Family, Bikes, and Nature – Perfect
I was not a mountain biker. Before this year, I had no idea where the “stream near the rock and log crossing” was, what Epiphany or Gratitude meant, or cared between a Fox of Rockshox fork. Rob (brother-in-law), Laura (sister), and Ben (husband) would carry on in conversation and I would sit idly by; enjoying their company but not engaged with them. Ben finally convinced me to give mountain biking a try. I wanted to spend more quality time with my family so I agreed to give it a go. Ben took me out to the Quarry trails and I rode the USGS and Beach trails. I thought it wasn’t too bad until he took me up to the Ridge line. I saw Ben cross logs, pop over obstacles, and cross creeks and thought this wasn’t possible. I could never do these things. Week after week, we’d go out, with our dog, Blitzer and try to ride the Ridge line. Laura convinced me to race in the VORS series. I thought she was crazy but gave……it a try. It led to long car rides together to get to races. I was encouraged from FAMBE members while I raced around a crit track as fast as I could, without falling over. My heart felt like it was going to explode and my legs burned so bad that in my mind, I thought, I can’t do this. Then I passed by Ben and Laura and the race itself became secondary. Life problems melted away, stresses of bills and work fled my mind and I was flying through the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains; then got lapped, several times. But as they lapped my slow butt, they asked how I am feeling and that I’m doing a great job.
Several months later, I now consider myself a newbie mountain bike rider. Rob, Laura, Ben, and I now stand around in the Maple kitchen and talk about Monolith, new trails, and desired new bike parts. I am able to chime in with a new wealth of knowledge and enjoy the conversation. I’ve survived over-the handlebars falls, wipe outs, mosquito bites, abrasions, bruises, and recently chiggers all over my ankles. My time has been filled with new memories with my family.