Monday, May 7, 2012

Bikes, Bullets, and Do-Overs

By Sean Rees

Bikes are fun.

It seems like a no-brainer. Somehow that fact eluded me from the ages of 10 to 30.  Last year I bought my third bike ever which was also my first mountain bike, a gold colored Kona Hei Hei 100 XC bike. The previous bike, 20 years before was a silver colored Huffy something-or-other that I named Silver Bullet.

Sean shredding the early years.

I don't remember the exact day that I decided to be boring and stop riding bikes but it is a day I wish I could do over. Maybe I didn't watch the movie 'Rad' enough. If only the present me could go back and tell the past me what a mistake he was making. Then maybe there might not have been such a learning curve when I picked up a bike again last year.
Getting back into biking happened gradually. A few years ago my wife and I lived on the east coast while we were getting our graduate degrees. I started getting emails, Facebook updates and invites from some website called Pinkbike to view photos and videos of my cousins Dave and Brigham doing increasingly awesome things on their bikes. They finally awakened in me something that had been hibernating for far too long; my sense of adventure. In May of last year after moving back to Utah, Brigham helped me purchase a gold colored Kona Hei Hei 100 for a "Guys Trip" to Sedona, AZ. Brigham took me on my first real bike ride in nearly two decades. 5 minutes in I wanted to barf. Doing nothing for so long makes a person weak. The barf feeling slowly melted away to be replaced by a desire to bike as often as possible.

A few of the two-wheeled machines in question

When I got back from the trip I began riding my bike three or four times a week. The last year has been full of flat tires, sprained fingers, shattered helmet cams, blood, cuts, burns and thousands of dollars spent on bikes and gear.
What a great year! Bikes are fun!

Wait a minute. I totally lied. I just remembered two other bikes I had after the silver Huffy; a gray and yellow Haro and a red Robinson. These bikes got use in the early 90's when I was in 6th grade. At this point I lived in Williston, North Dakota. There is currently an oil boom going on in Williston so you may have heard of it. I lived there because of the first oil boom in the 80's. Oil is the only reason I can think of to make anyone want to live there. Its very flat. There are no mountains. There aren't even any hills. Winter lasts for 6 months of the year and I remember temperatures dropping to -50 degrees. Snow would often drift clear to our roof. You know what, It might actually be North Dakota's fault that I ditched biking for so long. Luckily I live in the mountains now and enjoy riding singletrack, ski resorts and dirt jumps with my current bike; a red Transition Covert I've named Hellboy. I look forward to when the snow melts off and I can start riding again, because as I mentioned before; bikes are fun.

the end.

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