Let me start by saying, I have a love hate relationship with the great Pacific Northwest. One moment the sun is shinning bright and the next it is pouring down rain. I guess that’s why there are so many different shades of green here. When I say, shades of green, I mean a lot. Like, pull out the crayon 64-pack shades of green.There are days when it feels like it rains eleven months, two weeks and four days of the year. Which isn’t true, but man, it feels that way sometimes. When it rains, it makes everything muddy.
I’m not a huge fan of the mud. In fact, if you ask my girlfriends, (AKA my riding buddies) they will tell you I’m kind of a big wus. I think it’s the cleaning up part I really don’t like. I will tell you the truth, if the guys ask if I wanna ride, my answer is usually yes and my rain gear is very well broken in.
I know I’m very bias, but I think we have some of the best single track in the world out here in the Pacific Northwest. The trails are littered with giant rocks, hill climbs, tree roots, and logs. Add a little rain in the scenario and you have what we like to call: controlled carnage. I will say this though, I think all of this mud that makes EVERYTHING slimy slick has made me a better rider over the years.
If you’re like me, the older WE get the more WE have to work on our balance. Let’s face it WE’re not in our 20’s any more. I often breakout a bike for a few hours simply to work on my balance. Usually, I use the area around the house the Intern refers to as the heli-pad because it’s a wide open field. I practice because I still pucker a little every time I hit a slick tree root and the front tire goes left when what I really wanted it to was to go right. Being able to save myself and recover from these maneuvers takes concentration and of course, balance. It also saves me from explaining bruises and scrapes to Safety Sally.
I will say this about riding in the mud and rain: it makes you feel like a kid again. I can’t tell you how many times I have been out riding with the boys we will see that big mud puddle in the distance and simultaneously we both twist the throttle to get there first just to splash the other. Remember when I told you I didn’t like the mud? Writing this, I might have realized I don’t mind riding in the mud when it’s with good friends.
(Photo Credit: Google)
I recall a time that my cousin and I found ourselves out in the middle of a rain-soaked grassy field ripping it up when, all of the sudden, he spotted something in the distance he wanted to hit and made a quick turn to the right. Well, here was where I came into the picture. I was in the wrong place at just the right time to catch ALL of the roost from his rear tire. Needless to say, I was covered in about 40-pounds of mud and grass. While I was wiping the mud from my goggles I could barely make out his blurry figure looking back at me. His laugh, though. His laughter was distinct. I will say this for him: he tried to keep a straight face as he handed me the garden hose to wash myself off back at the shop.
What are your favorite mud stories? Feel free to share them in the comments below