People speak of life-changing experiences or moments that changed the course of their lives and well, mine happened when I was the tender age of four. I had got a bicycle for Christmas and even before I ever sat on it, I knew with the innocence of a child, that I had been forever captured. Without delay, I took it outside and got on and thanks to the stabilizers was able to take off at once. I didn’t return for hours, had lost track of time and couldn’t quite understand my parents’ anger when I returned. In the coming days they guarded me like hawks, but my father was forced to take out his own bike and bring me on numerous biking adventures, simply because I wouldn’t let up. It was only a short few days later that I got up really early one day, when everyone was still asleep, and I somehow managed to take the stabilizers off. I couldn’t stop myself from cycling into the distance when I realized that I was now a big boy riding a real bicycle. More heated arguments with my parents ensued, more begging and, to be fair to my parents, they somehow knew that they had to let me go and that biking was not just temporarily good for me, but would somehow mold the rest of my life, and so it did!
As I grew older I got more adventurous still, changed my bike as I grew and discovered that smooth roads are not necessarily the best place to go for a ride. The mountains surrounding my hometown soon became my very own personal biking adventure park and I discovered the hell-raising side of mountain biking at the age of six. Kids have no fear, they say, and I must concur, looking back, the little boy I once was, took enormously stupid risks, but luckily and thankfully I am here to tell the tale, not that I would let my daughter do anything remotely as dangerous as that!
My what I call now “wild kid cycling days” had, however, a major upside as I learned how to find tracks and trails, calculate risk, seek thrills and even in some ways be a responsible mountain biker. I learned how to respect the mountains, woods and animals and I discovered how the power of nature can simply enthrall. Fascinated by my own pedal power and the genius tracks the mountain provided, I fell head over heels in love with mountain biking right there and then and it didn’t stop there. Competitions and racing soon became a regular weekend activity when I was a teenager and at that age, it was already crystal clear that there was no career for me other than mountain biking and all things related.
Undoubtedly, it was my love and passion for mountain biking that had me win many prizes at a young age and my adventurous spirit seems to have inspired a lot of people, so much so, that I have been fortunate enough to receive sponsorship from many different sources. Through them and inspired by my wife, I decided to write a blog to impart some of my mountain biking knowledge and share my experiences and passion. In full awareness of how good mountain biking has been for me, I long to instill the same joy in kids and adults alike, simply because there is nothing quite like mountain biking.
The dogged effort required to make it up a mountain combined with the thrill of the decent provides an abundance of incredible experiences of endeavor and joy and though I am obviously hugely biased, I strongly believe that everyone should know about it.