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  1. #1
    Jacob 34:19
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    What started your MTB passion?

    I gave my first mountain bike to my brother when I moved away to go to school 20 something years ago. I was always very fond of that bike and was delighted to find out it was still hanging in his garage. He hadn't touched it in years and recently offered to send it to me.



    It's not much to look at. A HEAVY steel Jamis Cross Country circa 1987 or 1988. Surprisingly still quite functional with it's 18 speed Suntour drive train and bio-pace knockoff chain rings. The brakes and tires are shot but are very easily replaced. The saddle was completely rotted out so I threw on an old B17 I had lying around. I'd cut it down to look like a much more expensive Swallow.

    I got to thinking about why I was so fond of the bike. It doesn't hold a candle to my modern bikes with their hydraulic disk brakes, indexed 2x10 shifters, and finely tuned 100mm travel forks. It's certainly not the bling factor. Actually, I think it has very little to do with the bike at all. Rather, it's the freedom it provided me as a teenager. And some really cool places I was able to explore.

    Growing up in south San Jose, there were plenty of places to ride. Horse trails in the Los Gatos foothills, the Lexington reservoir, and numerous parks with multi-use trails. I even took a ride over the Santa Cruz mountains to the beach in Capitola. I recently found some snapshots I took from a ride in Almaden. We didn't realize it then but we'd found an old abandoned quicksilver mine.








    I loved wrenching on bikes even back then but it was more of a means to an end. The rides were the focus and the payoff was exploring places that were unreachable by foot or car. Regardless of where we ended up, it was a fairly inexpensive Jamis that got me there and more importantly, started my passion for mountain biking. What started yours?

  2. #2
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    The yearning to get outside and away from people as much as possible did it.

    I started to ride a hell of a lot more when I quit smoking.

  3. #3
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    my dad used to race mountain bikes in mammoth mountain. He had a racing team, and when i was about 5, he put me in a kids race, and I got 1st place... from then, i entered a few other races and got 2nd or 3rd..

    Then here i am now. Riding A LOT more seriously

  4. #4
    mikeb
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    being outside and going fast on two wheels. i've been on bikes before i was in short pants...

  5. #5
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    Rode most of my life, but was almost creamed by a car in downtown Montreal about 10 years ago on a commute and stopped riding until last year. I got a MTB because I thought it was a shame living so close to the mountains and not doing anything in them. That hard tail is now retired to commuter status and I am enjoying going up higher faster on my FS bike!

    Plus, the scenery...

  6. #6
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    I got into it originally because everyone in my town was riding BMX and giving it a bad name. So I wanted to be different and took up mountain biking.

    Just last year I convinced my fiancee to get into it as well, much more seriously than she was before, we sold her Canadian Tire brand bike and bought her a Cannondale F7. Now she's riding as much as I am and we've never had so much fun than when we are on our bikes.

  7. #7
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    A mountain bike. I got on it. I went. I had passion. Inevitable outcome.

  8. #8
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    As a kid, road everything from road bikes to bmx, then I grew up. One day, while heading out to dinner with my (now wife) saw a group of guys on mountain bikes at a trail head. Thought it would be awesome to ride, so went out bought me a bike, hit the trails and haven't stopped yet.

  9. #9
    Retro on Steroids
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    One day my friend came to me and said, "Tom Ritchey made all these bike frames. Wanna help me sell them?"

    So Gary Fisher and I rented a garage and started assembling bikes. We had to call our company something, so we called it MountainBikes. We applied for a trademark on that name, but the attorney screwed up our application, so everybody got to use it.

  10. #10
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    My first bike as an adult was for commuting purposes. I started to help out at the collective I got my bike from since back then it was a chaotic snatch and grab operation. I felt like I owed them something for giving me a bike for free. Riding around downtown after the shop closed I met some dudes on track bikes. They told me to come ride with them sometime. I did and was hooked.

    We all became fast friends and rode almost every day together. I lived a thirty minute bike ride away and would ride downtown after working and then we would mash it out for a few hours. My bike was a single- speed and eventually due to my cassette being older than dirt and rusty it started to seize. Up until this time I had been adamant about not riding fixed. Now, with a seizing cassette and one of my friends with a spare track wheelset it seemed almost inevitable. Bought the wheels made the switch and loved it.

