The Pinkbike Podcast: Episode 107 - How (And Why) Did You Start Mountain Biking?

Feb 24, 2022
by Mike Levy  
Pinkbike Podcast
Art by Taj Mihelich

If you're here, you probably already know that riding mountain bikes on singletrack is an absolute blast, regardless of how you like to do it. But today's show sees us get into the way-back machine to talk about how we found this sport and some of our early - and cringy - memories. Maybe you saw the cover of a magazine and thought, ''I need to do that,'' or perhaps you stumbled into it while cross-training for a different sport, or had a friend convince you to give it a try... And here you are, all those years and countless trails later.

How'd you get into mountain biking?

Feb 24th, 2022

We came for the fun but stayed for the skids.

Featuring a rotating cast of the editorial team and other guests, the Pinkbike podcast is a weekly update on all the latest stories from around the world of mountain biking, as well as some frank discussion about tech, racing, and everything in between.

Previous Pinkbike Podcasts
Episode 1 - Why Are Bikes So Expensive?
Episode 2 - Where the Hell is the Grim Donut?
Episode 3 - Pond Beaver Tech
Episode 4 - Why is Every Bike a Trail Bike?
Episode 5 - Can You Trust Bike Reviews?
Episode 6 - Over Biked Or Under Biked?
Episode 7 - Wild Project Bikes
Episode 8 - Do We Need an Even Larger Wheel Size?
Episode 9 - Why Are We Doing a Cross-Country Field Test?
Episode 10 - Getting Nerdy About Bike Setup
Episode 11 - Are We Going Racing This Year?
Episode 12 - What's the Future of Bike Shops?
Episode 13 - Are Bikes Too Regular Now?
Episode 14 - What Bikes Would Pinkbike Editors Buy?
Episode 15 - What's Holding Mountain Biking Back?
Episode 16 - Who's Your Mountain Biking Hero?
Episode 17 - XC Field Test Insider
Episode 18 - Electronics on your Mountain Bike: Good or Bad?
Episode 19 - The Hardtail Episode
Episode 20 - MTB Conspiracy Theories
Episode 21 - Stuff We Were Wrong About
Episode 22 - Does Your Riding Style Match Your Personality?
Episode 23 - Grim Donut 2 is Live!
Episode 24 - Why Even Buy a DH Bike?
Episode 25 - Fall Field Test Preview
Episode 26 - The Three Most Important Mountain Bikes
Episode 27 - The World Champs Special
Episode 28 - All About Women's Bikes
Episode 29 - Freeride or Die
Episode 30 - Would You Rather?
Episode 31 - Wet Weather Riding Tips & Tricks
Episode 32 - What Needs to Change in the Bike Industry?
Episode 33 - Behind the Scenes at Pinkbike Academy
Episode 34 - Grilling Levy About Field Test Trail Bikes (and His Bonspiel)
Episode 35 - Story Time - Stranger Than Fiction
Episode 36 - Grilling Kazimer about Field Test Enduro Bikes
Episode 37 - The 2020 Privateer Season with Ben Cathro
Episode 38 - Editors Defend Their 2020 Best-Of Picks
Episode 39 - Predicting the Future of Mountain Biking
Episode 40 - The Pinkbike Awards!
Episode 41 - Racing Rumours and Team Changes
Episode 42 - Mountain Biking's Guilty Pleasures
Episode 43 - Dangerholm's Wildest Custom Mountain Bikes
Episode 44 - Mountain Bike Suspension Decoded
Episode 45 - What Makes a Good Riding Buddy
Episode 46 - The RockShox Zeb vs Fox 38 Deep Dive
Episode 47 - High Pivot Bikes: The Good, The Bad, and The Why?
Episode 48 - Rides That Went Horribly Wrong... & Why That Made Them So Good
Episode 49 - What's the Best DH Bike?
Episode 50 - Are Bikes Actually Getting Less Expensive? (Value Bike Field Test Preview)
Episode 51 - Should MTB Media Post Spy Shots?
Episode 52 - Our Most Embarrassing MTB Moments
Episode 53 - Should Climbers Still Have the Right of Way?
Episode 54 - Best and Worst MTB Product Marketing
Episode 55 - Big Dumb Rides & Staying Motivated
Episode 56 - What Were the Most Important Inventions in Mountain Biking?
Episode 57 - What Were the Best (and Worst) Trends in Mountain Biking?
