Friday, February 25, 2011

And the Winner Is...

John Furrow of Bend, OR is the winner of February's cycling story of the month contest. He will be enjoying his one pound of Backporch coffee while cruising around in his brand new Lamborghini Diablo. Now you wish you would have sent a story don't you. It's o.k., there will be plenty more chances. I didn't actually give him a Lamborghini, though. Just the coffee, which is in his box at work (if you were wondering, John). For your enjoyment today, here is John's story:

Circa 1988, I came home from my early morning job at UPS.  My brother was asleep… ok, passed out on the couch.  Next to the couch was a beautiful new black shiny Schwinn mountain bike.  I heard our friend Scott had just bought a new mountain bike, but this was the first time seeing one in person.  I’m sure it was a tough decision for Scott to allow his brand new mountain bike to leave his apartment underneath a sloshed helmsman, but that’s what friends are for. Too bad Scott didn’t think far enough ahead to see me staring at that bike, knowing that bike was yearning for first dirt, wanting someone to ride it where Scott would never be able to.
No more than a half mile to the west of the house was the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, a collection of rocky desert peaks.  In clear sight was a streak of gray, dropping directly down from the top of the closest peak.  The gray streak cascaded roughly 200 feet down to the highest trail. This would be my test run.  Mountain bikes, I’d heard, were good at rolling downhill over steep and rocky terrain.  I’d even seen pictures in magazines!
It took me no time flat to crest the top of the trail on the shiny new bike.  I banked left and up the gray streak only to sink four inches deep in talus.  Turns out, my test run would be more challenging than I thought.  Not one to be deterred by common sense or succumb to better judgment, I hoisted the bike up the 50+ degree talus “streak.”  With every step I seemed to slide down two, yet I was determined to reach the summit and let gravity work her magic as I would soon be flying down this monument in full glory on a shiny new Schwinn.  I was forced to stop just shy of the summit as the peak itself jutted up 15 feet of near vertical rock. Out of breath, I turned around on the river of scree and gazed down hungrily at my playground.
Adrenaline has a way of rationalizing insanity.  My first mountain bike ride was to be an epic downhill thrill ride. Trying to mount a bike on such a steep slope is rather tricky and committing.  A few awkward attempts went by before I figure it out.  The next attempt would be the start of a huge descent.  Leaping on and hammering the pedals, mouth agape, I swiftly surfed downward.  Soon however, my feet could not keep up with the Schwinn.  Barreling out of control, the front tire trenched deep into the scree, catapulting me over the bike.  Before I could think, “this was a bad idea,” I was somersaulting through sharp schist with the shiny black Schwinn right behind me.
The bike and I walked home with lots of injuries that morning.  It was no longer shiny or new.  I wonder if Scott has a full suspension bike now…

No comments:

Post a Comment