    Mountain biking didn't really cross my mind in these few years. Then, I met a guy on the road one day who happened to be riding a Superfly. He was friends with some of my other-- less active in cycling but still a cyclist-- friends. He was like you really need to mountain bike, it's rad. The idea was cool and right then I was on the hunt for a rigid single- speed.

    He took me out on a full sus. bike that was way too big for me before my bike was delivered. On a sub- legal trail way out of my league. it was then nine and some change miles. I did the whole thing and had a blast.

    As soon as I got my bike( from someone on here) I set it up and rode the bajeezus out of it. I loved every minute.

    Now, The trails consume me. I ride and race as much as I can. Never race to win; though I am hyper- competitive in everything else, mountain biking seems to not bring that out in me for some reason.

    I joined this site in '09 mainly as a way to buy second- hand bikes with no intention of really posting in the forums. Then, for some reason, I started to post at the end- ish of last year; now I have this awesome community I am a part of on "teh interwebz" and don't know why it took so long to be active in this bit of cyber- space since you all are so rad.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    Id scrap the passion forum all together, its a breeding ground for unicorn milkers, rainbow chasers and candy cotton farters.

  11. #11
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    I was raped by a single speed and got pregnant.

    9 months later I gave birth to a unicorn, covered in rainbow fruit while fat Hawaiians strummed Tiny Bubbles on micro ukuleles.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    I was raped by a single speed and got pregnant.

    9 months later I gave birth to a unicorn, covered in rainbow fruit while fat Hawaiians strummed Tiny Bubbles on micro ukuleles.
    Holy crap, Dion. I should have gone the absurd route too. Now I'm kind of disappointed in my response seeing yours.

    I wish I was that full of win.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    Id scrap the passion forum all together, its a breeding ground for unicorn milkers, rainbow chasers and candy cotton farters.

  13. #13
    TrinityRiverKerplunk
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    Growing up in Hayfork we had no choice but to ride dirt for the most part. Hell, I put so many damn miles on my red Rampar on singletrack and fire roads around that part of Trinity County I wonder if I have caught up yet on my Special Ed fleet. I think as a kid you should get "extra credit" points for all the pushing and such when you're that small, it aint easy!

    Then my buddy Shawn H. and the Shadetree Team put me into real 26" wheeled riding. Got the you know what kicked out of me for several years.....but was so worth it, thanks Team Shadetree!
    Good friction shifting is getting hard to find nowadays....

  14. #14
    Woods Ready
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    I sold sporting goods at Sears. We got in these "new" bikes called ATB's. The first was a Spalding and then a week later we got in the "real" bikes. LOTUS

    When it was slow, I'd ride one around the sales floor and was amazed at how easily I could climb up the display tiers in the low gear.

    Had to have one. My first real bike was a fully rigid Iron Horse. HEAVY and BULLETPROOF!

    I think that was in '88 or '89.

    My second bike had a cutting edge Rock Shox Mag 20.

  15. #15
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    Couple of reasons...
    -I was getting on the heavy side
    -I like being outside
    -it sounded like fun
    -always thought it would be cool to say "I mountain bike"

  16. #16
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    Riding stingrays on dirt was a gas. When I heard about mtb years later it was a no brainer.

  17. #17
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    I broke a part on my motorcycle and had to wait a few days to get it, needed a way to get around town so I called up a buddy who I knew was into biking of all sorts to see if he could lend/sell me a bike for a few days. Bought a lightly used rockhopper off him and hit up the single track a few days later and that was it.

  18. #18
    Just Ride!
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    12 years ago I quit smoking after 23 years and needed a way to get fit. I now ride 2-3 times a week and have possibly purged all of the crud out of my system.

  19. #19
    That's damn yankee to you
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    OK, I'll admit it...... I was following a boy. But now I have the passion and addiction that is all my own.
    Quote Originally Posted by Impy
    You know....... whatever bike they are riding, assure them its the biggest bike of any guy you have ever ridden with.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by WickedGood View Post
    OK, I'll admit it...... I was following a boy. But now I have the passion and addiction that is all my own.
    This can either be coming from 1) a hot chick or 2) a sweaty, slightly overweight child molester.


  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    This can either be coming from 1) a hot chick or 2) a sweaty, slightly overweight child molester.

    Quote Originally Posted by Impy
    You know....... whatever bike they are riding, assure them its the biggest bike of any guy you have ever ridden with.

  22. #22
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    I want badly for it to be a hot chick but know deep down it's a sweaty overweight child toucherer.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    Id scrap the passion forum all together, its a breeding ground for unicorn milkers, rainbow chasers and candy cotton farters.