Episode 58 - Debunking Mountain Biking's Biggest Myths
Episode 59 - Value Bike Field Trip Surprises & Spoilers
Episode 60 - What Kind of Mountain Biker Do You Want to Be?
Episode 61 - Athlete Pay, Lycra, Equality and More from the State of the Sport Survey
Episode 62 - Editor Preferences and Why They Matter
Episode 63 - Our Best (And Worst) Bike Buying Advice
Episode 64 - Who's On Your MTB Mount Rushmore?
Episode 65 - The Hardtail Episode
Episode 66 - The Best and Worst of Repairing Bikes
Episode 67 - The Story of Mountain Biking's Most Interesting Man: Richard Cunningham
Episode 68 - Who Are Mountain Biking's Unsung Heroes?
Episode 69 - The Good, Bad, and Strange Bikes We've Owned - Part 1
Episode 70 - The Good, Bad, and Strange Bikes We've Owned - Part 2
Episode 71 - The Story of Mountain Biking's Most Interesting Man: Richard Cunningham - A Pinkbike Podcast Special, Part 2
Episode 72 - Hey Outers!
Episode 73 - The Details That Matter... and Some That Shouldn't
Episode 74 - The Best Trails We've Ridden and What Makes Them So Special
Episode 75 - Things MTB Brands Waste Money On
Episode 76 - MTB Originals and Copycats
Episode 77 - Interview with Outside CEO, Robin Thurston
Episode 78 - Modern Geometry Explained
Episode 79 - What's the Future of eMTBs?
Episode 80 - The Best Vehicles for Mountain Bikers
Episode 81 - You've Got Questions, We've (Maybe) Got Answers
Episode 82 - Behind the Scenes at Field Test
Episode 83 - Does Carbon Fiber Belong On Your Mountain Bike?
Episode 84 - Explaining RockShox's Computer Controlled Suspension
Episode 85 - Is the Red Bull Rampage Too Slopestyle?
Episode 86 - Greg Minnaar on the Honda DH Bike, World Cup Racing, and Staying Fast Forever
Episode 87 - How to Love Riding When it's Cold and Wet
Episode 88 - Mountain Biking on a Budget
Episode 89 - The Derailleur Pickle
Episode 90 - Is Supre the Future of Trouble-Free Drivetrains? (with Cedric Eveleigh of Lal Bikes)
Episode 91 - Riding Every Double Black in the Whistler Bike Park with Christina Chappetta
Episode 92 - Does Bike Weight Really Matter?
Episode 93 - Staying Motivated and Overcoming Burnout
Episode 94 - PBA Contestant Tori Wood on Her First Race and Finding the Right Mindset
Episode 95 - Field Test Down-Country Bike Debrief
Episode 96 - PBA Contestant Israel Carrillo on Riding in Mexico and Why It's Not Always About Speed
Episode 97 - Can We Predict the Future of Mountain Biking?
Episode 98 - Field Test Trail Bike Debrief
Episode 99 - New Year, New You?
Episode 100 - Q&A with the PB Editors
Episode 101 - MTB Tradeshows Explained
Episode 102 - Should MTB Media Be Going to Press Camps?
Episode 103 - Secrets from the World Cup Pits with Henry Quinney
Episode 104 - Lachlan Morton on How to be a Happy Bike Racer and the World's Longest Climb
Episode 105 - The 3 Bike Budget Challenge
Episode 106 - What's Your Ideal Ride Look Like?

Author Info:
mikelevy avatar

Member since Oct 18, 2005
2,032 articles

  • 46 0
 I would look back fondly at the time I spent riding bikes when I was younger. After I graduated with an engineering degree and could afford to buy a bike, I took the opportunity. I fell in love with mountain biking but it was really my BMX background that was the catalyst.
  • 4 0
 I started on bmx too... I picked out a Puch MX Challenger in a bike shop in 1983 with my pops. I rode the hell out of it, but never really got on with the 20" wheels, so I was really stoked in 1987 when "Santa" brought be a larger-wheeled bike with thumb shifters. It was a Schwinn Mirada which would really be a hybrid kinda bike nowadays but I rode it EVERYWHERE. Summer 1990 I saved up my allowance and splurged on a Trek 830 Antelope. Since then I have owned quite a few bikes, and I threw together an album a while back. a href="">Album here/a>

