I had never gone mountain biking in my life. I already knew how to ride a bicycle and even made a career out of it as I engaged in many bike race competitions, winning a lot of trophies in the process. Many of the guys that I trained with were avid mountain bikers, and they were always inviting me to do a little mountain biking with them but I just never wanted to do it.
Many of them taunted me, saying that I was sacred. Goading like that is enough to make one throw caution to the winds, decide to call their bluff and decide to show them there was nothing to mountain biking and that anyone could do it.
The one reason why I didn’t join them was that I was simply not interested. I didn’t feel like I had to do it. I was the kind of guy who loved doing something just because I had little love for it. I hadn’t done mountain biking before, so I didn’t think it would be a worthwhile activity.
However, I was persuaded to try it for the first time when I saw one of my friends post a video of him doing mountain biking. Everything looked so cool, and I wanted to give it a try. I decided to see it as another form of exercise.
When I told my friends about my decision, they were surprised and elated. They informed me that they would love to do a mountain biking race against me. I realized that all they were trying to do was beat me for the first time in a bicycle race and they would get the chance do that is something I had never tried before.
They were usually going to different places for mountain biking, but this time, they decided to go to Harrisonburg, Virginia. Harrisonburg was a college town in the Shenandoah Valley. It was a place that was known for many mountain biking activities.
For people who are beginners like me in mountain biking, there are special trails for them to begin. When they feel they are good enough, they can move to the intermediate and then the advanced trails. My intention was to start at the trail for beginners. My friends were already in the advanced stage, but I wasn’t even jealous.
We lodged in a hotel, and our plan was to begin our ride very early the next morning. I spent the night reading whatever I could find on mountain biking, and by the time I went to bed, I felt I was good to go. I smiled, thinking that I was going to show my friends that I could be great in anything that involved a bike.
The next morning, I was up early and waiting outside the hotel for the others. They all already had their mountain bikes, but I didn’t. They all followed me to a shop nearby that sold and rented out mountain biking gear.
The town was great. The architecture, the many bike shops, the ethnic restaurants, breweries and so on, were the things that made me fall in love with the town. Everything looked so cool and quiet.
We found a bike shop that had so many mountain bikes of different colors and designs. I wondered how people managed to choose anything there because I felt like buying everything.
The shop manager, a short but well-built man, greeted us and asked, “So are you buying or renting?”
I decided that I would buy instead of renting in case I loved mountain biking and would love to go with my friends whenever they went for it. “I am buying,” I said.
Then the time came for me to choose the one I wanted. I had already online about the ways to choose the right mountain bike. Some of the tips included getting the right size of bike for me, look for suspension quality, and so on.
However, when I took a look at the short manager, I realized that no matter what I learned online, it could not compare to the knowledge of the man who has seen in all and probably done it all.
“Please, help me pick the best and one that fits me,” I said.
The man smiled and looked at me from head to toe and picked one out for me. “This fits you perfectly, but it is a little bit more expensive than the others.”
I asked him the price, and it wasn’t even expensive at all. I got, and we all rode to the mountain. While my friends rode up to the topmost parts of the mountains, I stayed with some other beginners in the lower side. I spent the rest of the day improving my skills, learning how to ride on uneven ground, dodging rocks and so on. At the end of the day, I felt I was becoming better.
The next day, I remained in the lower part. After a while, I decided that I was good enough to go up the trail after my friends. I figured that if they could do it, I could too. I left the beginners’ trail and rode up the mountain.
I didn’t see anyone on the trail for a long time, and I was beginning to think that perhaps I was lost. However, the trail kept moving up. I figured that if I didn’t see anyone after a while, I could always ride back the way I had come.
Thirty minutes later, when I still hadn’t seen anyone, I was beginning to think about riding back when I saw something beautiful. It was a gathering of very beautiful and amazing birds. There were about two hundred of them, and it was as if they were doing some kind of meeting.
I took out my phone to take a picture when suddenly, my bike slipped, and before I knew it, I was flying off the top of the mountain. I kept screaming as I saw the area where I was standing earlier recede from my eyes.
My thoughts were that I would land on a rock that would crush my body and that would be all. Then I landed, not on a rock but in water. I struggled to the surface. I was alive, but I couldn’t even see the top of the mountain again. It seemed to stretch up into the sky, and I would be bad if I tried to climb.
I had to find my way somehow back. I got out of the water and began to climb rocks, hoping I would find people who can help me get back to civilization. I had lost my phone when I fell in the water which meant that if anyone tried to call me, they wouldn’t be able to get through to me. I won’t be able to make calls to anyone either.
After several hours, I realized that I was lost. My only hope was that my friends would be looking for me. I spent the night in a cave. I had a terrible night, and I couldn’t sleep. All I could think about was a wild animal coming to the cave to eat me.
The next morning I was rested and was able to ride out and meet my friends.