  23. #23
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    22 yrs ago the only thing that gave me the same stoke as bmx and moto on dirt but the very first time riding back to a campsite after an amazing day of riding and views is when it hit me.. pretty much sealed the deal.

  24. #24
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    Well I was getting chased by zombies and my only way out was a mountain bike and a rocky trail! So I got on it and rode down the mountain and I loved it.

    I live in colorado so my friends ride a lot so I decide to go with them once and from there on I been riding!

    Sent from my Droid
    Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

  25. #25
    Over the Hill
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    Used to ride all over Annadel State Park on my Schwinn Varsity before it was a state park....I am a friend of the Warren Richardson family.

    It was Pete Fagerlin videos that got me back into riding the dirt again.

    Dean

  26. #26
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    I had recently finished Uni, had to much free time and things on my mind (looking for work, planning where to go, etc) and needed some sort of individual physical exercise.
    Was into swimming for 15 years but was not keen/interested on doing it again. I started cycling on a nearby path. I felt good after those rides (mentally and physically), so I tried MTB a year later to see if I could give it a bit of "spice" and I liked it.

    I don't ride as often as before (use to go out 2 days a week every week), but when I feel stressed (normally work related) I increase the frequency of my sluggish tours on a trail and every thing is sorted.

  27. #27
    Just Ride
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    I grew up on bicycles. Had a couple bmx bikes as a kid, and then a few mtb's as I got older. Then one day and my fiances sisters wedding we were sitting at a table with her other sister and her husband who's ridden mtb for several years. We got to talking, set a time to hit some trails and that was it. Only been a month or so now since I started and I'm hooked!
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  28. #28
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    Natural Progression

    I have loved to be on a bike for as long as I can remember. My friends and I growing up would spend dawn to dusk on our BMX bikes back in the woods riding singletrack and jumps.....in Houston summer heat nonetheless. As I got older, a mountain bike was a natural progression. The irreplaceable feeling of the wind in your face on the downhill and the feeling of flight on a nice jump, that is what keeps me coming back for more.
    Better to be a rider for a moment than a spectator for a lifetime.

  29. #29
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    A new mtb owner

    I remember riding my neon orange huffy when I was a little kid in the bluffs behind where I grew up. I have been trail riding dirt bikes since I was 8 in the San Bernardino Mountains. As of June of this year, I purchased my first real mountain bike and have been hooked since. I owned a road bike for 4 years and decided to sell it and buy a mtb and love it. I look forward to exploring new trails along with the tortures of long climbs and the thrills of single track downhill.

  30. #30
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    My friends and I used to hitchhike up Mt. Tamalpais with Schwinn cruisers equipped with chunky Carlisle tires. Man those bikes weighed a metric ton but they were a blast downhill, we used to call the bikes bombers and we “bombed the mountain”.

    Then I bought a 19” Newport SS frame and had the LBS bend out the rear to accommodate a 5 speed hub, and then equipped with the finest Suntour components a summer job could buy. It was a bike that could actually climb without the strength of Hercules and I could explore and go get lost on the trails for the day.

  31. #31
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    My daughter. She loves to ride and I dig it too.
    Goooood times.
    What started your MTB passion?-190035_10150122671379157_614679156_6581965_6178242_n.jpg

  32. #32
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    For me it started the last day of my Freshmen year of high school at the ripe age of 15 (I am now 19) when I got a phone call from my sister asking if I wanted to bike across the country. With no prior actually biking experience (I had maybe ridden 3 miles at one time before that trip) I of course said yes, and the rest is history. I became best friends with one of the leaders on the trip and we have been best friends ever since. When we got back from riding across the country I was given an old abused Jamis HT and rode it all the time. Mtbing has basically taken over my life and if I had to pick one thing to define myself that would be it. I try to go riding 3 times a week and it's just as fun every time. I plan to keep riding until I am too old and crippled to throw my leg over a bike anymore

    Where the passion began (I'm the doofy one on the far left with rainbow socks)


    My passion today. A picture from my trip to Moab this past summer. (Same crazy guy I biked across the country with on the left, awesome riding buddy in the middle, and me on the right)

  33. #33
    Huckin' trails
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    I started biking when I was around 6... But not much more else then only for transportation purpose till' I've hit college, where I ride to each days since summer 2009...