Proud to say that last summer my dad and I - who'd been estranged for several years - shredded a local lap here in Bellingham. A friend snapped the pic without us knowing. a href="">I love this pic./a>
  • 2 0
 It is within all of our inner BMX backgrounds that we found a love for this sport. Oh, by the way: BMX background
  • 23 0
 I used to get free shuttles up with my buddy training on roller skis, just like sara said, reverse shuttle. i d drive up and ride mtb down, and he would roller ski up and drive the car down! best program ever.
  • 9 0
 That's awesome! You definitely had the more fun part!!
  • 9 0
 That is indeed a level of genius rarely exhibited in the comment section!
  • 19 0
 Started road biking. Enjoyed that. Friend told me I should try mountain biking. Tried mountain biking. WAY BETTER.
  • 12 0
 ...way safer too
  • 4 0
 I road biked for a short stint before mtb, but mtb was it for me. Still like road, but it is more dangerous.
  • 5 0
 @SATN-XC: I love both. It's a tradeoff between safety and convenience.
  • 14 0
 It was 1990. I had saved $850 to buy either 2 turn tables and a DJ mixer or a MTB. I was into downhill skateboarding and raving. I decided to buy the MTB (Trek 950) and it was the best decision I ever made. Even though I would continue to party and produce underground parties, the MTB kept me from going down the rabbit hole w/ drugs. I would leave the party early or sober so I could ride the next day.
I still produce, VJ and tour in the music industry but I often bring my bike or at least helmet and shoes with me. I've had the opportunity to ride all over the world and in some of the most exotic locations because of mountain bikes and touring.
  • 16 0
 Is anyone else finding the mix on these podcasts far too quiet or is it just a me issue?
  • 1 0
 Definitely comes through very quiet. My speaker talks to me about things and after listening to this podcast at decent volume it is so loud
  • 7 0
 as a 90's kid...biking gave me a freedom to leave the house and meet up with friends without having to rely on my parents...that logically spiraled into meet ups to do jumps and to generally just goof around on our bikes. As a parent now, exposing my kids to bikes and biking is extremely important to me. Now when I work on my bike in the garage, both of my little ones instinctively want to "work" on theirs....such a great feeling
  • 5 0
 Because I came from a BMX background (oh yes, I went there!) And 20" bikes felt ridiculous to me by the time I was 17 (in 1990). So it was either ride road (which I did, and still do, under protest), or try these newfangled "Mountain Bikes."

I was mostly broke in college, so not much riding. But in 1996 I went to Plattekill Mt. a few hours north of NYC, rented a bike (a horrible pogo stick with rim brakes), but that's all it took, I was hooked for life. Even though I ride almost exclusively trail now, no lift service since 2012.
  • 4 0
 Am I the only one absolutely cranking my volume to hear these podcasts? Anyways. Something something something BMX BACKGROUND etcetera. I finally got old enough and collected too many injuries to be able to ride a BMX bike to my preferred level. It was depressing me to have watched my skill level drop so much with injuries and fitness being such a challenge. And it was hard to get fit again when I wasn't able to push much on my only bike (a 20 inch).

So I rode a fixie for a while just to get fit. But I was dead tired of getting flats on so much as a crack in a concrete sidewalk. So I bought a mountain bike, good old 3x sport store hardtail, started riding on trails instead of roads... And guess what? A lot more flats! Sigh... But despite that, it took me all of like a month to find every pirate trail and dirt jump spot just by exploring. And I wish this is where I could tell you I had a lot of restraint and stuck to XC riding... But... No.

I sold my sport store hardtail and got the cheapest full suspension bike possible. Fun little bike. But I clearly needed more bike, and I wanted to try this cool dropper thing. So I sold that one and got a 29er adventure hardtail for a while, while saving up. It had a dropper, hey this things pretty cool. And I got to try 29ers, not a big fan, but when I threw slick tires on the bike was a monster on road/gravel rides. But then I got a proper full suspension mountain bike and it was off to the races.

