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  1. #1
    Rock n' Roller
    Reputation: snowgypsy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    The Trail that Changed Everything

    Last year, I suffered a knee injury. 13 months, 2 surgeries, and hundreds of hours in physical therapy, my leg still wasn't right. 6 months ago, I couldn't walk, I couldn't run (still really can't), and still can't fully extend or flex the joint. I'd fallen into a rut as an athlete and honestly got to thinking that I'd never be the skier/biker that I was or that I wanted to be. Casual rides? Maybe. But I wouldn't be able to get back into aggressive downhill or XC riding again. And endurance riding? Techy riding? Forget about it.

    Then Moab happened. Then Slickrock and Porcupine Rim happened.

    I can't explain it. For some reason, these rides awakened something in me. For the first time in 13 months, I was strong, I was confident, I was an athlete again. I was leaping of ledges, navigating techy sections with ease, and raging up and down steep lines without fear.

    These trails just changed everything for me and made my life all the better for it. Now, I'm just waiting for the snow to melt and the trails outside my door to open up.

    The Trail that Changed Everything-kristiridesslickrock.jpg

    We all have one; what trail changed everything for you?

  2. #2
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Traction is a fickle mistress....
    "We LOVE cows! They make trails for us.....

    And then we eat them."

  3. #3
    Rock n' Roller
    Reputation: snowgypsy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    Traction is a fickle mistress....
    Yes, and rather sexy.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MSU Alum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

  5. #5
    MTB Mamba
    Join Date
    May 2007
    J.E.M. Trail in LaVerkin/Virgin Utah. The first trail I really fell in love with that made me want to learn to really mountain bike better and get out as often as possible.

  6. #6
    Reputation: jhazard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    An out of bound DH/shuttle in SW Colorado. At 40-something years old, I'd spent the previous several years slowly trying to become the rider I WAS at 25. But, that was a different world, different wheels, different drive. The thing that was the same was the focus on progression; riding for fun, of course. Riding for fitness, yes. But also and more importantly, riding to become a better rider. The muscle memory was all there for jumps and hops and tech, but the mindset and balls were not.

    To me, that trail represented a personal challenge. I could barely walk some of the steep parts the first time I "found" it. Though my Giant Reign was probably equipped well enough to "handle" it, most everybody rode it on 8" DH rigs. Slowly over the course of 3 years I challenged myself and learned to trust my instinct (and also built a bigger bike!), and eventually I could ride the trail top to bottom and hit all lines and all features, remembering the day I thought "I'll never be able to ride all of this".

    Now, I'm a much more confident rider - thanks to that trail. Still on the hunt for progression though. I know, I'll probably never have that skill set I had at 25, but I did manage to tap in to that mindset of progression and never lost sight of the fun.

    Cool BandolArrow

    Jerry Hazard website

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: kosayno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Slick Rock was the trail that changed everything for me. I tried mtb'ing for the first time and it happened to be on Slick Rock eleven years ago. Instantly hooked.

    In the past year I slowly started losing the passion for mtb'ing but decided to take a trip to Moab just to get away. I parked at the bottom of Porcupine Rim and did a loop through town, up Sand Flats, lollipopped Slick Rock, continued Sand Flats to Porcupine Rim back down to the car and I it has re-awakened my passion for mtb.

  8. #8
    Professional Crastinator
    Reputation: Fleas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    I'm sure everyone will be posting up about these amazing destinations that took their riding to another level, but back in a simpler time, when bikes were simpler, and I wasn't thinking about fitness or technique, I and a buddy rode our entry-level bikes at East Palisades in Atlanta, GA. We knew very little about MTBing. We saw a few tire tracks and pretty much followed them to find our way. We dared eachother to try the lines that would never qualify as IMBA/sustainable, and we discovered that when we tried, we often succeeded - like making a hairpin left turn in the middle of a fall line descent. Sure we fell off here and there, but when we rode with others at the same park, everyone else walked those lines. We had no idea that they were considered difficult. We figured that that was what MTBing was about and what the bikes are made for. We'd been blissfully ignorant, but it made us confident to try trails that looked hard.
    After that, a lot of other stuff was easy peasy.
    (at least until I found rocks in Pennsylvania )

    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    It was the first mountain bike ride I went on; the Peaks trail from Breckenridge to Frisco in 1992. I will never forget how upset I was at the end of the trail and the ride was over. I was blown away how much fun I was having. It was a major life changer for me, as mountain biking has been a major part of my life for the last 21 years.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: FirefighterMTN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Mine isn't as impressive as some of you guys, but it's what started it all for me!

