After a year and a few months of having this Voodoo 29’er, I have realized that riding trails is really where it’s at when it comes to cycling for me.
For the 7 years I gave up my bike – 2000-2007 – when I got my driver’s license and became a runner – I did a lot of hiking. On the weekends, I’d take my dogs for long hikes with my friend Connie. We’d explore different trails, many of them were MTB trails I ride today. I just loved the serenity of the woods.
Later, I ran a 50K trail race in Mt. Airy forest, near my house. That forest has over 5000 acres of woods and I am familiar with many of the trail systems. I’d run the trails with the dogs, watching them run off leash for hours.
Then there were all those goddamn triathlons.
I loved bikes.
I loved trails.
Bikes + trails seemed to be the next obvious move.
My first trail ride was on my CX bike after the Ironman. I was getting ready for my 1st race and I’d heard MTB trails would be good practice.
Then 2 years ago, Dominic built up an old Trek, 26 inch wheels with a rigid fork. I didn’t understand suspension and shock and the difference between 26 or 29 inch wheels. All I wanted was a bike with fat tires so I could ride trails.
At Interbike, I got to test ride many different bikes, and decided my next MTB would be a hardtail. The Voodoo was built up last year and I reg’d for Mohican, which is to date, the best day I ever spent on a bike.
Riding the trails today, I came to a conclusion.
I am head over heels in love with this sport.
Hearing the birds chirp, the animals running off the trail when I come through, the sun shining through the trees, the creeks, the water falls, it’s so goddamn beautiful.
And when I can master a rock garden without clipping out, or jump a log that always seemed too big, my confidence builds and those big wheels keep rolling.
A few pictures from my ride today:
A turtle on the trail. How could I not stop and take a picture?
Gorgeous, isn’t it?
I saw this momma raccoon and her babies. I stopped. Her babies scattered and ran up a tree, and she sat and made noises at me while I snapped her picture.by