Bluff Point Beginners Ride

Ride Pictures Ride Video

Anyone remember your very first Mountain Bike ride ever? I do. A couple of friends brought me up to Case Mountain I think it was 1989 or 90 . I had just bought my Giant chrome molly hard tail and was ready to hit the trails. Kathy , Bruce and I met at Spring Street and unloaded our race ready machines with our metal toe clips and 20 lb bar ends. You could tell Kathy and Bruce were experienced riders by the wad of yellow foam duck taped to their seats to protect their bums. They suggested I try the granny gear for the first long climb up the paved section to the purple trail. Well the only thing purple was my face. By the first part of the climb my heart rate was off the chart and I was flailing about like Roberto Duran, No Mas No Mas! 15 seconds into the first round I was hanging on to the chain link fence on the trailside ready to throw in the towel. I thought you guys said this was fun I shouted as they rounded the corner and dropped out of sight. What now takes about 5 minutes to get to the top of the lookout, took me a good half hour. The rest of the ride I spent bouncing off everything in site and flying through the air like a circus act. It would have been easy to put the bike in the garage and leave it there to collect dust after that first ride, which I’m sure happens quite often and almost happened with me. What does all this have to do with the beginners ride at Bluff yesterday you may ask? Well, I really thought it would be great to pry the controller for the playstation from my son’s hands and introduce him to trail riding and this beginner ride seemed like the perfect thing. It wasn’t too long ago John Stockford got his son Kyle into MTB and look at him now, he is winning expert class. Ok, one thing at a time. I just wanted Evan to have a decent time and by me remembering my first ride, I would make a conscious effort to subdue my parental tendencies, shut my trap and hope he doesn’t get discouraged.

THE RIDE: Perfect day, blue skies, and the parking lot is full . Riders are Dave, Tracy, John S, Robin, Evan, Andy, Kyle and his friend (sorry don’t know his name) and Arch. We grabbed the radios in case we get separated and get ready to roll. But wait…. what…. Kyle forgot his helmet? John (his Dad) looks at him and says *!%##&!!! And that’s final. Dads rule is, no helmet no ride. The rest of us ride on. Andy and Dave seem to have a grip on what trails will best suit the new riders, so we head to some moderate climbs and then to some nice windy single track. Everyone takes it at their own pace and we all regroup at the intersections. Andy stays out in front to lead the way and Evan follows on my blur and then me on my hard tail. I want to stay back and let Evan take it at his own pace, being that it is his first ride. We reach a real fast section of windy downhill and what’s this ? Evan is right on Andy’s tire, so we all pick it up and fly down as fast as we normally do…excellent! I pick some thorns out of my arm, we chat a bit and it’s off to Haley’s farm. We decide to split up, John, Dave and the girls are off to some single track, while Andy, Evan and I head over to the tricky rock climb to press our luck with Evan. Andy shows Evan how it’s done and climbs up on the first try. Six attempts later Evan comes so close we give him an “A” for effort. We regroup and start heading back, everyone is still smiling and riding great. Andy, Evan and I decide to head up the section where Tom launches that 10 footer to show Evan something more challenging and he cleans 90% of it. We head over to a couple of log rides where we mess around for a good twenty minutes just having a good time. This place is a perfect choice for new riders, and when they are ready to step it up, Bluff Point can accommodate with more advanced trails. So in closing, grab those bikes from the garage dust them off and join the Nerac crew for what will hopefully be a fun ride that will leave you with a craving for the next one. If I can convert one playstation junky, anything is possible. — Arch

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