The first few times I was invited mountain biking I laughed it off.
Mountain biking wasn’t something I wanted to do or ever thought I would do.
But then I did it.
And now I am a mountain biker.
This weekend Boone & I drove out to McKenzie River east of Eugene and camped for a couple days on the trail. The McKenzie River Trail was the very first trail I ever mountain biked (in 2005), and it’s still one of my favorites. I’d only ever ridden the bottom half, though. This weekend I finally got the chance to ride the top section of the trail. It is notoriously technical (“technical, technical, technical bla bla bla” is most of what you’ll hear about it in trail reviews) with lava bed sections featuring slices of razor sharp flesh-hungry pumice and lava rock boulders to catch your fall. It is mesmerizingly beautiful. Just don’t fall.
I got bonky and cranky from all that effort of trying not to fall and die, and demanded a rest stop in some “blasé” section of deep rain forest, saying “this is as good a place as any.” I wondered why Boone seemed disappointed at the random choice of rest spot. When we got on our bikes and turned the pedals a couple times, we rounded the corner and found a canyon with a crystal clear cobalt blue round pool being fed by lava tubes. It was then I realized that some spots on the McKenzie River are better than others.
Case in point. My first GoPro helmet cam video. Is it true that the moment you put a camera on your head, cool stuff stops happening? The most exciting stuff shown here is Boone doing wheelies and hopping things; otherwise it was a pretty “boring” spot in the trail. And it looks slow, too. Without further ado:
It couldn’t have been that slow because four minutes felt like less than one. I had to really hustle to try to keep up with Boone. Then I got anxious to turn the camera off because nothing was happening on the trail. We’d gotten beyond the “technical, technical, technical bla bla bla” and were in the smooth middle section, rolling along. Anyway, that’s how it felt. After you see the gorgeous scenery we’re whizzing by, the river roaring off to the left, you may disagree. But I’m disappointed not to be able to show you how I took my cross country racing bike down so many treacherous lava bed declines without KILLING MYSELF. You’ll just have to continue to imagine what a badass I am. Surprisingly this was one of the few rides I finished unscathed. And sadly, the hot springs near camp was flooded and cold. We had to make do with wine, whiskey, and the warmth of a campfire.
We told spooky stories, then clambered into the tent to hide from the ghouls.
Then we dreamed of things like this:
It was perfect.