    LRT or Lawrence River Trails in Lawrence, KS (KU).

    Nothing big time, but some dang good flowing single track along the Kaw (Kansas) River.

    Super fast, super fun, and a big hit around these parts!!!!

    15 years ago, my father passed away unexpectedly and I needed an outlet. I did some research online, dial-up research mind you, and came upon a GT XCR 4000!

    Plunked down the cash and took that sucker north to the river. Flew over the handle bars the first time I hit some sand! I remember laughing at myself and was pissed no one witnessed it!

    I needed that trail at that time. It was better than any therapy I could get! I was able to get away and just be with me. No iPods or anything like that at the time. Just me and trail!

    Life took a route away from biking for a while, but it is now back and stronger than ever.
    I'm happy with my life and can't complain. Going back to that trail is truly a blessing. It's better than ever and I cherish how it makes me feel when I ride it.

    I was there yesterday with some great friends and got to try out my new (new to me) bike. Best riding experience I've ever had! Great weather, great trail conditions, and great company!


    Guardian 2.0
    Redline Monocog Flight 29er SS (for now)

  11. #11
    The White Jeff W
    Reputation: jeffw-13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    The first one.May 2008. It was the yellow blazed trail at Gambrill Mountain outside Frederick, MD. It whooped my ass but I fell in love that day.

    Originally I had planned to ride Greenbrier but when I got there I found out there was a mountain bike race that day. I went back & did that race last year.
    No moss...

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: likeaboss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    I have been riding for about 25 years and I still enjoyed it but was doing more for fitness than fun. In 2012 we were skiing in Vermont at Burke mountain and I saw the new trail they had built under the lift and decided right then to return that year to ride Kingdom Trails. In July we returned and had a great time and now we have reignited that spark from the late 80s when riding was new and exciting. We have since both upgraded our bikes to full suspension rides and that has kept the fire going.

    Last night my wife and I were exploring for new trails in a section of woods we ride a lot.

  13. #13
    Reputation: The Yetti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    I had been riding for a couple years when I joined the Army and was stationed in WA state. Myself and some buddies went and rode Skookum flats and i was hooked. 15 years later and still riding..
    Just circles turning circles....

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Chuch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    I have a little story myself. After riding in high school and most of college like a maniac, I fell off the ridng. I've been through a wakeboard boat and many other new phases in the process. Meanwhile life got complicated...too complicated. Soon enough my wife, after a 2-3 year struggle with alcohol ended up in a professional rehab facility. She is 5 months sober and every day of it so far has been a struggle. In the process, I was carrying so much weight on my shoulders professionally and as a father and husband I thought I was going nuts.

    So, I decided I needed somethign healthy and fun to ease the every day troubles. I was looking for that momentary release each week. I decided to grab a new, was that a good move. Once I got my legs on me on our local garbage trail I made the trip to Williamsburg, VA to ride Freedom Park...the new hot crap everyone was talkign about. The new freeride trail there blew my mind! So...I am gut hooked again and it feels so damn good. Mountain biking is my therapy right now and I am sure its here to stay this time. Not sure why I ever let it go! New bikes, new wheel sizes, new trails....saweeeeet!

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation: steadyflow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Have to say Moab in the mid 90's my first trip there. Road Amasa > Pothole Arch > Domes > Rockstacker. Completely blown away riding around out there on a hard tail with some crazies riding big exposed lines. I had no idea where I was....

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