was easier to ride the trails through the woods to reach other neighborhoods. Our bikes had fat tires, three speeds, rudimentary suspension and rim brakes - I.E. they were mountain bikes. If we had better marketing, "Klunkers" could have been filmed in NJ in the fifties.

  54. #54
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    Rode Schwinns and BMX bikes for years, just seemed like a logical step in 1998. Actually my family and I were camping at Prince Gallitzin in PA and they used to have a BMX track in the middle of the park. I doubt its still there anymore due to modern day regulations of no fun. Anyway I always wanted to venture out on the other trails but it sucked on those 20" wheels.
    One Gear Under God

  55. #55
    Serenity now!
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    Years ago I bought a knobby tire bike on clearance at the LBS because my husband and son were buying bikes. I didnt even know mountain biking was a sport. Rode it once or twice before my son graduated from high school.

    With the offspring out on his own, I had a lot of time on my hands and I started thinking about the joy I experienced riding bikes in the past (dirt roads, neighborhood rolls, that sort of thing). I got the bike out and started riding the snowmobile trails behind my house thinking I was all clever- still no idea of all the cool $hit that is out there to ride.

    I ran into a guy out on the snowmobile trail one day who encouraged me to try singletrack (he was building a new trail in the area). I tried it, I liked it, I got a new bike, then another one, helped start a women's group ride, and now I look for every opportunity to ride.

    My regret: I wish I had known about mountain biking 3 decades ago.
    Duchess of Dab

  56. #56
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    I am 18 years old, and I started riding the trails regularly in Hood River, OR last summer. I had ridden a couple cheap bikes before as a kid, and I even built an electric bicycle to commute to middle school and freshman year of high school with. But once I borrowed my friends Giant Reign x and we did a 15 mile shuttle run down all of Post Canyon, I was completely hooked. I bought a well-used mountaincycle zen xc for $300, and basically learned how to freeride. I got good at dirt jumps, skinnies, and technical downhill. I mostly climbed up the canyon for my rides, but I also did a lot of shuttling with my friends.

    This year I did my first race on a mountain bike (The 2013 Oregon Enduro at Hood River) and I got my ass kicked by a bunch of 15 and 16 year olds. I decided I needed more than 4" of suspension after bouncing off a rocky section of trail into the trees trying to keep up with little punks on their Enduro bikes.

    I recently bought a 2009 Transition Preston FR off ebay for $900, and I am now fully in love with freeriding. I hit a new feature every time I ride, and it is so much fun to go bigger and faster every time I ride the trails. The learning curve for this sport is amazingly steep. I wish I had gotten into it sooner. There are 12 year old kids shredding the Freeride jump line with me, and I can't even imagine how good they'll be when they are my age.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    You guys are totally right - Golf is way too slow and boring; Running is monotonous and not fast enough; Gym is crowded and stinky of everyone's body odor......but only MTB can bring you one with nature, cool wind in your face and the best fat-burning cardio workout that will NEVER feel like a "workout." No two rides are ever the same!

    Keep 'em coming, guys....
    Nailed it. I'm 48, and got into this about 3 years ago. Thought I was gonna freakin die pedaling up the hills. Although I suffered greatly, I loved it. Can't say why, but I just did...and still do. I'm basically a big kid and I love riding just as much as I did when I was 10 years old.

    Also, it's cheaper than my car hobby was!

  58. #58
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    Beer runs on a Trek Antelope in 88/89?

    Moved to CO in 93.

    20 years gone by.
    Gone are the days we stopped to decide,
    Where we should go,
    We just ride...

  59. #59
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    It wasn’t planned, that’s for sure! ! !

    At the time of being 43yrs old, I went through far too many gout attack, and my joints were torn up and pretty much none use. When having a gout attack you pretty much have to sit/lay still and be in pain. My weight was up to 318Lb’s @ 6’1, and I could not walk around the corner without breathing hard or lower joint pains.

    I don’t have a very large yard, but that was about the only exercise I could do. It would take me one day to work the front, and I would have to wait a few days before I could do work in my backyard, and that would take a few hours.

    Well late summer when I was 43yrs old, a buddy of mine came over who had just bought him a TREK. He is a little guy and short, but his bike fit him. He was excited about his mountain bike, and going on and on about how it feels and smooth the gears shift. I was really happy for him.

    In his excitement he asked me to try it out, and I laughed so hard at the thought. I said to him, “are you crazy?”, “Do you want my big ass to break that little bike?”, I could see it now, the tires would just pop under the weight. I was truly serious about how I felt about the idea, but he insisted.

    I finally gotten on his bike, and I was amazed at how well it handle my weight. After he left, that was all I could think about. I remembered where he told me he bought it from, so I told myself I would go up to the bike shop by the end of the week. That was an excuse to hopefully get it off my mind.