Then I got injured! Lol. Can't keep a man down... I sold that bike and rode another commuter bike to regain fitness again. Then bought a 29er full suspension. It's a lot slower in the fun stuff, it's a lot heavier, it's super stable, it's pretty boring, and I just feel okay on it. A bit safer. Keep in mind, this whole story is in like the span of 2 years. I've been riding BMX all my life. I ended up getting a MTB immediately before Covid. (I wouldn't know my luck with pricing until now.) It feels like I've already quit MTBing twice, and restarted both times.

Having a BMX background isn't all sunshine and rainbows, sometimes it convinces you to do a toboggan on the biggest jump on the trail and land nose heavy and go over the bars Smile
  • 4 0
 When my family moved off the farm into town in rural CO, in the late 80s, we sold all our horses and mine went for about $400 (I never really liked horses anyway.). I was allowed to use the proceeds any way I wished. We weren't well off, so that was a significant chunk of money for 12-yo me. I had already broken my k-mart bmx bike multiple times and it was on its last legs (My dad, being the handy type, welded it back together well enough to keep it limping along for about as long as possible.) and had been ogling mtb magazines in the local supermarket. Even though I knew of no trails or anyone in town who had one (Our town didn't even have a stoplight, much less a bike shop.), I knew I wanted to mountain bike.

Bought a Trek 830 Antelope, in a neighboring city and then proceeded to ride it everywhere, but mostly on the road 'cause I didn't know of any local trails. I even entered and won my age group in the annual 4th-of-July town bike race.

A year or two later we relocated to Southern CA, and after a short stint in the hood, relocated again to a town with a bike shop and trails. I became a shop-rat and the mechanics there allowed me, my younger brother and a handful of other local kids who had mtn. bikes (This was the early 90s, MTBs were still pretty new and there weren't a lot of us.) to tag along on local rides, and occasionally shuttled us up into the local mountains. Been hooked ever since.
  • 3 0
 I bought a Trek 4300 to ride around campus. Think it cost $400. Figured since I had a “mountain bike” I should try “mountain biking” so I drove to the nearest hiking trail and went riding. It had a shitty fork (Bent the crown when I endoed in a sharp ditch), rim brakes and those angled tread tires designed not to wear out on pavement. Upgraded it over the next few years, got in decent shape one spring then tried a race on a whim. Utterly hooked from there, though I gave up racing when OCDness took the fun out of it.

