The old (and new) guard

I started riding mountain bikes with these guys when there were fewer than a handful of bike brands all with no suspension, only one wheel size, and three-finger moto-style Diacomp brake levers were needed to slow you down but left fewer fingers on the bars to keep you from getting rattled off. But we did have dropper posts in the form of a Hite-rite. Not much is the same on bikes these days compared to those bikes but none of us has changed all that much. Those days on Mt. Tam feel like they were just yesterday…formative to say the least. Bikes became our common bond over 35 years ago and the reason we met up in the Lost Sierra for a short reunion in our 50th year.

Last year, Tim and I hatched tentative plans to ride the 60 mile loop of the Lost and Found when we were both recovering from big injuries -him a broken talus bone in his right foot and me a broken tibial plateau in my right leg. It’s always nice to have a goal to work towards while injured. I figured I would easily be able to ride 60 miles by now but my knee had other plans.

We met at the makeshift campground/frisbee golf course along the River Walk in Portola. Friday we did a shuttle run down Mt. Hough in Quincy, which was my first shuttle and first MTB ride in some months. It’s awesome to see the next generation out there keeping up with the old guys and be a true wily in training. Being an only child, RK was an unknowing big brother to me too, a big influence on my formative years from music to skateboarding to riding bikes, and one of the coolest people I know. Getting to know his kid and see him ride bikes with us and kill it on the skateboard has been really fun.

For the Lost and Found, NB rode his Alan Bond-built Schwinn Excelsior and TK rode his new Ti Meriwether on the 60 mile loop, RK rode his 1987 Trek with original components on the 35 mile loop with his son. I sat it out because my knee still isn’t ready for that big of a ride. (I had another procedure a couple of weeks ago to try and help the continued pain and haven’t put in any miles on the bike.)

It’s hard to describe how fun it was to hang out with these guys and share new and old stories over the (propane) campfire. I feel very lucky to still have these characters as friends and I hope we can continue to make trips like these happen, short as they may be.

One thought on “The old (and new) guard

Add yours

Leave a Reply

Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: