Thanks for letting me ride with you- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Thanks for letting me ride with you

    I had to write a personal narrative for school so i wrote it on backcountry rides. I have copied and pasted it from word. at least read the end if you dont have time to read the whole thing.

    Epic
    ďBum bum, baa da, do,Ē the alarm belts out. My room is black except the sliver of dull light that peaks in from down the hall as I stumble to where my riding clothes are set out. In a haze I clumsily try to arrange them over my head and on my legs. Finally, I am starting to get awake as I pound down a large, quick breakfast. I grab my lemonade flavored Gatorade out of the fridge and jump into the car with all my pre packed riding gear. I am off for another epic mountain bike ride and it is just barley 5:45 in the morning. An epic is a backcountry mountain bike ride is an event that requires proper equipment, throws age out the window, and opens your eyes to how big and wondrous our earth is.
    Glossy, radiant, caution-sign- orange steed of mine, it floats over rocks, roots, and ruts like a trapeze artist fearlessly defying the ground beneath him. My carbon companion charges ahead confidently, like an elk down a snow cover hill, as rocks give way, traction becomes nothing more than a memory, and the trail pitches steeper and steeper down. My bike is an Ibis by make, a Mojo by model, and a ruler by nature. The lines of her lines flow like the ribbon of a flag corps pole. I ordered this bike early July of this summer but was unable to build and tame it until the first of August. I am still working on the taming part; it still has a tendency to throw fits which cause me to usually be stopped by an uncomfortable bush or gritty earth. This bike is classified as all mountain, all day. This means that the geometry -lengths and angles of the frame- of it are relaxed enough to be comfortable for hours in the saddle and descend well, but aggressive enough to climb like Marco Pantani. The second part of being classified as an all mountain bike is that there is between five and six inches of suspension in the front and in the back. This is just enough cushions to absorb large rocks and other gnarled hazards of the trail. Beyond the bike, the people I ride with are an important part of each venture.
    Most teenagers spend their Saturdays with people their own age trying to get away from those who have aged well beyond them. I on the other hand, spend my Saturdays with a gaggle of mid-life crisis suffering, haggard, old men, many of which I donít even know at the start of the ride. Okay, so many be their not that old, one is twenty-eight and the rest are in their mid to late forties, and maybe they really arenít haggard, but I am sure most of them are getting very near their mid life crisis if they have not already had them. I give them a hard time for the simple reason they started it. Some of them only know me by my nick name, The Kid, and give me a hard time about being so young. By the end of the ride there is usually friendly bantering bouncing back and forth like the tennis ball in the final match of Wimbledon. The ride rarely starts with this level of acceptance. Many of the men usually wonder first, what a kid is doing on a ride like this and second, how long I will last before he crumble and am being a thorn in their side. I simply wonder how long it will take them to realize that I have at least an idea of what I am doing and am most likely going to send them out the back door once we start climbing. By the time weíve all made it back to the truck I have usually earned their respect and support of my doing more of these rides with them.
    One of the men, in specific, that has been very supportive of me is Dan Meeker, a.k.a. Old Man Riding. I started riding with him a couple of years ago when I meet him through one of my biking coaches. I usually find out when and where the group is riding through him and often ride in his truck to the trailhead. Once we are on the trail his support starts to come out in other ways. One way is that he watches out for me by periodically reminding me to drink or telling me when to start snacking. By the end of the ride I have, on average, consumed three cookies and cream Power Bars, one to two whole wheat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and at least a hundred ounces of a diluted Gatorade mixture. Recently he has started working with me on my bike handling skills. At different points throughout the descent we will ride together watching how the other handles a given situation. I watch him to see how I should be doing something such how to move my weight so that I can corner faster without sliding. He then, in turn, watches me and explains why what I am doing is not working, how to fix it, and why the new way will work better. With his help I have been able to ride faster while still having more control. I have also been able to spend less time fighting with the dirt and more time enjoying the view.
    One of the highlights of backcountry rides is the scenery. As I climb I try to keep one eye on the trail and let one stare in bewilderment at the collective majesty that is engulfing me: peaks that jab strait up scraping at the clouds floating by, huge trees that must have seen a hundred years and sights I could never imagine, or streams that begin wide and powerful but retreat to a trickle so soft it becomes the trail. The pollen of high mountain wildflowers turning a meadow into a solid brilliant purple enchants my nose. The air is heavy with smoke from near by wildfires, but sweet with the trace of pine. Once we get to our highest point of the day we lay our bikes down, whip out the lunches, and gaze in complete awe of the view. Quickly we all start trying to figure out which peak or mountain range is off in the distance. Mountains try to hide themselves behind the ranges before them. From here, far off mountain ranges turn blue and seem to be all but falling away over the edge of earth, which must not be much farther than we can see because the view goes on forever in any direction. In time, everyone packs up their lunch and preps for the descent back to the truck.
    We dive in savoring every second of the ride. Trees rush past so close to our shoulders it seem as though we might rub sap off the trunks. Rocks appear suddenly at your wheels like garden gnomes holding the front line in battle. Water in the stream races you to somewhere, anywhere down the mountain. The trail twists and plunges with ferocity and vengeance, lunges left and breaks right like a world class bucking bull. Seemingly moments after we dove in we have covered miles and lost in less than an hour all the elevation it had taken us hours to gain. As quickly as a fresh batch of hot gooey chocolate chip cookies disappears all that is left is to climb back to the truck and share war stories before packing up and heading home.
    The day is gone and the sun is falling low. Iíve been up for fourteen hours now and am ready to be done for the day. There are still things to be done before crumbling into bed and I will have to explain to my parents why I am home later than expected, but for now, my mind wanders over the day I have just lived. The highway wind flutters in through the truck window trying to flush out the rank stench of what had been lunch a few hours ago but has now turned to an unpleasant gas choking all the immediate passengers, and bidding me farewell caresses my salty cheek soothingly as it retreats until next weekend. I realize that age means little; good times are great, accidents can usually be amusing, and those few hours I could have invested in sleep were well used today. Already I wonder where we will go next weekend and what my eyes will behold. For now though, I will study the backs of my eye lids the rest of the way home.