I sold that bike to a buddy several years ago. He tried MTB for a bit but it didn’t stick. In another year or two his son will get it once he grows into a 26”.
  • 11 8
 A Get Off My Lawn comment incoming..... Most of us "older" riders 50 and older are good at stick and ball sports as well as bikes, moto, skateboards, water & snow skiing, etc because when we were young we actually went outside and played instead of locking ourselves in our rooms with our phones 6" from our face..... 54 and still do.
  • 4 0
 to be fair...anyone 32+ likely got through high school before phones became advanced enough. That said, video games (late 90's...N64 Golden Eye, those were the days) were the real factor.
  • 1 2
 gimme a break - you were locked into hour long sessions of Pong and Breakout....when you shoulda been outside
  • 3 0
 My friends and I were always riding bikes around the neighborhood. One day my dad took us to the bike trails along the river bank near our house. One day on those trails we ran into a rider named Irene. She was a former national team member and was coaching some local junior races. She got me into racing and helped get me on a local shop team where I picked up my first proper mountain bike, a Kona Muni-Mula. I rode and raced that bike a ton.
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy the old v10 was rad! back when i was (attempting) to weight weenie my dh bikes. to be fair, they doubled as ~trail bikes that saw a lot of pedaling, so not entirely futile? started out with an xvert carbon (that unsurprisingly broke), which was replaced with a WB inverted. yooo, oldschool jank:
  • 2 0
 The Xvert, not the Dorado - doh! Man, that bike of yours blew my little mind back then haha.
  • 3 0
 Great podcast, it triggered some excellent old memories of my early years mountain biking. Started mountain biking in 1986 by renting a Nishiki in Banff and riding with a buddy through the Banff Spring golf course. Went back home and bought a new Fischer Montare.
  • 1 0
 I haven't heard Nishiki for a long time.
  • 5 0
 I found myself with a little too much time and money on my hands. Might have over corrected.
  • 2 0
 I loved riding from my first little bike when I was a kid. I grew up rural, so going out to ride was as easy as getting up in the morning. There was no organized riding stuff, so BMX was never a thing for me. It was straight to mountain biking to explore as much off-road as possible.
  • 2 0
 Bought a $50 Diamondback with a seized up fork and rim brakes in college to commute to school and found a dirt path to ride to avoid traffic and I just remember how dope it felt to be rolling on the dirt and the rest is (expensive) history.
  • 2 0
 I bought myself a hardtail in college after my dad rented bikes and took my brother and i out once, when I was 21 or so. A couple years (and a couple bikes) later I was poised at the top of a favorite descent on a summer evening with my boy talking suspension settings, tire pressures, component choices and realized I'd made it; this is what life's about.
  • 2 0
 Rode bmx as a teenager, and transferred into riding motocross and snowmobiles. Bikes went away for a period of time since my whole group was now riding something motorized. Years later and many pounds on my waist later, I decided to start working out. I absolutely hated running so decided to look around at options. Looked at getting back into mountain biking and have not turned back since. Love it and hooked for life.
  • 2 0
 I had my bike stolen when I was around 13. I spent about one year without a bike until I saw a really nice Connor hardtail with 100mm travel and disc brakes. I wanted my mother to help me buy it but she said if I wanted a mountain bike I had to ride it off road, so she suggested I rent a hardtail and ride with the lbs ride group, needless to say, I fell in love with it and have been riding for the past decade. I guess you could say I started riding mountain bikes because my bike was stolen.
  • 2 0
 Bought a Raleigh Heat mtb for $385 in '89 to get to campus and baseball practice at D1 University in the SW US. After falling well short of playing "pro ball", I found Cycling for real and the rest is history. Raced as high as semi-pro DH & XC back in the day when that class still existed with consistent top 10 finishes at Norba Nationals in both disciplines. That bike at the time, to me, was the baddest thing on two wheels Smile Now I own seatposts alone that cost twice the amount of the entire Raleigh bike! Smile Smile
  • 2 0
 bmx bikes got stolen gt-perfomer and paterson, my mom helped me buy a 1987 khs, i think i liked the gears(20 years later I would SS again), but it wasn't probably not till my 1989 mongoose iboc comp, with the first mountain lx components that i was truly "mountain biking."

probably road 5 days a week with my buddy on his bridgestone mb5. leave school "what you want to do?" ride trails!
  • 1 0
 In my days, the Mongoose BMX bike was it. I never got one, though. Lol. I did have a MB-4.
  • 2 0
 1993. Grew up in the midwest. Just lost my full ride scholarship in college due to my inability to maintain GPA. Headed out West to see family and my older brother. Started working at a bike rental shop as my first job. Couldn't afford a car so I bought a second hand rental bike(Scott Peak, fully rigid). "Upgraded" and purchased a sweet Scott Unicrown undampened coil fork. Game! Started riding every trail and road I could find on the paper topo map. Didn't know you couldn't ride in Wilderness areas or on the PCT. Good times. Mountain Biking has been the single biggest positive influence in my life. Still work in the industry. Still ride the $hit of my bike(s).
  • 3 0
 Really enjoyed this podcast. Definitely would be interested in hearing how some of the other editors and staff got into the sport. Excited to see palmer in the upcoming reviews.
  • 2 0
 What do we want?
Pinkbike Podcast!
When do we want it?

Just sayin...a pod junkie who lives for each week's cast. Can we get a calendar of what weeks we can expect the bald, baloney skin tubeless tires of ours hearts to be broken because there's no cast?
  • 2 0
 It'll be up tomorrow! We're at Value bike Field Test in Tucson, Arizona, so a little behind schedule. It'll be a BTS episode from Field Test talking about the bikes and the trails we're riding. Better late than never Smile
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Thx! You can believe Im literally scanning / updating apple-casts hourly to see when they drop so I was on it asap… really good & relevant cast this week - better late for sure. But: are ya saying my 37lb 160/180mm Capra w/ coil shock & front/rear cushcore is like driving a tank for AZ/NM riding in March ??? FINE
  • 1 0
 Always biked from a young age but friends in University got me hooked in about 1992. Rode for a few years while at a rural school but lots interest when I moved to Halifax to finish up my degree 1995 due to lack of trail access....and sort of forgot about it.