    Next thing you know, one of my friend who have a DH bike help me get my first real MTB, a freeride one, then I simply start getting addicted to biking, learned a lot, rode a lot, and did a lot of bike mechanic...

    I now own 5 bikes, 3 custom build and 2 stock ones. I spent about $2 000 in less then 2 years on bike stuff and luckily have a small job to help me finance my passion...

    I'll say I've learned a lot since I've started in 2009, but a lot more of my technical learning has been from you guys in only months... So Mitch that I can build a full suspension bike all by myself and fix about any problem alone.

    Then last summer, I had a great deal on a nice GT XCR and bought it to use as my XC machine, but finally gave it to my little brother for it's 17th birthday this June, since he was always using it to go riding with me... Now he's hooked into MTB and I start to teach him everything I know and he finally finish to build his first bike that I offered him for it's birthday (he got 2 GTs for that birthday, lucky guy ). And he can't wait for the next ride.

    And I'm so addicted to MTB that the first thing I do when I get back home from a 2 or more days trip is to get to check my bikes... I think I really need to find a girl now but girl are expensive to have... Kinda like a bike. You got to take care of them if you want them to love you

    David
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  34. #34
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    Being told by the big kids in the street that cannibals lived in caves in the surrounding hills and that they liked little kids. So I rode into the hills and hid in the rocks to see these savages. When they didn't show up, the next day I rode a bit further.

    I'm still looking.

    Warren.

  35. #35
    local trails rider
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    I've "always" had a bike for local transportation. As kids, we also used to ride our banana seat bikes on some trails and sand quarries.

    Fast forward a couple of decades, and I remembered how much fun riding those trails was.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  36. #36
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    It all started back in 97. I had joined the military and got stationed in Italy. One day at work a guy in the shop brought in his mountain bike and we got to talking about it. He suggested I should rent one or borrow one so we could go riding. Well I've never been one to rent things like that so I went out and bought a mountain bike. It was a green and blue Diamond back Ztec. I loved that bike and that's when the passion hit me. I rode that bike in some of the most beautiful places on some of the most amazing trails I have ever seen. I rode that bike for several years and it served me well. That bike is long gone but the memories of it and the trails I rode are still there, along with the passion for riding.

  37. #37
    the Chain Guy
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    Paintball was getting too expensive so I had to give it up. Then my soon to be father in law let me use his Sam's Club Motiv to ride a local trail and I had found my new hobbie. At first it was my cheaper alternative to paintball, but now that I live in Colorado and am riding more seriously that doesn't seem to be the case anymore.

  38. #38
    That's damn yankee to you
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    Quote Originally Posted by monzie View Post
    I want badly for it to be a hot chick but know deep down it's a sweaty overweight child toucherer.
    Maybe I need something pink and sparkly on my avatar. LOL!
    Quote Originally Posted by Impy
    You know....... whatever bike they are riding, assure them its the biggest bike of any guy you have ever ridden with.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by WickedGood View Post
    Maybe I need something pink and sparkly on my avatar. LOL!
    N00dz work too, just sayin'.

    If you ever wander east and end up with your bike in Raleigh and nothing to do, I can show you around the trails.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    Id scrap the passion forum all together, its a breeding ground for unicorn milkers, rainbow chasers and candy cotton farters.

  40. #40
    I'd Huck That....
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    Well I grew up around bikes mostly freestyle bmx back in the day. I built up my first bike at 12. It wasn't until I got divorced that I got into mtn biking. It's been 4yrs and I'm still addicted and so are my 3 kids.

  41. #41
    That's damn yankee to you
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    Quote Originally Posted by monzie View Post
    N00dz work too, just sayin'.

    If you ever wander east and end up with your bike in Raleigh and nothing to do, I can show you around the trails.
    Pink and sparkly and nude. OK taking notes

    Haven't done much riding out that way but I will let you know if I make it out there.
    Quote Originally Posted by Impy
    You know....... whatever bike they are riding, assure them its the biggest bike of any guy you have ever ridden with.

  42. #42
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    The snow melted

  43. #43
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    My four kids were old enough. I could go out and have fun without the wife feeling upset.
    I may not be the best but i pedal like the rest!

  44. #44
    "El Whatever"
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    Quote Originally Posted by unicrown junkie View Post
    Growing up in Hayfork we had no choice but to ride dirt for the most part
    Same here, not in Hayfork, though... paved streets were a relatively new discovery at my hometown.