    Well, it never gotten off my mind, I thought about that little ride and thought about it. I actually went up to that bike shop with my wife, ‘Just to look around’.

    I couldn’t believe the price tag of this bike, because I have seen so many other bikes at wallmart or sears for less then $150. The part that stayed on my mind was how my buddies bike felt, and I thought it had to be a difference between this TREK Marlin and those at Sears.

    The last time I rode a bike, I was somewhere between 10-12yrs old. It’s true haven’t ridden a bike in over 31 years.

    I was excited about my bike, that I rode it home from the bike shop, which was about 5-6 miles. Wow!!! Talk about feeling like that kid again. I still did not know anything about mountain/single track trails then. I rode the rest of the season out, and talk about having the most impatient winter ever in life.

    The following season comes around and I’m loving it again, but still not knowing about trails. I was on youtube and came across a video someone made, and became interested.

    Now, I can cut my front lawn, the back part, and still get on my bike and ride. All in one day! ! !

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Raton View Post

    I was more than happy to wait for my "turn" on a set wave, but that interval was getting longer and longer....the number of waves was basically the same, but the crowd at my surf breaks went from 8-10 to 25-50 on a good day. I wasn't getting much exercise . Surfing was becoming less and less of a physical challenge to me.
    Im a greedy surfer, i said Ef it long ago and started long boarding. There may be 25-50 out on a break but there are only 8-10 who will compete for my waves. 20 foot head start, and standing up before the short boarders even start scratching FTW. The groms hate me.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post
    I grew up in the 70's and 80's when it was OK for kids to ride their bikes clear across town and not come home for hours.
    This! (except the 80's and 90's) We would leave home in the morning, come back in the noon for lunch, and then leave again until the evening. Always gambling what time it would be because we didn't have watches (and certainly no cellphones!). I think our only rule was: be home before dark. We used to explore all the woods and fields in our area, and try to conquer every obstacle we found with our bikes. Except..our bikes were really heavy steel Raleigh 'citybikes', with a rack and fenders etc. We rode them as mtb's anyway

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAMP View Post
    Now, I can cut my front lawn, the back part, and still get on my bike and ride. All in one day! ! !
    Nice story, keep on riding!

  63. #63
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    Mountain biking came along for me at the perfect time. In the late 80's early 90's I was an avid BMX freestyle flatlander in PA. I headed west to attend college and over the next 3-4 years slowly ended my flatland riding. The big mountains of the west sucked me in to more downhill skiing. As the 20" bike faded I thought I needed something to 'cross-train' with during the skiing off season. Enter a Trek 930. Never looked back.

    I still enjoy skiing, but mtb'ing is where it's at. I still have my old GT Pro Freestyle Tour in operating condition, because sometimes a 42 year old still needs to get rad.
    I ride the crappy trails so you don't have to
    My Two Schillingsworth

  64. #64
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    we had a bmx bike gang in elementary school. we were sometimes 10 deep, my brother and i with training wheels riding around lake Accotink park.

    didn't get a "good" bike until 4th grade, GT pro performer. bike gang got smaller but bikes were a lot nicer. GT, Haro, Diamond Back, Hutch...

    stopped riding in early highschool (90s) and didn't start again until about 5 years later. a friend I worked with got me into it by selling me his used Cannondale. two months later i had sold that and bought a $2000 aluminum HT. i strapped it to the back of my $1000civic. you gotta have priorities when youre making $10 an hour delivering car parts.

    fast forward about 12 yrs and 5 jobs or so and im still riding with more tools in the shed.

    i hate the gym. biking is the only exercise i do constantly. but the reason I keep riding is because of how fun it is. exercise is more of an excuse to be able to do it whenever i want.

  65. #65
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    Skiing became too expensive after I moved out of mom and dads house. Mtb saved me! I bought my first real bike in '86. I still have that Myata up and running. It's a backup commuter(w/fenders) set up as a sspd. I am so thankful for the bike and the trail landing in my lap. I ride everyday and spend most weekends in the forest. My kids tease me if I get home too early on a Saturday or Sunday... they typical say "oh, short ride today poppa?" Spent my youth playing baseball and skateboarding. I did not ride much 'til I was about 20. Also, due to mtb I have not driven to work in over 15 years.
    Master of Laundry...Lord of Cleaning!

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by jredone View Post
    because i hated running
    Amen. One day, after running for close to 30 years, I stopped mid-run, realized that running is stupid and boring, and never ran again.

  67. #67
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    My parents got me a cheap mountain bike when I was.. 11 or 12? it was a blast! I lived on a gravel road and finally had a bike that made it easy to ride.. my buddys and I would build little jumps and hit them regularly, race down "steep" hills thinking we were oh so cool haha.. 10 years and 3-4 bikes (Dad was good at fixing what I broke.. "why buy a new one? I can fix that!") later and Im still loving it and get twitchy if I dont go for a ride regularly, even if its just down the road.

