Thanks 10 years of mountain biking…- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Good job! Thanks 10 years of mountain biking…

    …or thereabouts. I have down the year but not the exact month. But now as this year, and soon this Iraq tour, comes to a near close it seems as good a time as any to reflect back on the riding days past.

    Growing up in Arkansas in the 60s and 70s I had the usual bikes that kids have. A trike as a toddler and then a red something or another without pedals or brakes that I used to go careening down 7th street on coming to a quick halt ahead of the race traffic on Greenwood Ave. Towards junior high I discovered my Mom’s 10 speed. It wasn’t a Schwinn; we could never afford that, but something close. I remember one day taking it and just exploring the outskirts of the city and not far from the lakes. Spent nearly all day and had Mom worried sick. This is the bike I also rode to Algebra in summer school and to little league games in the summer. It was the same summer Star Wars came out; on that particular opening night Star Wars won out to playing left field. In those days cycling was just something a kid did without really considering it a way of life or a must do; these machines didn’t have names nor were decked out in the finest accessories or components.

    Then the move to Illinois came in ‘78. I think the Schwinn look alike was taken for a spin a few more times with a local girl I was fond of. But bikes would be mainly forgotten as I was busy with things teenagers and young adults are interested in. Drinking, cars, rock clubs, girls, university and working at and then managing a movie house.

    Fast forward to ’94. I’m at Ft Sill and am a 32 year old Sergeant leading a shift of 2/17th FA cooks at SFC “Reefer” Ousley’s messhall. There was a specialist there named Rich. I think most folks thought he was a FAIRly nice guy because he was always wearing funny clothes and sporting the latest mags containing pics of guys with chisled calves riding bikes. He tried to get me into a local Lawton biking club but I thought I wanted nothing to do with it. Eventually I came into some dollars and as young people tend to do it burned a whole in my pocket. In those days I did not know much about researching purchases or the Internet. I ended up thinking a bike might be cool to have to ride around the “field” roads on Ft Sill. I wound up with a heavy beast of a Murray named Star Boulder or some such. That was the name the manufacturer gave it. I rode it along the trail that parallels Rogers Lane heading west from the 52d street gate. I remember the gears never stayed in adjustment and how hard it was to propel it up the tiniest hill. My wife Sally bought me a jersey from Mud Sweat and Gears and I thought I was on my way to becoming a bike enthusiast.

    BREAK----1834 19 Dec local time---I’m in the KBR office---damn the red alarm is off and that rocket was very close to the DFAC here. I heard the whistle and the impact. Damn I hope the last 2 months go by quickly. END BREAK

    So the Murray was stolen one night out of the storage locker owned by the gas station behind Crosswinds Apartments. And biking would be forgotten for a while again as I focused on running 6 miles (2 laps I think) around the Ft Sill golf course getting ready for Warrant Officer Basic course.

    I pinned on WO1 at Ft Rucker, was sent to Baumholder, Germany and shipped out to Bosnia in the spring of 96.

    Returning to Germany later in ’96 I was flush with cash once again. And there she was. Silver beauty. I was in the Baumholder Powerzone Spring of ’97 where upon my eyes did gleam a steel, polished and decked with LX and with yellow green letters down a tube that did declare “Scott racing comp”. A fully rigid, the tag did declare $900. The manager noting my longing glances quickly reduced the price to $610 and so began my foray into biking as a serious hobby. I experimented with clipless pedals, had a quad suspension fork put on and promptly broke my arm trying to pull a wheelie in the Lagerhof parking lot just a week before my 2d deployment to Bosnia. But those biking days in Germany were fun filled with races called the Baumholder Rolling Rocket and another whose name escapes me in Vogelweh. There were organized rides in Darmstadt Forest and elsewhere. Most of the time I rode solo through the rolling farmland or on the tank trails of Smith Kaserne. And I joined in some organized road rides in Idar-Oberstein.

    The Germany tour and Silver Beauty taught me a lot about mountain biking. Mostly how to fall. But the highlight of the whole scene there was an organized ride from Frieburg to St Wendel to the Grundig World Cup. Oh how fun it was to learn about Paola and Frishie and the racing scene. I was hooked. When it came time to return stateside, Silver Beauty was sold for 100 bucks or so at the thrift store on Smith Barracks.

    Before leaving Baumholder I researched Ft Hood thoroughly on the web which I learned about quickly after becoming a military officer. My first stop on Hood was to check out the Trailblazers Mountain Biking Park on Lake Belton; my 2d stop was to the now defunct Spoke N Sprocket where TJ Holmes, at the time the TX ladies XC state champ, promptly fitted me to a 2000 Trek 7000. “Scary Fast” took on the technical rocky, bluebonnet and cacti ridden intermediate trails like a champ except she suffered heavy paint damage. After several thousand miles of fun on various TX trails, I found “Double B”. A Giant XTC racing hard tail from University Cyclery in Austin. The Texas era brought me to probably 50 different venues, tons of beginner races and many, many new friends. Learning experiences abounded. I got faster on the bike and learned how to do things like write club newsletters and build and maintain web sites. I started my MBA too, and even with that biking helped. Ethics papers, marketing papers, and the like all centered on cycling somehow.