    I was 7 when my house's street was paved... and it ended by the end of the block.

    Riding in the dirt was just as natural as breathing.
    Check my Site

  45. #45
    Yes, that's fonetic
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    I used to ride trails on my Stingray converted with bmx bars as a kid, but didn't get the "passion" until I got my first "real" mountain bike in 1989 and began to ride trails to remote places that few hikers even regularly visited. That sense of isolation/superiority was cathartic.

  46. #46
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    Eons ago, my "no speed bike" represented freedom and adventure.
    (we use to call them "no speeds" but now realized they are considered bmx style.)
    My friends and I would ride our bikes out to the suburbs and watch the older/rich kids and their motorized dirt bikes in some wooded areas in Upper Marlboro, Md; and naturally imitated them with our bikes.
    Went from envy to realizing that I am having just as much fun as they were.

  47. #47
    TrinityRiverKerplunk
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warp View Post
    Same here, not in Hayfork, though... paved streets were a relatively new discovery at my hometown.

    I was 7 when my house's street was paved... and it ended by the end of the block.

    Riding in the dirt was just as natural as breathing.
    Warp, couldn't help but notice, Mexico?! That country is my favorite, the people are absolutely amazing in my opinion.

    WHERE?!!! I've been to at least twenty-two estados, with Zacatecas, Chihuahua, and Oaxaca being some of my favorites. Rode Creel, Chih., been there at least five times chasing the damn train.

    Would love to ride Zacatecas more, and even try out San Cristobal de las Casas, I've only been able to walk there.

    visit Six Rivers Rail's Photo Galleries at pbase.com if you'd like to see some Mexican rail action.
    BTW, had my Ritchey stolen in downtown Oaxaca back in 2002!
    Good friction shifting is getting hard to find nowadays....

  48. #48
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    Bought a cheap bike from the flea market to get around where I lived because I had hurt my foot and couldn't walk a lot at the time. Started riding some off road fire trails while exploring. Then we got a roommate that was into mtn biking somewhat, and he took me to some 'real' trails one day after buying a $500 trek (I thought that was SO EXPENSIVE at the time..). It was on that day that my passion was born. Went through 3 bike upgrades the next spring/summer...

  49. #49
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    i was a porker

  50. #50
    "El Whatever"
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    Quote Originally Posted by unicrown junkie View Post
    Warp, couldn't help but notice, Mexico?! That country is my favorite, the people are absolutely amazing in my opinion.
    I'm from the Gulf Coast. Veracruz, to be precise. I grew up in Cardel, middle of the road between Veracruz and Xalapa (I see you're familiar with the area ). But I live in Tampico now. Both places not the best option for MTB, though.

    I've ridden myself in many states also. Mostly central and north Mexico.


    Next time you come down here, go to El Chico in Hidalgo, close to Pachuca. You won't regret it.

    Yeah, Mexico is a beautiful country. We have our problems, just like everyone else but all in all, I love my country.

    Funny you mention railways... I grew up in a town that was created around a train station and I used to ride the rails when I was a kid.

    Gratuitous and off topic pics of el Chepe and Copper Canyon... El Chepe was my commute to work for some time.











    Check my Site

  51. #51
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    Self-preservation!! After moving to Houston, I realized it was just a matter of time before some crazy driver hits me. So, off the road totally except for racing. And, thus far, loving mtb!!!

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Pancroft View Post
    Self-preservation!! After moving to Houston, I realized it was just a matter of time before some crazy driver hits me. So, off the road totally except for racing. And, thus far, loving mtb!!!
    Same here. Ended up getting run into a ditch one too many times in 1989, and was complaining at my LBS, when my favorite Salesperson rolled out a brand new Yeti FRO and suggested I try mountain biking...
    Pisgah Area SORBA

    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    ... your idea of technical may be much different than other peoples idea of technical.

  53. #53
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    For me it all started when my friend, who is a mechanic at my local shop, offered me a job. I took it for the money, but i got more then that, i got a life long hobby. I bought a bike, and changed and tinkered, crashed and rode. I left for Mexico for 2 years and had to leave it behind. I put it up for sale in the shop and while i was gone it was stolen from the shop along with 4 other bikes. I've been saving up since and just now have finally saved up enough to buy and start riding again!