    I also use Mountain Biking as my cardio work out on my off days from the gym.
    Forget white sand beaches, I'd choose my bike and dirt any day!




  68. #68
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    I've always been into vehicles (especially off road vehicles) but didn't have the background or budget to build dirtbikes or 4x4's. Got into biking young and recently got back into it again and realized that it's better for a number of reasons:

    1. It's good for you
    2. It's cheaper
    3. I can work on my bike in my living room while watching TV, try that with a car/truck

  69. #69
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    all my bmx bikes were stolen in one fail swooop 1990. I was already riding the bmx bikes in the woods on trails. Figured I needed gears bought a mtb instead of replacing with a bmx. Well then 12 years later SS mtb is like the next progression of bmx went from a 20->24->26->29 in the last 20 years and at heart XC/bmxing is just awsesome.

  70. #70
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    Grew up riding BMX bikes. Blew out a knee in 1986 playing soccer, couldn't bend the knee far enough to ride BMX bikes anymore. Bought a Ross Mt. Hood in 1986, been riding MTB ever since. Moved to Colorado in 2011 and the passion was absolutely re-born!

  71. #71
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    Grew up in Norwalk SoCal not far from the famous Jeff Bottema and Tinker Juarez, and was encouraged by my older brother (he knew both those guys) to ride BMX from a young age. Started with a Murray "Track Certified" X20 R, then after I saw RAD I moved up to an 87 GT Pro Performer...Freestyle was all I cared about until about 91 when I got my first guitar and started playing. Fast forward to 2003, my last band broke up and I got tired of the whole rock & roll lifestyle...too many late nights, too many cigarettes and way too much herb. I got into racing R/C cars and kicked the herb habit, but due to the lack of physical activity involved with racing RC cars, and a kid on the way, by the time my son was born in 2007 I had gained more than a few extra pounds.

    When my son turned 1, I got him a Raleigh Lil Push balance bike and he really liked it...by the time he was 2.5 he was doing 180 bunny hops on the Push and jumping it off the front porch, and with a little help from me he was riding a 12" Diamond Back pedal bike with no training wheels! By the time he was 4, I had changed career's and now had a desk job for the first time in my life. I was about 75 pounds overweight, smoking 2 packs a day, and knew something had to change if I wanted to see my son grow into adulthood. He had outgrown the 12" and I took him to the LBS to pick up a new bike...a 16" Haro that fit him PERFECT. As God as my witness I swear the following statement to be true...We got home from the bike shop, I pulled the awesome little red Haro out of the back of my truck and handed it to my boy, he rode it up to mama who was standing in the front yard, and said "Mom, now can we go buy dad a bike?"... 45 minutes later we were back at the bike shop and I picked up a Felt Q520...

    This spawned an interest with guys I worked with, and a bunch of us ended up with entry level bike shop quality bikes and were riding local NorCal - Butte County trails every weekend, but only for fun with little interest in real improvement. Then my dad got sick (brain tumor)...that changed everything. I gradually started pushing myself harder, going on longer rides, learning to enjoy the pain and agony associated with climbing. July 27th, 2012 I quit smoking cigarettes, and as a reward to myself, I sold off one of my guitars (96 Taylor 514 C) to start building up a fund for a new bike, and in October, my wife pitched in the rest of the money needed and I picked up a 2012 Trek Fuel EX8. Now I am riding three times a week pulling off a little more than 40 miles and almost 4000' of vert. My cardio has improved 100 x over, Im much stronger and Ive lost about 20 pounds. I can CRUSH all the guys I started riding with, to the point that they don't want to ride with me anymore (LOL). Most of those guys lost interest, but I have made new friends who are into the sport and I have gotten other friends into the sport, and it has been a completely life changing experience.

    I owe it all to my son, because had he not made that comment to my wife, I probably would not have gotten into riding! I take him to the local skate park twice a week and watch him carve the bowl and ramps, smiling the whole time...he loves it. Soon he will be hitting the jumps and racing BMX, and hopefully in a couple of years I will have a new riding buddy that will crush me.

  72. #72
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    Hmm well my cousin and I used to ride our bikes everywhere, we road all the local trails for fishing adventures and what not. We never had new bikes just POS we built up from arts people tossed out. They were all 10 speeds and we took them off road all the time, totally messed them up but we fixed them. Took a few years once we were in our 20's to just party and shit. Had my first kid at 24 and then for some odd reason I wanted a bike, always loved riding and wanted to get back in to it. Went out and bought myself a 400 dollar MTB and met up with a first gen MTB racers back in the early 90's and went riding with them. Upgrade the shit out of that bike and rode it for 2 years. Bought myself a brand new Cannondale Deltav 1000 in 92 and still have that bike, since then I have had a Cannondale Jekyll, Norco Nitro and my 2 current bikes a Giant XTC 29er and a KHS flagstaff 29er full squish. I will ride till I can't spin the pedals anymore, this is what keeps me sane.

