Sunday, April 16, 2006

Spring riding makes my hands sting

I've been geting some good day's of riding in despite the off and on rain that spring in the N.W. brings. So it seemed like a good idea to get the big bike out and head for Hood River in the columbia river gorge to do some jump filled riding at Post Canyon. The Flyin' Hawaiian went a couple of days before and said " it's good to go" So we(Me, Chipped, Whiplash and the Flyin' Hawaiian)went. The day before the weatherman said the whole state of Oregon was going to be socked in for rain and up to 2 feet of snow in the mountains. What do they know. It's almost may ya know? SO it rained all night at my house and rained almost all the way to Hood River. Not too bad though. We dropped off Chipp's truck at the bottom and headed up. Chip say's " The snow level is 2300 feet today. How high we going? I say " 2300 ft probably. Then Flyin' J say's " Hey it's snowing! Yes once again i'm riding in the snow. 1st it was in Bend w/ Jason and Erin where we rode from the Mountain back to town. (on my Stinky) Then it was with MTB John and his buddy at Waldo lake. (21 miles in the snow) and now Post canyon. The first part of the decent is really fun as there is a lot of ruts and holes. But i couldn't see 'em. Fallen tree's were also fun to crawl over when covered with snow. After decending a while we get to the section where the trail is covered with lot's of rocks. (softball,football sized) I love this kinda stuff. When you can see it. I tried to ride as fast as usual but one rock got me and i got side ways, flew off the bike, flipped and landed on my back. Did i mention how fun i is riding fast in snow? And oh so quiet. Anyway..everyone was really cold at this point and we realized we weren't going to be hitting up a bunch of drops and jumps. Once we got below the snow line the mud started. The mud at Post is lame but a litle more predictable. I ended up hiting two 6 foot drops and ruining my brake pads.
The moral of the story? Every ride has good parts to it. Even if you can't figure that out until your out of the shower. and if you go home after riding , not to the hospital then it's a good day afterall.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

My MTB history part 1...................

I first remember hearing about Mountain Bikes back in ‘87. My friend Mike from Church was saying he had some money and wanted to get a Mountain Bike. I think it was a Giant. He got it and that was that. In ‘99 when I was getting a tax return I decided I wanted a Mountain bike. Didn’t know the first thing but I knew I wanted a suspension fork. So when I got the check I got a Giant Rincon hard tail. I was pretty excited. I would do these long loops around Portland dodging cars and busses and even rode to work a few times. As stupid as it sounds I never even thought about riding off road. I had ridden my bmx off road a bit as kid but that was it. I was playing basketball on my buddy’s Church team and he asked me one time if I had ever ridden off road. Nope, was all I could think of to say. So he went on telling me about riding at Forrest Park in N.W. Portland. It was just Fire roads but I didn’t know any better. So we made plan’s to ride after work one day. We started riding and I was thinking “ wow, this is really great” then it started going up ( just barley) then I was thinking “ I’m gonna die”. After we were done I thought it was really fun. After that I was wanting to ride at forest park a lot. We would shuttle the steep fire roads, going way to fast on our crappy bikes, always out of control but having a blast. I got layed off the next year so I had more time for riding. I bought a mountain biking Oregon book to find some trails. I found one in an area I knew and I went to check it out one Sunday after Church. It was so skinny , steep and rocky. It looked really cool. I told my Wife that I was going there after work the next day to ride that trail. I was so excited. When I got there and started riding I couldn’t believe how hard it was. Every steep section my front wheel kept coming up and my heart was pounding so loud in my head I thought people were marching behind me. I quit after 20 min. Not too long after that I was up in Longview, Washington getting tattooed when I asked the guy ( to ignore the pain) “ SO what have you been up too lately?” He said he had been doing a lot of Mountain Biking. Wow ! That’s so weird so have I. Where do you ride I said. He said all these trails I had never heard of , talking about the three thousand dollar cannondale he just got. ( I can remember thinking how stupid to pay that much for a bike) He said something like “ we should ride sometime” and I was like “maybe not” We ended up getting together and started riding as much as three times a week on his local (very technical) trail system called Growlers Gulch. With trail names like “The Terminator, Beauty and the Beast, Belly of the Beast, Mr. T and more I was a little more than nervous. Those trail were so fun and beat me down so hard. They were great times.

Around the same time I bought the dvd “Kranked 4-Search for the holey trail”. Watching that opened me up to a whole new aspect of mountain biking. It was crazy and I couldn’t believe some of the stuff I was seeing. Watching Dangerous Dan on the North shore blew me away. I wanted a BIG bike for sure. I started riding the local Scappoose trails I had found only 5 miles from my house. It was a maze to me , so every time I rode up there I would find a trail or two and then go home so I wouldn’t forget. I eventually ran into some other locals on the trails. One guy John was responsible for building most of the trail so he gave me the big tour. I continued to ride there a few times a week until one muddy, rainy day I was finishing up a 22 mile ride at forest park when I talked to a guy getting ready to ride. I told him about the Scappoose trails and how cool they were. I gave him my e-mail and said if he wanted to check them out to let me know. He did, and Terry and I started riding together . We did some of the cool n.w. rides that I had heard about like Mt. St Helens (where I forgot my shoes and had to where Terry’s sandals) and stuff around Mt Hood. I bought a Kona stinky dee-lux and started doing some dh riding. What a blast. All the confidence I thought I had changed when I got into some REAL technical terrain. I learned quick that when it gets steep , rocky and sketchy is when I like it even more. I started monitoring a web site of some local riders towards the end of the summer. They had a message board and seemed like they were doing a lot of riding. DH and XC. I posted a few times on their site and talked about doing a ride with them. I said I could lead them on the Glade trail which starts by Timberline lodge on Mt Hood and descends (mostly) down for about 14 miles. They were cool and we did 2 runs. Fun time. We made arrangements to ride again the next weekend on the Lewis river trail in SW Washington. I called Terry to get him to go and it was on. It ended up being Me, Terry, Jamie and Bernie. It rained, And rained and rained. Terry went through a set of brake pads and I learned what “Chain suck” was. Jamie crashed and slammed his handle bar into his neck. Ouch. Thus begun a seemingly never ending adventure of riding, falling and crashing.

To be continued