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