by: Jeff Haug
I was asked this question many a time as I'm sure all you other cyclists
have been too, "What was your best day on a bike?" This got me thinking
about what makes a best day. Is it finding a new part of a trail you've
ridden on over and over? Is it when you finally make it up that one really
steep hill? Making it over that tough technical part of a trail you have
had to stop to walk your bike over before?
I thought of all these things but my best day was when I was just plain
riding. I went over to my friend's house to see if he wanted to ride.
He said Yeah, of course. We got all our stuff ready and filled up our
water bottles. We set off.
Where I live there are many trails, all singletrack (duh!) but most of
them are short and not that hard. So we picked one that we had ridden
a couple times but never really had a chance to explore it. It was about
a 3 mile ride to get there and we were yearning for the trails by then.
When we got there we went down the entrance hill as usual and went through
the trail for a couple minutes. This was the fast part of the trail. We
passed a couple of forks in the trail and chose which way rather indiscriminately.
The we got to part of the trail we had never ridden before. We decided
to play it safe and ride the brakes.
Then came uphill riding. Ugh. We struggled up the hills and we kept going
only to find that we were back where we started. We went through it all
again choosing to go a different way. This time at the end of the ride
came a very long mud crossing. I pushed through it. It was very tough.
I didn't think I would be able to make it. When we went across your tires
just sunk into the ground about six inches. Mud was flying all over me
and it clogged the brakes pretty badly. I was the only one who made it
across without putting a foot down.
"We went across your tires just sunk
into the ground about six inches"
About a quarter mile later, and too many stump jumps, we came out to
the road. I knew where we were. So I decided to stop and drink my fill.
Then we descended the really steep hill and I decided I wanted to go through
a trail I'd been on but never finished, I had always had to turn back.
So We went on it and It too was muddy but not as bad. It seemed never
ending. Ride. Jump. Climb. Ride some more. That seemed to be the routine.
I thought I knew where it went because we were next to the river and I
knew where it led. I was right. The trail came out to a road that was
past all the way across town. I guessed it was about ten miles from home
and my legs were so very tired. My riding buddy was tired too.
When we were about a mile from home I saw another of my frequently taken
trails and decided I wasn't through. I made a sharp turn and rocketed
through it. I fell and banged my knee. It hurt really bad. I had to walk
the bike about a mile home.
But that was fun. Even if the injury put me out of riding for a week
or two, I had so much fun in that one day of riding it was worth it. That
was by best day. I think all the mud and pain was worth it. And I wouldn't
change a thing of it for a thousand dollars. Well, maybe, but that won't
ever happen anyways so I well stoked.
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