The North Shore trail that runs from Rockledge Park to Twin Coves Park on the north side of Lake Grapevine is my usual biking trail. With my biker buddy, Luke, we would race down the path for about 11 miles absorbing the beautiful views from the lakes cliffs and shores. Luke is new to this trail since he just moved to Texas, but he is a competitive biker and a worthy contender. So, riding with him is always quite thrilling.
I can remember our first race down the North shore trail. There were sections where the single tracks were excellent, but that was a walkover for us. Luke had trained in more aggressive terrains, so it was no surprise we were both in for the technical sections. Strangely, we were so enthusiastic about the race that we didn’t exchange names until we got to Twin Coves Park with our lungs in our mouths.
When mountain biking, it is almost impossible to never fall, especially if you are in a race and there are multiple arcs and enough rocks than you can dodge. Luke was fast, but he didn’t know the track as I did. He hit some unexpected bumps which helped me get ahead of him a little, but the fella was indeed quick at picking up the pace.
I won the race with a few inches to spare, and we became friends. But every time I dash past hikers or runners, I would warn, “A maniac is on the move, stay out of his way!” It is always funny. Indeed, Luke is a maniac when it comes to racing.
Especially now that he is familiar with the trail. Let’s say he beats me to the end of the trail more often than necessary. One time, he gave me a head start. I was so flushed about him winning most of our races that I saw this as an opportunity to defeat him three out of the ten times we have raced the trail. I know I should have won. I was given a head start. Let’s say he cheated by being so good at racing.
The North Shore trail is perfect. It has little of everything to make mountain biking eventful. With a mix of level running ground, slight switchbacks, a moderate number of sandy portions, no huge climbs, and enough technical rocky sections, biking is always fun. And what is biking without friends?
A number of other bikers have joined in on our weekend races, and now we are overall six bikers, aside from the many others we meet on the trail. With the guys and the tracks, biking has always been electrifying.
Growing up in a family that is obsessed with doing things outdoors, you can say nature has always been my best pal. I was introduced to mountain biking by my folks in Texas at a much tender age. The tremendous sensation of hot adrenaline running through my veins as the blowing wind brushes dirt against my skin, the unforgettable earthy smell of the untamed forest, the sense of total control as I ride up rocky trails and down hills, cutting through arcs with just two wheels between my legs. I can’t deny mountain biking has become more than just another sport once the snow melts, It has become a passion― one that helps me feel free again; an escape from all the problems life has to offer.