In 1996 I wanted to build myself a carbon cross country race bike. From what I'd understood at the time, in my high school adolescence, was that in order for a guy to build one or even buy one at a price I could afford I'd have to get a job in a shop. I've been working on bikes on and off ever since. Then, since the real estate collapse I committed myself to the bike industry in 2009 as a mechanic with expertise and know-how that people have come to trust.
When I went back to working on bikes my stress went away and my free time to actually ride my bike increased as well. Needless to say, I spend a lot of time on my bike. Shredding or pacing. Depends on the day. But I've also done a lot of work on amazing bikes and meeting their proud owners.
A bike is an interesting thing. Back in the old days of the west, you had a horse. That was how you moved about and recreated. But with the advent of machines the bicycle became the most efficient and inexpensive way to get around. And thus, an age was born. Today, the bicycle is treated like the horse; when it is sick there is frustration and irritation, there are specialists, such as myself, that you call on to remedy the problems.
I started riding bikes about 2 years before I started messing around in shops. I was hired by a local shop after pestering them to work there. My riding career started when I was in 7th grade. I'd gotten my first real mountain bike. It wasn't much really but it was amazing. After one year of owning it I'd saved up to buy a new shock. It was yellow, the RockShox Quadra 21R. I was so stoked.
As that first year went by, I found trails. I didn't have a helmet at the time but I could ride. This trail took off onto the ski area property that I'd been skiing since I was 4 years old. I figured I'd check it out. That's when I realized that owning a mountain bike was owning a piece of the frontier. I was free, off in the woods on steep slopes just riding along, alone. I've been riding on trails ever since.