  54. #54
    No known cure
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    I haven't stopped riding since I was four. When I was 12, I rescued a Schwinn Varsity from the side of the road, singlespeeded it with swap meet parts, and rode the snot out of it exploring the local hills. Back then I never saw another rider and had no idea others were doing the same elsewhere. The other kids my age were into BMX, but we were too poor to even buy a bike from the police auction. Then the lbs started getting offroad bikes in. I worked my butt off and saved for a 1985 Schwinn High Sierra, Then that turned into a 1988High Sierra. I just turned 41, and I'm riding harder than ever.
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  55. #55
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    I used to ride bmx bikes when I was younger and grew out of the hobby as responsibilities stacked on with age. 2 years ago I got back into cycling when a buddy of mine acquired the hobby. I went to a LBS with him and all the shiny bikes reeled me in.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAKEtheDOG View Post
    What started your MTB passion?

    Its not a passion for me, its a lifestyle.

    I started out in 1967 on "Stingrays" that got heavily modified to work better in the canyons around San Diego begining when I was 11yr old (with the help of a neighbor who owned a machine shop), and a Junior Varsity "racing" bikes that served as transport for my paper routes (to provide more $$$ for parts and bikes). I began learning to use tools, to weld and braze, and to machine and fabricate parts to build "proto-bmx'ers and then later cruiser-based single-speed "bombers" (which lead me being able to make more money to buy parts and bikes).

    My first "mountain bike" was a heavily modified Peugout PX-10 road bike (with rear triangles spread using hand-carved 2"x4"s and the garage floor as an alignment table) based on an original 1984 Stumpjumper front fork and a set of Diacompe cantilevers. Most "real" mountain bikes of the day weighed 35-45lbs and I wanted something lighter, with a tighter geometery, and to learn about frame building. (You should have seen the face of the salesman when I told him I didn't want to buy the whole "just released" Stumpjumper, but instead I would give him $300 for just the fork and brakes!)

    I split my time through the early 1970s and 1980's with on and off-road motorcycling, but went strictly human-powered in 1984 and then went to work as a framebuilder for a leading tandem manufacturer in 1987. I've been carfree for 22 of the past 27 years (including the past ten years) and don't expect that to change anytime soon. I just can't imagine living any other way. Even when I moved from materials fabrication to Systems Engineering (mainly because I couldn't believe what they were willing to pay.....) I rode to work every day.

    Road bike, mountain bike, urban assault, trials, freeride, commuting, tandems, whatever... I guess I just don't like cages, and I enjoy the freedom and connection that cycling allows me to make to the planet. Cycling defined the path of my life through recreation, skill development, employment/career choices, and self-expression. It was a principle component in teaching me about myself and the things I believe in.

    As I said, It is not just a passion, It defines who I am and how I live my life. I'm 55 years old and have been riding since shortly after I could walk, and my life's wish is to pedal to my own funeral when the time comes.........

  57. #57
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    I needed a bike for transportation while I was in college. I bought a GT aggressor because I thought mountain bikes looked cool. The first time I took it on single track I was in love.

    I haven't been riding in a while, just got back in to it. Hopefully I can make the time to keep riding.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stealthammer View Post
    Its not a passion for me, its a lifestyle.

    I started out in 1967 on "Stingrays" that got heavily modified to work better in the canyons around San Diego begining when I was 11yr old (with the help of a neighbor who owned a machine shop), and a Junior Varsity "racing" bikes that served as transport for my paper routes (to provide more $$$ for parts and bikes). I began learning to use tools, to weld and braze, and to machine and fabricate parts to build "proto-bmx'ers and then later cruiser-based single-speed "bombers" (which lead me being able to make more money to buy parts and bikes).

    My first "mountain bike" was a heavily modified Peugout PX-10 road bike (with rear triangles spread using hand-carved 2"x4"s and the garage floor as an alignment table) based on an original 1984 Stumpjumper front fork and a set of Diacompe cantilevers. Most "real" mountain bikes of the day weighed 35-45lbs and I wanted something lighter, with a tighter geometery, and to learn about frame building. (You should have seen the face of the salesman when I told him I didn't want to buy the whole "just released" Stumpjumper, but instead I would give him $300 for just the fork and brakes!)

    I split my time through the early 1970s and 1980's with on and off-road motorcycling, but went strictly human-powered in 1984 and then went to work as a framebuilder for a leading tandem manufacturer in 1987. I've been carfree for 22 of the past 27 years (including the past ten years) and don't expect that to change anytime soon. I just can't imagine living any other way. Even when I moved from materials fabrication to Systems Engineering (mainly because I couldn't believe what they were willing to pay.....) I rode to work every day.

    Road bike, mountain bike, urban assault, trials, freeride, commuting, tandems, whatever... I guess I just don't like cages, and I enjoy the freedom and connection that cycling allows me to make to the planet. Cycling defined the path of my life through recreation, skill development, employment/career choices, and self-expression. It was a principle component in teaching me about myself and the things I believe in.

    As I said, It is not just a passion, It defines who I am and how I live my life. I'm 55 years old and have been riding since shortly after I could walk, and my life's wish is to pedal to my own funeral when the time comes.........
    Beautiful !!!!!!

  59. #59
    Motobey
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    For me it was a natural evolution
    "Si todos saben lo que ay que hacer por que tenemos problemas" Choose xpst.

  60. #60
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    it seemed like it found me...

    ...as much as I found off-road cycling. Lots of my Deadhead friends (been on the bus since about '86-7) were into MTB in the mid-90's, and I had always loved the feeling of being way out in the middle of nowhere, finding out where that trail went that looked like it went right into the center of nowhere, etc...my GF of the time got me a Diamondback Outlook in July '95, that turned into a Trek 850 two months later...and that was it. Every spare minute I was on the trails, looking for new trails to ride, and, since Jerry was gone, I had a new reason to plan summer trips to places I hadn't yet seen (or ridden)

    I've been working in a shop for thirteen years now, and wouldn't trade it for anything.

    My two-year-old son asked me about a month ago "Daddy, when are we gonna go ride bikes in Colorado?"

    His first trip will be next year. No, he won't quite be ready for Hartmans, Poudre Canyon, and such...but he'll see it and know what's waiting for him when he's ready.

  61. #61
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    I took up mountain biking because we have some great trails here in San Diego County, was tired of the same old same of the gym every night and needed that new release. Deep Sea Fishing was starting to cost too much so enter mountain biking. Love it, ride 60 - 100 miles per week now
    Mark Paolera
    Sddirthead
    President of Greenearth Window Services

  62. #62
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    Girlfriends friend got her to ride, she made me ride. Hooked love it the smell of trees is crack to me. Found a new life ; )
    Fat birds cant fly
    But they can jump rocks and roots ; )

  63. #63
    Last, not lost.
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    My wife runs, and I thought I'd start that up one spring. Monday, went for a run, made it a mile, walked home. Wednesday, tried it again, 1/2 mile, walked home. Friday, bike in the garage. Haven't looked back. Love it.

  64. #64
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    Growing up an only child, I had to find ways to amuse myself in the summers while there was no school and the parents were at work. When I was 14, went on a bike tour on the Blue Ridge Parkway on my Huffy Baron (K-Mart special) and realized that I needed a better bike. I went into the now closed LBS (a new one opened not much later and is still in business) with my mom and started looking at the bikes on the floor. They were all so nice or so it seemed.

    Christmas morning rolled around and there was a brand new 19in Haro V3. I rode that bike so much. My first mountain bike trip took me into the Pisgah on platforms chasing my Uncle who has been riding since the early '90s. I was hooked and hooked hard. I kept growing and outgrew the Haro, traded it to my Mechanic for a mid '90s Marin Bear Valley.

    Bought a Redline Monocog 29er for my High school graduation gift for myself and rode it some. I played football in college for 2 years which left NO time to ride bikes at all except to get around campus and town. Football ended and mountain biking came back into my life. I bought a Specialized Hardrock 29er comp and started riding again. That bike is nothing special, but it is MY bike paid for all by my own labors, maintained almost completely by myself and it is completely mine.

    I ride more, but I am still chasing my friends on rides. But I have learned that its not about being fast, it is about pushing yourself and having fun.
    You may be quick, but I'll knock you over

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider View Post
    One day my friend came to me and said, "Tom Ritchey made all these bike frames. Wanna help me sell them?"

    So Gary Fisher and I rented a garage and started assembling bikes. We had to call our company something, so we called it MountainBikes. We applied for a trademark on that name, but the attorney screwed up our application, so everybody got to use it.
    I saw an ad for "mountain bike[s]" in the back of a backpacker magazine in the early 80's & became obsessed with getting one. I was around 13 years old at the time. I did alot of research into how to get one shipped to Ohio, but the folks weren't willing to pay for it. I heard they had a super-low gear that allowed you to ride up anything.

