Is This Heaven? No, its Port Gamble.

The year was 1993, I had just went out and purchased my second mountain bike with my graduation money.  In 1988 My first mountain bike was purchased under duress.  My dad told my brother and I that if we wanted the cool bmx bike with the checkered handlebar pad then we were purchasing it on our own.  Whereas if we wanted to purchase a mountain bike he would split the cost with us.  In 1988 in Douglas Wyoming there were hardly any mountain bikes and I was 13 years old.  I had $130, the bmx bikes were $150, and the mountain bikes…$260.  So I could wait until my Shopper advertising paper route wages netted $20 more, or I could get the mountain bike that day.

So my brother and I walked out of “The Bike Stop” in Casper, Wyoming with matching “Shogun: Prairie Breaker I” mountain bikes; his was red, mine blue.  I was not okay with it until my best friend at the time, Brandon, got on it and rode it.  He thought it was cool, so I decided it was okay.  That and the fact that I live 7 miles outside of town on a windy highway.  Having gears in Wyoming is always a good idea.  It was not the neon colored Diamondback mountain bikes that I saw in the magazines, but it was cool nonetheless.

Back to 1993, I was heading off to college and I had been nursing my Prairie Breaker for a few years.  I decided to go and buy a Bridgestone MB-5, rigid in the front, rigid in the back.  I purchased a mountain bike to get around the campus at South Dakota State (go Jack’s).  After getting to school I realized that there would be no actual mountain biking to do there.  I got used to jumping curbs, playing parking lot tag, and trying to convince myself that the bump in the middle of campus would suffice as a mountain.

I would be lying if I said that my transfer to Black Hills State did not have something to do with mountain biking and rock climbing.  I made some of my best friends at South Dakota State, but the mountains were calling me back.  In Spearfish I found some friends that like to ride and I started to explore the logging trails around the area.  It was there that a dream emerged, wouldn’t it be great if I could live someplace where the mountain biking was right outside the door of my house.

I didn’t like road biking at all, and still don’t.  I am not a fan of gym’s either, so I decided that if I was going to try to stay in shape that having mountain biking right outside my door would be perfect.  When I went home the summer after my first year at BHSU (go Yellow Jackets!) I bought my first aluminum front suspension bike, a Chrome Univega with a Judy fork.  Now I was ready to really mountain bike!

Many things have happened from then until now, but the dream was always the same.  When I moved to Sioux Falls I thought the dream was dead.  I actually went out and bought a (wait for it…..) road bike.  There was a bike path from my house to the church that I was working at and I thought this would be a good step for me.  After about a year I traded it to a friend on my for my first full suspension bike.  I just could not become a road biker, with all due respect to those of you that read this who are.

When I got the job here in Washington I thought that I might be able to actually put my mountain bike to the test and get my body back into condition.  Little did I know that my dream would finally be realized.  There is a tree farm/wilderness area about 2 miles from my house that has miles and miles of logging roads and single track.  Since I hate road riding I just leave my mountain bike in my old suburban and drive there three sometimes four times a week and get a ride in.  Sometimes our dreams do come true.


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