  73. #73
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    I got into mountain biking because mountain bikes came into existence and I was predestined (Calvin or Hobbes?) to ride mountain bikes. If they had come into existence 20 years sooner, I'd either be a super old rider or broken, or a bit of both.

  74. #74
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    My mtb'ing obsession got its beginning many years ago when my husband, (an accomplished mtb'er), and I regularly rode some easier trails with me on a hybrid. I beat that hybrid up. Over the years, a long portion of my favorite trail became very wash-boarded. Then the hybrid took its turn beating ME up.

    At my husband's suggestion, I bought a used, Specialized, hardtail to take the edge off of the washboard. Once I had a more substantial bike, my husband suggested that we try a new trail system that he had heard about. He had no idea how technical it was.

    I thought that I was going to die about 5 times on that ride. I was hooked! I now own a very nice, full squish, and ride at least 3 times a week, year round. The trail that I thought I was going to die on is now what I use for a warm-up

  75. #75
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    I just got into mountain biking about a year ago...I always enjoyed snowboarding during the winter, been doing it since I was 7...since I live in SoCal, we tend to have longer summers than winters...was looking for something to do during the summer season...I decided on mountain biking...I remembered my first experience at Snow Summit on a rental hardtail...almost died from the steep climbs (had to walk a bit), the 17 mile trail, and the ridiculous bumpy road with terrible brakes lol...but at the end of the day, I say the adrenaline going downhill was similar to boosting off the big kickers at bear mountain and the feeling of accomplishment after a steep climb was similar to completing my first frontside 540

    So I ended up buying a cheap hardtail on craiglist...200$ for a trek 4300...went to some of my local trails...ate a lot of dirt because the fork was so stiff lo...Then I graduated med school 2 months ago...had about 2500$ to spend...and was deciding whether I should travel or buy an awesome bike...ended up with a trek fuel ex 7...been riding hard since then, never regretted my decision

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    I was a homeless, former meth addict who used crappy, disposable bikes to get around. I always admired "real" mountain bikes - but my then-current circle of "friends," would never allow ownership of one(they stole them all the time).

    In 2006, I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure(CHF) at age 42, after 22 years of non-stop tobacco, alcohol and being strung-out every day. As I lay in my hospital bed - I told myself, "If I even survive this (CHF)...I'm quitting EVERYTHING and taking-up Mountain Biking." Well, I survived and the first thing I did when I was released from rehab, was buy a new 2006 Trek 4900 Disc. Problem was, I could barely ride around the block twice, without gasping for air. I was out of shape, fat and had to hold my breath just to tie my own shoes! The road to recovery was a tough one. But, I held on tight and made tiny strides, every day. I rode the bike to my new job - after 15 years of being unemployed.

    Before I knew it - the 90 pounds of post-rehab weight gain was gone. It was time for a new bike. The 33-pound Trek hardtail was very instrumental in building my fitness up and got me to and from my "recovery job" of spinning Pizza every day. By then, I was riding almost level dirt paths and I was wanting something more up to the task of handling real-world trails. I befriended an XC racer who was hard-up for cash, and bought his 2005 Cannondale F2000SL race hardtail for $1300. The 18-pound Cannondale disc hardtail was really what got me "into" my bike. After being on a bike that was twice as heavy - the race HT was a welcome "reward" for my weight loss and newfound fitness. My first outing on the trail was a bloody mess; I crashed almost every quarter mile.....but I LOVED every minute of it. Obviously, the race bike I had was way too fast for my skillset. If it was not for this Cannondale - I would not become the hopeless weight weenie that I am today. Riding a light bike is almost like smoking crack.....once you try it - you'll settle for nothing less.

    One of my best friends owns a few bike shops - so I get to demo literally every brand of bike out on real trails, and not just a parking lot. Read my bike and component reviews. So, basically MTB replaced my destructive lifestyle, with a healthy one. For the first time in my life - I discovered I do have abs! Although I'll never race(my heart condition will not permit it) - I can always look and feel like one(my new "race" 29er below). I intend to ride MTB until I drop dead....

    one of the best recovery stories i have ever heard. EPIC

  77. #77
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    Smile

    I had just finished paying off my student loan the month before. As a reward I decided to buy mysel a cheap bike so I could visit my fiancé without having to stand inthe packed Seoul subway for 30 minutes. Near my house the only shops seplling bikes were a toy shop selling graph bikes and a Fuji shop selling Mtb bikes. I ended up spending twice as much money as I intended on a bike Plus money on clip in shoes and Padded cycle shorts. After a couple of months of feeling guilty about sPendind so much on a cOmmuter bike I bumped into sOme foreigners who loved mountain biking: that Saturday was the best Saturday I have ever had as an adult. I was a kid again. I wiped out big twice plus sOme smaller crashes. I bled hOme Physically exhausted but on the biggest high. I couldn't sleep. All the trails and crashes kept flashing in my eyes like was riding. All the following week I was half thinking about the trails while I was working. It has been a love affair with pedals ever since. My fiancé who bought the bike to see is now my lovely wife and the mother of my child.

  78. #78
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    Most of my riding life, i just road the local rail trails. Then in 07, I was dong a search online and a local MTB group came up. I joined their forum and went to a couple workdays.

    Since then,

    I've been in two road groups and three local MTB group's plus being an IMBA member.

    I've done urban rides, and commuted to work with a combo of bike then train.

    Its all been good. :-)

  79. #79
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    Destiny, Karma, and Just a Little Bit of Good Old Luck

    I did this for a narritive contest.


    Destiny, Karma, and Just a Little Bit of Good Old Luck
    By AKnRDR

    I have had many experiences in my short lifetime. You would think that not much could be experienced in 25 years. Nevertheless I have had more enriching experiences than some adults that I know. I sailed from Seward Alaska to Southern California. I've also been fortunate enough to have traveled extensively throughout Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and California. However, it is rather peculiar; sometimes it is the simple memory, a forgettable experience. That in the future when you look back you realize that the simple things in life, are what make you who you are. Call it destiny, call it Karma. Personally, I just think I'm just a lucky guy.

    Many experiences play key roles in my life, but one humble experience that comes to mind. It's when I started to become interested in mountain biking. I had done it a little bit before, but I never really was serious about it and honestly, I was kind of reserved about the idea. As with any great idea or invention it starts with a sprinkle of inspiration. I had been in Seward for about two years, I had a bike that I received from Value Village. A Roadmaster. Unfortunately, it met its demise and I was bikeless for about a year. Fortunately my moment of golden opportunity was soon to come. Some of my friends had mountain bikes and the idea intrigued me. Unfortunately I was faced with the fact that I had no bike. I was excited, but also heartbroken that I could not follow my newfound passion. Little did I know my lucky break was soon to come.

    Kjell had won a Walmart Hyper Havoc, a full suspension bike ,but the bike; however, it was not exactly of the best quality. He had no desire to resume possession because he owned a rather nice Kona. The bike was up for sale and because he could find more buyers he was selling for a ridiculously low price. He even offered to give it to me for free, but I had to give him some money. So I gave him a total of $50. That bike was what really started the fever, it was my inspiration. I rode the bike as often as possible, but I realized that it had limitations. I hungered for a better bike that had a more efficient derailer and frame. Eventually that bike would reach its end just as its ancestor the Roadmaster had. The loss of this bike would lead a search for another, and yet another bike I would find. My dream bike.

    A Klein Mantra. Now, I couldn't be happier. I realize that these sequence of events were what allowed me to be in possession of what I have now. Already the Klein and I have gone on many adventures and I can be sure that more will come. My life would be very different without mountain bikes and my love for them have led me to have an ambitious future, as far as biking goes.
    I remember my very first mountain bike ride that I accomplished on my Klein. It was a relatively easy ride around First Lake, but it was by far the most memorable. In a low gear I pedaled up the hill my breathing hard and my legs burning. As I would reach the crest of the hill I realized how effortlessly it glided over obstacles. I experienced how my Mantra could turn mountains into paved hills. Then as my mind races to find possible routes I began to upshift and start the adrenaline rush, 15mph, 20mph, then 25mph! All over jagged roots and broken trail. I felt the wind rushing through my hair as I barreled down my mini mountain. This experience is not a rare occurrence as it can be repeated endlessly. Mountain biking is my passion.

    In order to have that first magic ride certain events must have taken place. I wonder how my life would have been if some things were out of order or missing. If my Havoc was never stolen would I still be in possession of it today? I can't complain, I am more than happy with the turn of events. If I had not discovered mountain biking I would not be the person that I am today. This simple event has changed my life forever. It has given me a passion that I am sure will continue to follow me throughout my life. Call it destiny, call it karma. Personally, I just think I'm just a lucky guy.
    "If you have built castles in the air, that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them."
    -Thoreau

  80. #80
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    I had always ridden bikes as a kid. I dont remember my first bike but I was never without a bike. I started riding Motorcycles regularly at about 10 years old and started racing them at 18 when I was old enough to ride the bike I had built. I was quite good so got more serious but as I had fallen off bikes for as long as I can remember I was an awful runner. The gym bored me so I looked at mountain bikes and sort of wanted one but was too busy racing to do much about it...