    My mom's boss got a Schwinn High Sierra maybe a year later & he lent the bike to me for about a month. I rode the bike so much during that month that I destroyed the freewheel & broke a cantilever mount off the fork. The parents, unable to afford a real "mountain bike," thankfully bought me my own bike (a Schwinn "Sierra") later that year. The bike survived for approximately 2 years until I broke the downtube and fork riding off a drop in a local supply yard.

  66. #66
    Livin' the dream.
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    A '97 steel brick Raleigh and a new wife who is smarter than I am...

    15 years later I still haven't found anything better to do with my summers...

  67. #67
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    For me it was the idea to be able to jump off the road and go where no roadie can go and beyond.

    Oh, and beers on me as a newbie!

  68. #68
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    1996-ish...

    A friend suggested it to cross train for triathlons...


    I was hooked, and haven't looked back.



  69. #69
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    I have always been into "extreme" sports. Mtb got my attention a while ago, but didn't really have the money to drop on a decent bike. Finally I searched craigslist for about a month and found something super cheap. And now I'm here, hooked and always looking forward to the next time I can tear up the trails!

  70. #70
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    i rode bmx was for a few years and became really bored of it. so i bought a used hardrock and then became really into it, then i quit bmx lol

  71. #71
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    I rode Schwinn stingrays...

    living in Brooklyn and Queens from the time I was 5 years old. Moved to Long Island later where doing wheelies for blocks (My best was 78) was the thing to do. Some guys did 100 blocks. Played lots of sports growing up and was a skate guard at a popular roller rink but my bike was always my escape. Rode a rigid Gary Fisher steel mtb in Central Park in NYC and Prospect Park in Brooklyn on the weekends and to the gym during the week. I met a guy in 2000 at my place of work who invited me to ride off road with him.
    I went out with him and was blown away. We rode Bethpage one day and Stillwell the next. I was hooked. 6 months later I bought a Giant alu hardtail. Hated the harsh ride and disc brakes. Sold it and purchased a Reynolds 853 Jamis Dragon frame on closeout from Jenson for $400. Built it up and have been riding steel and v-brakes ever since.
    The trails are my church and my therapist.
    EAST COAST
    CLYDESDALE
    DREADLOCKED
    STEEL RIDER

  72. #72
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    I grew up riding all over the place, camping, hiking, etc. Got my drivers license and it all pretty much stopped (still stayed active with weight training). Almost five years ago I realized I was getting fat....really fat. Previously I was in the low 190s and I had found my way up to 230. Yikes. I still had my old Cannondale M600 sitting on the back porch so I decided to head out to explore some local trails.

    Been addicted ever since. The mtn bike reintroduced me to the outdoors and to my childhood love of riding. Now I'm hovering around the low 190s again and find myself to thoroughly enjoy the sport.
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  73. #73
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    the urge to get the hell away from people and my love for the outdoors

  74. #74
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    Growing up in San Diego as a kid I did it all. From BMX, skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing, you name it I have done it. I grew out of skateboarding and BMX about the time I got my license. Then came surfing and snowboarding. In college I lived at the beach and surfed almost every day before classes and during the winter went to the local mountains every chance I had to enjoy a similar passion.

    Fast forward to post college, married, homeowner and working for the man. Living inland, no time to drive to the beach, and living across the street from a beautiful regional park I had been wanting to get into mountain biking. The opportunity presented itself as a co-worker invited me (1 day in advance) to chaperon his Boy Scout group on a downhilling mountain bike adventure. I went on CL found and bought an older GT LTS (familiar with the brand from my BMX days) that day. I must have crashed 5 times, ended up having leg cramps, and was exhausted (taking lifts up mind you), but I loved every minute of it. Ever since I have been enjoying the trails just across the street from my house, invested into a newer GT Force, and have enjoyed challenging myself and progressing in this exhilarating, and at times exhausting, sport.

    I have found my passion and in search of “epic”.

  75. #75
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    running is boring and really beats up your body, irregardless of proper running technique and shoes. road cycling isnt my thing, i just dont see myself worrying about how tight my spandex needs to be and how light my parts should be.

    i like being active in general. this includes all sports when i have time to play them and cycling.

    MTBing FTW
    Gary Fisher HiFi Deluxe 29er

  76. #76
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    I have always loved 2 wheels. It is a way for me to get away from life meet new people and enjoy nature, and now a great way to get back in shape.

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