Everyone has a crazy story. Some of them are funny, and others are scary, why some are just an unholy mix of both. I wouldn’t exactly know what category to place mine in, but I think that’s up to you to decide at the end of the story. It all started on a blazing hot weekend in Texas. No, wait a minute, I think I’ll rather say it started about two years ago when I first bought a mountain bike. Most stories are like that—they have a beginning which usually starts with one tiny detail, and then slowly builds up into whatever the end would look like.
So, mine started at that little bike shop in Texas, the windows glistening against the sun and the bikes alluringly beautiful. I loved bikes, and I still do, I just hadn’t thought of owning one; just the way you think puppies are cute but the thought of owning one makes you gulp, or the way you see a newly wedded couple, and you think, that’s great, but the thought of actually taking that step scares the freak out of you. But I did take that step; I walked into the shop that blistering hot afternoon and got myself a bike. I’ve been riding it ever since; riding through forest trails and mountain trails, and just about any terrain that my bike could take—it almost felt like I was testing its capabilities for the company.
I have been in an amateur bike contest. I came in fourth the first time I entered—and I still have that medal in a glass case at home—and then I entered a second and third time, and I came in second and third, respectively, which I thought was weird, but it was all crazy fun.
Anyways, back to my crazy story. The sky was blue and cloudless, and the sun was a big yellow ball of hot fury in the sky; a perfect time to go riding in an off-road trail. The week had been much too routine for me at work, so I needed this break. As with anyone who loves the outdoors, I always looked forward to the weekends and vacations when I got to ride. I learned of the trail through one of my buddies Max, and we both made plans to ride it together. It was long and winding, and treacherous and went up a slopey hill; lots of dirt and dust—perfect. Unfortunately, Max called to tell me that he wouldn’t be able to make it due to some family emergency or something. I was disappointment quite naturally—like the time I didn’t have anyone to play Mortal Kombat with on the SEGA back then as a kid—that didn’t mean I’d cancel my plans; riding with someone was fun because you get to laugh when they attempted an insane jump over a log and flunked it.
With my GPS and my trusty back, and the basic supplies I needed, I set out for the trail in a truck. The land stretched wide, and the trail was exactly just as they’d described it to me, but somehow even more challenging. I love challenges, so I got on my bike after telling my truck guys to pick me up on the other side of the track, which was about an hours ride.
“Sure thing,” they said, and the truck drove off.
Riding on a Nice Day
I rolled my bike onto the terrain, the sun gleaming against my sunglasses. I tightened my gloves and mounted my bike. Once I get this done, I’ll be back here again with Max, but of course, I’ll have the upper hand. And so I rode. The ground was covered with brown dirt and small lumps of clay and rocks which crunched under my tires as I rode through. I wasn’t exactly familiar with my surroundings, but how hard was it to follow a trail. Well, it wasn’t hard at all, and I was having fun.
I Fell Off Bike
The trail got a little bumpy at some point, and one time I fell off my bike when my front wheel got caught against a rock. I was glad that Max wasn’t there at that moment. I got pretty much aware that the sun was intense after about twenty minutes; I was sweating and panting, and my mouth was incredibly dry. But it wasn’t all bad—the wind was cool on my face as I cycled fast, although at some point it just felt like a blast of hot air.
The trail went up a slope, which was one of the trying part of my journey, but descending the slope/ was smooth gliding, except for the part where I almost ran into a fallen log (where’d that come from?). The crazy part of this wasn’t exactly the riding, not at all. You see, I rode the trail through the woods for almost one and a half hours, which was weird because that meant I should have been at the other side, with the truck, by now. I tried not to panic, but that was hard because I really had no idea where I was and the trail and somehow branched awkwardly that I must have taken the wrong one.
I Got Lost
I guess I realized that I was truly lost about a couple minutes later. So, there I was lost in an unknown trail, exhausted and rapidly getting dehydrated. The sun was very high in the sky now, and its position changed slightly. I knew it would be a bad idea to keep cycling as the last thing I wanted to was to get completely exhausted and suffer from heatstroke.
Surprisingly, help arrived soon, and it came in the form of Max on his bike. He said he’d suspected that something had gone wrong when I didn’t show up at the rendezvous point, which he was waiting in, as some surprise.
Anyways, I was grateful to be rescued—even though I don’t like to think of it—and I learned that my GPS was crappy and I needed one. That didn’t stop me from riding that trail again, as a matter of fact, I’ve been there a lot more times since.