    Then a friend of mine started riding and asked if I had ever wanted to go.... The next thing I knew he had found me a really cheap Diamondback which lasted about 3 months before I had killed it.. I was hooked. I got a top of the range Checker Pig from a friend who had got it from the local bike shop. It had done about 45 miles and was like new and I was offered it at half price. I had it and to be honest I still own it.

    I then had to move with work and although the bike came with me I had no riding mates and the trails were littered with flint and shingle so I never had an off road ride without a puncture.. So I stopped hoping to start up again when we move closer to our home town... We moved but with no trails close by I only got to ride it a few times and again life got in the way and so did a highside crash which snapped one of my collarbone ligaments. The pain I was put through with it was just never going to let me ride any real distance on my old Checker Pig. The next thing I know is 20 years had passed since I last had weekly rides and I needed to get out again.. So I bought an Orange Crush and have started to get back into riding again... I have only done 4 rides so far but I am planning where I can go and when as I have to travel to get to any trails but I am back and not giving up again...





  81. #81
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    I road & city biked from high school all the way through college (Mechanical Engineering). I did all of my own maintenance and bike repairs tearing down and rebuilding an almost endless number of bikes. I rode almost every day in Boston (commuting in heavy city traffic). Back then I was riding on several 10 speed road bikes.

    After college I did go through a bunch of years of moving all over the country and ended up not riding at all. I noticed that I still was doing all of my own bike maintenance even though I was still not riding. I really did miss riding.

    I finally ended up settling in Connecticut and decided to buy a first generation 700c rigid-frame Raleigh hybrid bike. I rode the hell out of that bike. Most of it was on easy walking trails, fire access roads, and on suburban streets. I found some really nice bike parks in CT where mountain bikes where tearing up the technical trails, so I decided to hit those with my hybrid bike. That was around 1996. Little did I know that riding that rigid frame bike at such rough off-road and technical riding conditions, ended up catapulting my MTB riding skills and fitness level way beyond anything I could of ever imagined.

    I did pause riding for around 6 years again and ended up moving to Iowa. I once again found that I really missed riding. This time I had a tiny bit more cash available and purchased a full suspension bike (Airborne Zeppelin Elite). I am riding the hell out of this bike too, and I ended up upgrading some of the components so it now really fits my style. Bikes sure have come a long way by leaps and bounds. I am now able to ride much more technical trails with almost effortless ease compared to my older rigid frame bike. No complaints, that old bike really upped my skills so that I can now confidently ride anything almost anywhere...

    Now-a-days I am focusing more on the fitness side, and the fun of traveling to as many different bike trails as I can. DUDE!! I just hit 50 years old and I am feeling so much healthier and stronger than ever now that I am riding again.

  82. #82
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    my only regret in mountain biking is not starting sooner

  83. #83
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    I used to own a Big Wheel as a kid. It was awesome ripping around and skidding in the road/dirt.

    As a boy, I had some sort of Schwinn from the mid/late 70"s. I had fun jumping it, skidding it, racing thru the woods with some friends. We had a trail right next door to our house.

    When I got older, maybe 1989 or so, I bought a Trek ( maybe an antelope) and beat the crap out of it in the woods and just riding around. That fueled my love for mountain biking.

  84. #84
    The Fastest of Bananas
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    I started biking as a way to get around as a kid before I had a car. I ran my wally world bike into the ground, bought a Giant Yukon to replace it, and started riding some real trails per the local shops recommendations. Proceeded to destroy nearly every part on that bike, sold it all, got into racing, yadayadayda, now I just ride for fun.

  85. #85
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    I got into mountain biking because I love to play music on my iPod, shut off the world, and go riding. It's a peace I never found in jogging. I believe in God, and Him and I have good talks during those long rides, too.

    Also as a college student right now, it helps to take a break from work/studying and go riding, even sometimes processing the information I just studied. My first year, I was put on Academic probation for having a 1.9 GPA, but I now have a 3.9 GPA, a lot of that is because of biking. Such a good form of relaxation.

  86. #86
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    I grew up in the country, and bikes are required for you to visit your friends. Always liked going to the tops of big hills and pedaling as fast as I could down them, trying to coast back up the other side of the hill and beat my "coasting record". I had a decent Raleigh at age 12, full suspension that me and a friend used to ride through farm field service trails and even through crops. Been chased down by an angry farmer on a 4 wheeler a couple times, (ended up bunny hopping my bike into a river to escape once). Once I got heavier into volleyball I found it to be really great off season training, to keep my legs nice and muscular, keep my glutes large and in charge. Not really a transferrable motion or "explosive" in the same way that volleyball is, but the cardio and strength building benefits only helped me out. I rode 3-4 300-500 dollar bikes into the ground during a couple years in university, had a really nice fixer upper gutted on the street while i was at work (learned my lesson the only time I needed to right then), and only last year bought myself a legit solid bike that is designed to take abuse. I've been hitting some local trails here and there, but as I've yet to buy a safe enough helmet, haven't been riding as aggressively as I would have liked. Having growing knee and ankle issue worries from years of volleyball, so It's my choice of cardio, as its very low impact compared to jogging, which is boring.