  2. #2

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    The Kid

    The kid can ride. He climb's with the best and is DH'ing better every ride.I've never seen a 16 year old with this kind of stamina. He rides for 7 hours and looks like he could do 3 more. When he went on the first ride I was concerned but it didn't take long to figure out he would be waiting on us instead of the other way around.

  3. #3
    Wandervans
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    At least I am not the youngest one on these rides anymore...
    Live to ride!
    18 Cannondale Jekyll Carbon
    16 Diamond Back DB8

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  4. #4
    Look out!
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    So, what grade did the teacher give you for that write up? Which I thought was a great one by the way.
    Last edited by mtnbkrid; 09-14-2007 at 12:45 PM.
    Ride the bike.

  5. #5
    energy
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    Hey ride on, dirt:

    As a Grad Student and about-to-be faculty at Purdue Univ, working with gifted students, I see that you are a very talented writer. You have a terrific ability to bring the reader into your experience, seeing your sights, smelling your scents, hearing your sounds, even feeling your heart race as you describe plunging and lunging down the side of a mountain! Knowing a few of the local guys, I truly appreciated your reference to the approaching mid-life crisis riders! Too funny! Great combo of visual, factual, humorous, informative, story-telling writing. Keep up the good work, and keep on riding!

    M.

  6. #6
    jalepenio jimenez
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    Nicely done Kid.

    Itís great to have a mentor like the Old Man Riding taking you under his wing and showing you a thing or two.

    Us old guys (and gals) know a few things about life that, as you age, you will surely encounter in your own journey down the same well travelled road that weíve all been down.

    For instance, did you know that you can get an extra couple days out of a dirty pair of underwear simply by turning them inside out (and maybe even backwards for another day?)

    Your writing style is commendable. You may have a thing or two to pass on to us old guys in that area.

    I know of one individual who could take a tip or two on grammar, punctuation, and spelling from you that would help make reading his posts a little more coherent and comprehensive. Maybe you can do some coaching in that on your next ride.

    Keep up the good work, both on and off the bike.

    And as for your mentor, I hope he doesnít think Iím refering to him in the above comment.

    jp
    White Clouds - Heart of Idaho

  7. #7
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    Wink Try the omelet

    "Many of the men usually wonder first, what a kid is doing on a ride like this and second, how long I will last before he crumble and am being a thorn in their side."

    I think you are slightly confused on what some of the old farts were actually thinking which was, ďOh cr*p, Dan brought a ďkidĒ that is going to kick our butts.Ē And you did! But it didnít matter, because the crusty old men had a common bond with you which is the passion for adventure and riding. So toast to the next epic and I would ride with you any day.

    By the way, some of us have been in the throws of a middle life crisis since we were your age. Thatís when I started buying the best bike I could afford and havenít stopped since. The perfect number of bikes is the number you currently own plus one. Why all the bikes? Because no matter what crisis or issue you have in life, some time in the saddle will help you find the solutions and if nothing else it will take you to that happy place. Like the perfect number of bikes, the ride you are one is always the best except for the next epic. So welcome to the mid life crisis of ďmust having more bikes and more epics.Ē

    So thank you for the great write up which took me away from the evils of work and to the happy trial that still exists in my head.


    Enjoy the ride and happy trails!

    P.S. Next time, try the omelet and the old guys will eat the pancakes!

  8. #8
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    grade

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrid
    So, what grade did the teacher give you for that write up?
    I have not gotten the grade for it yet, but the teacher chould be grading them this weekend. When i find out what i got i will let you guys know.

  9. #9

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    Mudflap

    Who else could you be talking about. I canít write or spell. I also assume everyone knows what I am talking about when I write and I contradict myself continuously. Iíve know this for 40 years. The only reason I graduated from HS is because I could play a few sports. Unfortunately writing is one of my weakest subjects. Fortunately one of my strengths is digging dirt. I will take the dirt any day.
    I had to respond because I found this kind of funny and so true. I actually started laughing.

  10. #10
    jalepenio jimenez
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    Oops...

    Sorry Dan, that comment may have been inappropriate on my part, but Iím glad you saw the humor in it. That was itís intent.

    ďride on, dirt,Ē consider yourself fortunate, as most of us older adventurers didnít have a mentor to show us the ropes. We had to make all those discoveries, along with quite a few mistakes, by ourselves. Since you are so fortunate, we will expect great things from you: both riding and writing, digging dirt, and a little English Comp thrown in for all our benefit.
    White Clouds - Heart of Idaho

  11. #11
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    grade

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrid
    So, what grade did the teacher give you for that write up? Which I thought was a great one by the way.
    so we finally go back our papers and i got a 94.5% on that paper. I lost points on my thesis, mechanics and sentence structure

  12. #12
    Look out!
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    Quote Originally Posted by ride on, dirt
    so we finally go back our papers and i got a 94.5% on that paper. I lost points on my thesis, mechanics and sentence structure
    Congratulations! I bet your folks were happy with that one, .
    Ride the bike.

  13. #13

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    Mudflap

    No reason to apologize. It is what it is. Still kinda funny.

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