    After almost 5 great years in TX I hated to move on but I had made CW3, was upon my last few MBA classes—and just knew it was time. I volunteered for duty in Hawaii and so here I am. Basking in the summer in Iraq and, well- the winters are not bad. Sitting here pondering the MBA being in hand and probably being considered overqualified when I retire in ’06. lol. Really hoping I can work at a great southwestern location for a company like Dell or Raytheon.


    But before I was sent here I spent nearly a year on Oahu and have met some of my best cycling buddies yet. Hello Dan and Devin and guys and gals. The Hawaii Bicycling League is awesome. I have completed a century and a 24 hour mountain bike race. I’m already on my 2d road bike but MTB will always be the love.
    And thus comes to close a decade of great biking. From 1994 when a co-worker planted in my head that cycling was a fun activity through the days at Fts Sill, Hood, Baumholder and Schofield and through many bikes of which I still have and pedal, I say it’s been grand.

    So thanks riding buddies and supporters (esp my wife Sally who attend all the events) and Double B and Hawaii Pearl and Silver Beauty and Scary Fast (whom permanently resides in the trainer) and to the new unnamed road bike I snagged when I was on R and R and soon to the new Stumpie I’ll get upon my return. I say the next 2 or3 or 4 decades, we’ll make just as grand.

    Look out Fred S of Waco TX. If I get enough money to travel in my old age, there might come a new old man XC champ named the SlowRdr. In any event whatever cycling happens, well it’s gunna be great.

    Thanks Dirt Rag, and other mags and forums like Passion and MOJO that keep the inspiration alive as well.

    And thanks for reading this reminiscing gibberish about how I got into and stayed in love with biking.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: brianc's Avatar
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    Thanks for the Hit!

    intresting read.
    b

  3. #3
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    southwest?

    Quote Originally Posted by ArmySlowRdr
    Really hoping I can work at a great southwestern location for a company like Dell or Raytheon.
    .
    some of the best trails in the country are very near your hometown of Hot Springs.
    AR also has an awesome race series.
    ...---...

  4. #4
    I Just Ride....
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    Good job! Hang In There!

    Hang in there Chief!
    You'll be back on the bike before you know it!
    Brian
    Ride On!
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    "I Ride my bike, to Ride my bike...."
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  5. #5
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    Good write up. Thanks for taking us along with you.

    Godspeed to you and may you join us on the trails soon.
    Yeah I gotta question. You got any excuses tonight Roy ? -Antonio Tarver

    There is room for it all, just ride what you like to on what you like to...that's freeriding. -rbn14



  6. #6
    govt kontrakt projkt mgr
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtdog
    some of the best trails in the country are very near your hometown of Hot Springs.
    AR also has an awesome race series.
    I've only made it back once to visit since the family moved from there way back after my soph HS year.

    Several or so years ago I almost signed up for the Ouachita Challenge but then the ice storm came and cancelled the race. It's on my list of places to get to to ride for sure.

  7. #7
    govt kontrakt projkt mgr
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    Let's hear about your last ten years of biking or so. Reason I dredge this old thread up is a frien from Thailand just ask me about it on LINE APP why I like bike so much. So I send her the link.

  8. #8
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  9. #9
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    Hey, Pete, I know where you ended up! My now husband and I ran into you at either Rocky Hill or Warda on our very first date about 10 years ago and we've been riding together every since.

  10. #10
    govt kontrakt projkt mgr
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    Wow--that I didn't know. Yup like both those places

    Quote Originally Posted by June Bug View Post
    Hey, Pete, I know where you ended up! My now husband and I ran into you at either Rocky Hill or Warda on our very first date about 10 years ago and we've been riding together every since.

  11. #11
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    Did you ever do the XC/DH races at Kualoa Ranch when you were in Hawaii? I think it was called Dirt Day in Paradise. I shipped my DH bike over there for the race in '05. I had some blistering fast runs, but somehow was beat by the slowest locals. Hmmm. Tons of fun though, racing through the jungle with mangos falling on your head. Now that I think about it, that was my last vacation over four days long.
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  12. #12
    govt kontrakt projkt mgr
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    yes !

    I did the dirt day in paradise time trial race one year and the 24 hours of hell in pardise two years--all on the nice trails of Kualoa Ranch. Miss Oahu at times !


    Quote Originally Posted by Vader View Post
    Did you ever do the XC/DH races at Kualoa Ranch when you were in Hawaii? I think it was called Dirt Day in Paradise. I shipped my DH bike over there for the race in '05. I had some blistering fast runs, but somehow was beat by the slowest locals. Hmmm. Tons of fun though, racing through the jungle with mangos falling on your head. Now that I think about it, that was my last vacation over four days long.

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