I don’t know about everyone else, but often I feel pulled in multiple directions at once. Because I’ve put so much emphasis in my life on being an example, politically, ethically, etc, this struggle manifests itself daily. Hourly? As an activist, professionally, intellectually, personally, athletically, spiritually, adventure(lly?)….all of it gets rolled into the ball that is my life. Sure, it feels great to ride my bike with my housemates over to the Eco Village to pick up our bulk Dr. Bronner’s, organic dry beans, hemp milk, etc, but there’s a part of me deep down that misses BMX. Not just the riding, but the whole lifestyle that ruled my life from pretty much age 12 to 20.
Gondala ride to 11,000ft. The faces they are making is a movie reference I didn’t get.
It wasn’t all narcissistic and ‘extreme’. My friends and I would do anything for each other and we worked hard to build all of those trails and to travel the world to ride our bikes. We really were part of an international community and it forever changed my outlook on the world. Since then there have been some issues where overlap occurs, for example I regret being too punk in college to buy a mountain bike. State college is a great place to ride, as I experienced when I was there last summer, but I thought I’d be giving up my activism by spending time and money mountain biking. Glad I got over that!
I get a lot out of riding my track bike in the city, mountain biking local single track, etc, but lately it’s just not felt like enough. As I’ve gotten older, despite still dressing like a teenager, I’ve suppressed this part of me. It’s as if there is a continuum with Dan Cortese (mtv sports!) on one side and Noam Chomsky on the other. You’ve got to choose your spot! If you are more Dan Cortese than you are less Chomsky! Silly, I know, but I feel like a lot of people think this way and I’ve internalized it and have quieted my inner Dan Cortese.
Leading into the last weekend of August (of summer?) Mike, Max and I went to Mammoth mountain, rented freeride bikes, got lift tickets and had a Dan Cortese hell of an extreme time. I won’t deny it!
At the end of the day we hit some double diamond trails that had gems like this. I wish we had photos of some of the drops and bridges, but we were going too fast to try and stop and go back.
The day we left we took our ‘normal’ bikes out and rode some of the trails lower on the mountain. This is the same trail as the other wall-ride/berm I posted about
These were the types of jumps I hit when I was 10. But with a hydration pak, clipped in and a road helmet it felt appropriately sized.
My friend Stephen, who let us crash, scored us lift tickets and took some of the photos, had just written a short story about another friend of ours first time on a freeride bike. You can read it here.
Have a great week and please don’t forget about your inner Dan Cortese AND Noam Chomsky. They can get along just fine.