Every kid starts with a bike…in my case, a 70’s Schwinn Vista, bling’d out with a gold and yellow banana seat. After breaking the bottom bracket/frame somewhere around 6th grade, I upgraded to a Sekai 10-speed. Used that to attack a car in 1987 (I lost), and upgraded to a Fuji 12-speed. Someone liked that bike more than me around 1990, so I bought another Schwinn…this time, a 21 speed aluminum mountain bike called a “High Plains.”
It officially started.
Well, maybe….I lived in Ashland WI, and the whole “MTB scene” was about the look and not what you actually did with it….I was on fire roads, gravel roads, powerline roads, and anything else that wasn’t paved, but hardly doing any “real” mountain biking.
Fast forward to 2009…I had just finished a 2 year marketing tour with the Toyota Trail Team, and had the opportunity to get a few rides on a Yeti full suspension bike. Super fun…so I bought a Gary Fisher Hifi Plus. That survived a few years, including a run down the Full Enchilada in Moab, then a cracked carbon fiber swingarm (and no warranty via GF/Trek) meant new bike time….again. This time, I picked up a Niner Air9 scandium frame and used the parts off the GF to build my own…and actually begin to ride.
Fast forward again to July 2018…I’m at FJ Summit in Ouray CO, with a Frame Fat bike….Carl from Nitro Gear invites me to join him for a ride on the RAT system outside Ridgway. He thoroughly kicked my butt. So I focused, studied and improved, adding miles onto the Air9 and improving my skills and endurance. We rode together again in July 2019, and didn’t embarrass myself….but knew a full suspension was on the horizon.
August 2019 and a Diamondback Release3 found it’s way home. 27.5 Maxxis tires, Fox fork and shock, aluminum frame. I’ve put nearly 1500 miles on that bike in 10 months, and it’s taught me well.