The 20-mile ride

Today, I rode 20 miles on my mountain bike. Have I did it before?

Yes. I think I did. Back when I did the “climb” I’m pretty sure I put in a 20-miler on that ride. But I was never really sure. This time, I know I did. There’s no questions. My friend, Danny Mullins, and I did the pre-race ride for the Black Bear Rampage in Tennessee. The mileage is 20, and that’s what we did.

But this particular post isn’t about that. Quite frankly, I’m a bit sick of talking about weight loss at this point. I know how to do it and I’m doing it.

Instead, this post is going to be about what this blog is supposed to be about in the first place.

The outdoors.

It’s a love story. Plain and simple.

It starts with heading up a boring paved road, two riders on the shoulder of the asphalt, slowly making our way to the woods. We get to a logging road, turn into the gate, slam down a few hundred yards down a logging road and see the trail.

The magic begins. We move slowly and cautiously through the forest, on the sides are ferns then we see trees then we see a lake spread out to the left of us. At times, the trail is just a foot wide with a steep embankment to the left of us. But the love of what we are doing propels us forward.

We head up a mountain. At the top, we find black cliffs and knee deep grass. A few hundred yard further we come out into an overlook of the mountains, the river below us. We take pictures. I think this is why I do this.

We keep going down Now heading downhill, fast, some sections so steep it makes your ass pucker. You don’t stop. You don’t go back. You keep going.

This is why you do this.

Then we hit an old copper road that wagons used in 1851. Not much remains We ride along the river, watching rafters go through the rapids. We hit rock, roots and I watch Danny Mullins destroy a creek crossing of rock.

And I think, this is why we do this.

This is also a story of hate. A story of climbing up the side of a mountain with roots bogging us down every 10 feet. Getting to a trail that has no personality and changes every quarter mile from a double track logging trail to a single track trail that is smooth and flowy to a trail filled with rock to a trail that goes constantly up and down to a trail that just climbs and climbs.

Then we get to the downhill, head the last mile, get beat up as we hit rock after rock after rock and get to the end.

The love. The hate. The pain. The end.

This is why I do this.

This is why I mountain bike.


About rocklion2000

I am a newspaper reporter in Chattanooga, TN. I am also an outdoor enthusiast who loves hiking, backpacking and mountain biking.
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