    Whats not to love about driving on the road at car speed, with nothing but your own body to thank for the power source. I've never felt happier, or more free, than when I'm killing a ride at "max power". My bike never fails to put that "shit eating grin" on my face.

  87. #87
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    I grew up in Asheville. I was born into it.

  88. #88
    The Mountain Bike Life
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    I have always loved bikes and when I started getting lazy in middle school my parents helped me buy my first mountain bike to get me out of the house...this was around 1984 or 85. I was lucky enough to fall into a great shop and group of riding buddies at a young age and I think that really helped me grow my love of the sport. Thank you to the Disciples of Dirt and best little shop I have ever known Cycle-Bi. I now live in BC and have great shops and people around me....how amazing is it that wherever you go as a mountain biker you will have friends and people to ride with and share memories with...I love it.

  89. #89
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    The owner of Fisher bikes...I think his name is Gary or something... Anyhow, I was just walking across a street up near Marin, Ca and he was like "Hey, you look like you would be fast on a bike...wanna race for our team?"

    Kidding..went from BMX to a Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo. Seemed like a natural progression..

  90. #90
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    I actually "got into" mountain bikes the first time I saw an ad in Backpacker magazine for one of Repack Rider's original "Mountain Bikes" back in the very early 80's

    Couldn't afford one of those, but eventually got a Schwinn Sierra as a Christmas present ('84 I think . . ) and rode it everywhere. It was eventually replaced with a Fisher Montaire. But I've been riding ever since. The bikes and the places to ride them have improved quite dramatically since those days.
    Check out my You Tube Channel

  91. #91
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    I got DWI back in 88, so I bought a stumpjumper to get to work and go on beer runs, there you go.

  92. #92
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    In an effort to lose some weight, my husband and I bought el cheapo, rigid, friggin' heavy mountain bikes to ride on the road. I went out for a ride by myself one day, peddling down the road, and passed a trail leading into the woods. Hmmm, I wonder where that goes. I turned around and rode into the woods and that was that.

  93. #93
    Dirt Slinger
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    My mom and dad got me a Next for 100$ for Christmas. Rode it on the road a good bit until the gears ripped out, the brakes ripped out, etc. of course! Next year they got me a giant rincon 2010. Put over 1000 miles on it. 4/5 of them probably road. Road some nearby mtb trails fairly often. Then I decided to buy a full suspension. Bought a giant yukon FX 2010 for 650$. Almost broke the bank so I had to work pretty hard to get it paid off. Lovin it! Worth every bit of it!

  94. #94
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    Always loved riding bikes, and as a kid growing up in the 80's, it was always BMX bikes. Then in 6th grade, a friend started riding around his dad's old 10 speed road bike. He let me try it, and I loved it and just had to have multi-speed bike. I was going to get one for my birthday, and then started seeing these things called "mountain bikes" at Sears, and I decided to get one of those. Shortly after, my friend with the 10 speed got one as well. I believe they were both Huffy.

    We didn't know that MTB was an actual sport, but we started riding our bikes around on trails we built in the woods and on construction sites.

    After breaking my Huffy a few times, my parents decided to get me a good "bike store bike". Till that point bikes from actual bike stores were always expensive and exotic to me.

    I got a Schwinn MTB and hit our homemade trails with that through jr. high.

    In my freshman year of high school, I started riding with a friend of my dad's who was big into it. I remember being in awe of his bike, he has a Cannondale Super V. He introduced me to some local trails, and I learned a lot about riding from him.

    I rode all through HS and a few years after, then just stopped for some reason. I think I lost touch with all my riding buddies.

    I started getting into it last year, although more rode, and while I'm now mostly a roadie, I still love getting out into the woods. I just find road riding much more convenient, as I can get in 20-30mile road ride in the time I would spend just driving to/from the trails.

    Actually just got back from a nice ride in the woods, and I'm feeling pretty pumped. I cleared afw technical sections and rock gardens that I've never cleared before. I think my 26" HT knew that I'm looking into a FS 29'er and is trying to change my mind, lol.
    '15 Charge Cooker Maxi 2
    '13 Salsa Horsethief 2
    '12 Trek 6000
    '11 Ridley X-Ride
    '11 Santa Cruz Driver 8

  95. #95
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    Grew up riding as a kid. Credit 2 older brothers and the huge popularity of Evil Kenevil.They would build a jump and say" hey, try this jump". Then in grade school a schwinn with a banana seat. High school saw a raliegh gran prix for getting around and for the paper route. Fast forward to 2000 and found a huffy in the trash, just needed a tire and a cable. I knew my college roommate rode and just lived 1 mile away. Turns out I had 15 miles of singletrack at the end of my street, nice! Then a rockhopper, now 5 mt bikes, a touring bike, a commuter and 2 dedicated winter commuters. I average 2,000 bike commuter miles each year, plus riding dirt every weekend as well as some touring too. My local mt bike club, NEMBA keeps me busy with weekly rides, trail building and large organized rides and events.

