So being the President of the local chapter of SORBA and IMBA can be interesting. Mostly in the fact that people already have a preconceived notion of me and how or why I ride. It’s not the same thought amongst them either. Some people think I must be awesome and race and some think I must be a big group leader and ride in groups all the time or, well, I’m not really sure what else people think but what I do know is usually they just really don’t know and we all have preconceived notions of others before we know them because it’s just human nature. It’s natural to think or assume people do or act a certain way because of what they are known for, whether it be leading an organization, their job title or what they wear.
So I’m going to push away what you think and tell you who I am, as a cyclist. I ride for fun, pure enjoyment. I’m not a racer, I’m not big on group rides and I don’t like expectations. I live my life to be happy and do what I want to do. I started riding almost 9 years ago. A friend lent me his old school rigid fork bike (I want to say it was a Specialized but I don’t remember) and I basically had to learn how to ride a bike again. I lived in Enka at the time and could access some power line roads out of the back of my neighborhood at the time(Enka Village). I was riding short loops out of my neighborhood and in Bent Creek and quickly fell in love. I had to have my own bike. I went onto Ebay and bought a Barracuda for 350 bucks. A steel frame hardtail that you could throw off a 10 story building and would survive just fine. In fact I think my friend, Michelle, still has it. It probably is a collectible as they stopped making them but had their own niche back in the day. Anyway, I quickly became addicted. I’m not sure exactly why. I had tried whitewater kayaking and had been hiking for years at that point but for some reason biking was it. I wanted more. I had that Barracuda for only a few months before I wanted more. I went on a search and tried out several bikes before I found my first real love in bikes. I had found a demo Ellsworth from Biowheels for the weekend and rode it at Bent Creek and was thoroughly enjoying it until I stopped in at Liberty and one of their mechanics, Gary, had his old bike for sale. A 2001 Turner XCE. I rode it around for about a half an hour and just knew that was it. I had to have that bike. I was in love. I rode as much as I could, getting acquainted with singletrack and falling more in love with the sport of mountain biking.
Since then I have gone through some phases. I moved out to Balsam, NC. Not as close to biking trails as I wanted so biking became more sporadic. I eventually found a group in Waynesville that every Sunday went out to Pisgah, Dupont or Bent Creek to ride and that was a blast. I was getting better on downhills and although was one of the slowest up every hill always caught up on the downhill and smiled bigger than anyone. I went through a break up and fixing up a house we both owned to sell so had a big period of only a rare ride. A couple of years ago I moved back to Asheville and finally had a chance to get back into biking way more than I had been in the few years before that. I got a chance to start working on the trails with Pisgah Area SORBA and that got me hooked into the group that brought me to being where I am today. It’s hard to explain as I have never been a “serious” rider in the sense of I’m not a racer or lead weekly rides. I ride for me, strictly my enjoyment. I’m selfish with my biking. That being said it has saved my life. It has been my therapy over the years. It always made me smile. There is a reason my 2001 Turner XCE is named True Love. I am in love with cycling. Bikes are beautiful, riding is beautiful. I have tried other sports/hobbies since but none can compare. I love my bikes and cycling.
I will never be competitive. I will do the occasional fun race that ends with free beer because it’s fun. I am out there because it makes me happy and that’s just how I roll. On two wheels with a smile and no other cares in the world when I am on my bike. I’m not out there to win a race or show others how it is done I am out there for me, because riding on two wheels is just pure awesomeness.
I have embraced the road in the past couple of years but it’s the mountain bike that brought me where I am and I will never lose my love for it. Thank you Chris for lending me that bike that got me started and thank you Gary for True Love. I wouldn’t be me without the two of you. Today I have three bikes, True Love, Flash (2009 Turner Flux) and Yoshi (mid 80s road bike). I only want more. I am in love with cycling.