  96. #96
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    besides it being a billion times more fun than road riding....trees don't text.

  97. #97
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    Grew up with fields all around, built jumps, drops etc. A couple times a year went up to the mountains. It was just a natural transition.

  98. #98
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    Growing up in a small town in the late 60's/70's, bicycles were "stingrays" or "english racers". Bicycle shops were Western Auto, Sears, and Surplus City. I rode 20" wheel apehanger bar bikes all over the thorn infested countryside as a member of the local kidgang. My final bicycle was a Sears with a 3-speed - hi tech! I had tried a few drop-bar bikes, but the ergonomics sucked for me - and those skinny tires did not like the terrain. I got a small motorcycle and became a gasoline addict.

    I remember seeing the BMX culture, wishing it had been around when I was younger, but never got into it.

    Then, when I'm 29 and in college - my roommate shows up with an MTB he got for xmas. Low end LBS bike, but nicer than anything I'd been close to. He didn't ride it much, but I only borrowed it a couple of times since it was all city riding to get anywhere. Ah, but after I graduated and got a job it was time. Got my own $300 low end machine, and started riding trails. By the end of that first year, the only things left of that bike were the frame, fork, handlebar, and front derailer. All the rest was replaced either because it was worn out, destroyed or couldn't be adjusted to work right. Haven't stopped since.
    This isn't a "you're doing it wrong" topic.

    WSS/OSS: Open Source Sealant

  99. #99
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    I just thought about something else. My first "really cool" bike was a Stingray clone from Western Auto, with a plastic leopard-skin set, and a 3-speed grip-shift. I think I was 9 or 10 years old. We used to ride our stingrays down into a canyon behind the elementary school. My memory of that canyon is of a vast, topographically diverse place with lots of crisscrossing trails. I reality it was only a few acres of land that drainage for the surrounding housing developments ran into, creating some year-round ponds. We used to collect tadpoles from them. That was where I really started riding trails!

    Another kinda funny thing about my first mountain bike which was a Nishiki Cascade, I think. Got one for me and one for my girlfriend. We were introduced to the mtb scene by a couple we were friends with, very smart, hip people who always seemed to be ahead of the curve, so to speak.

    They got me started, but soon after I was hooked on trail riding for life, they told me they no longer rode their bikes on singletrack, because they had decided that fire roads are the only 'appropriate' dirt surfaces to ride a bicycle on. Made me wonder why the change in enthusiasm. It's also when I first learned about the Sierra Club. That's when I realized that they were not so smart, after all!

  100. #100
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    I was always out on my bmx bike as a kid. I lived in a semi-rural area and we had plenty of places to ride, mostly vacant lots with lots of different jumps. I pretty much stopped riding around 8th grade, though. I decided to buy a bike when I graduated high school and was getting ready to head off for college. It was 1985 and my local shop had a Mongoose ATB on display. It was the first mountain bike I'd ever seen and I decided I had to have it. I'd been working at Pizza Hut throughout high school so I had the money. I bought it and rode all through the hills in my area over that summer.

    When I got to college, I stopped riding it offroad. It was my commuter to/from class, to the supermarket when I couldn't catch a ride from someone with a car, etc. I got my fitness fix from lifting weights. My parents told me over the summer after my freshman year that I could bring my car with me the following year and I sold the bike.

    Fast forward to my junior year of college. I don't know what got me into the bike shop but once there, I saw the racks of beautiful Bridgestone bikes, with their lugged steel frames and triple butted Ishiwata tubing. I had to have one. I bought an MB-4 SE, which had the higher end MB-1/2/3 frame with the lower end MB-4 components (Shmano Exage, Biopace chainrings included). I rode that thing everywhere. As a commuter and any chance I got to head out on the trails. My car sat unused for weeks at a time.

    A few years later, it got ripped off as I was dropping off some videos at Blockbuster. I replaced it with a 1991 Stumpjumper but I never loved that bike like I loved the Bridgstone. I still rode it but not as much. In 1993, I moved to Tucson to work on my doctorate and starting hanging out with a group of very enthusiastic mountain bikers. It was the first time I had ever met a group of people who were truly passionate about riding trails. I started riding with them and learned about riding technical trails. I bought a Manitou 3 for my Stumpjumper, and started racing XC. That's the point where I started to think of myself as a mountain biker and it's been that way for me ever since.
    The glass is twice as large as it needs to be

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