In 2019 my wife and I got invited by a friend to hit some local trails. Out came my old hardtail for the ride (which ended in a handlebar wreaking crash) and I was hooked again. A week later I had a new to me Norco Fluid FS and I haven't looked back. I've purchased and sold too many bikes since, tried racing XC (Meh), took some lessons (still doing that) and fell in love with building and maintaining trails. 2nd only to riding them. An recently got bit by the DH park yeah, looking at a new bike...AGAIN. Smile
  • 2 0
 Please can you sort out the sound quality of the podcast??? The last few episodes have been pretty bad. I've got you on full blast in my headphones and it sounds like you're whispering!lol
  • 1 0
 Two of my good friends bought mountain bikes to fill the void in their lives after breaking up with their respective partners. I didn’t have anyone to break up with, but I didn’t have many friends, so I ended up buying one so I could hang with them.
  • 1 0
 What happens to the bikes you guys review/test/ruin for the field test and other reviews? Hope they don't get sold as new bikes after Levy smashes them up the impossible climb and Jason hucks to flat, breaking carbon cracks, etc!
  • 1 0
 Playing catch up on the podcast, started the spring of 2023,

But actually Matt Beer himself built my first DH bike back in 2012, ( Intense 951 which I still have today ) Growing up basically looking up to Matt and the Freeride crew, riding my dirt jumper down the DH trails and then slowly moving up to a DH bike,
  • 2 0
 1993 and 17yrs old, bought a Marin Bolinas Ridge with money saved from my paper round, after trashing the hand-me-down 5 speed 'racer' trying to ride it in the local woods. Never looked back!
  • 1 0
 My dad got me on a bike early, but got into BMX when I was young. After, my older guy cousins got into mtb and I followed. We all were very competitive, so it just snowballed. I quickly realized how capable they were going down steep technical terrain and how much control you had. There was steep trails you could ride down that you can hardly walk down. After that I was really hooked.
  • 1 0
 After rupturing my spleen, I promised my mother I'd quit riding dirt bikes. I got my first mountain bike, a Velocitech Mountain Machine, in 1984. As that date reveals, I am old. I am much more risk-averse than 40 years ago. Therefore, I now allow myself a dirt bike (Beta XTrainer, sorry mom).
  • 1 0
 we used to ride our whatever sort of bikes on trails. When mt bikes became a thing in BC I wanted one. I think I actually saw the first ones I was exposed to when I was in Vancouver for expo 86. They must have been available a little earlier as I bought a very slightly used ?Fuji? (I believe) later that fall. It was actually a pretty good bike. Had some type of terrible knobbies on it when I bought it. Rigid, red, friction shift, 3 chainrings 6 or 7 cogs on suntour (I think) freewheel. I rode it a ton for years. Changed the bar for much ligher bar and stem. Changed wheels a couple times. I eventually got a GT Karakoram, then a Kona Cindercone, but I kept the first one. It was still working really well when I moved from Prince George to Mexico DF in 1999, and left it with the free bike program.
  • 1 0
 When I was a kid there was a defunct orchard with dirt 4-wheeler paths cut all through it less than half a mile from my house. I probably rode hundreds of miles on them on a Huffy BMX, then a Huffy cruiser that I swapped the handlebars and tires on. When I got a job the first thing I did was get the money together for an actual mountain bike that I rode all over the fire roads of the George Washington National Forest. I have never stopped, no matter where I've lived.
  • 3 1
 Question for next week: The cycling tips podcast talks a lot about mountain bikes, but you guys never talk about road bikes. Is that because mountain bikes are way more interesting than road bikes?
  • 6 0
 @mikelevy talks about gravel riding almost every episode so that has to count for something!
  • 7 0
 I’d talk about road and gravel way more, but I think you and I are in the minority - people want to hear the MTB stuff haha
  • 9 0
 @Bobadeebob, yes.
  • 1 0
 If you spend an episode talking about road bikes I'd fall asleep driving
  • 1 0
 Well I didn’t actually listen to this podcast, and I don’t actually remember not riding a bike. I do recall my first mountain bike tho. I was living in the prairies at the time with my then girlfriend. We decided to purchase a couple of bikes to give us something to do. I bought a Norco Bigfoot (full rigid, even had BioPace!) she got a Marin of some sort. Anyhoooooo, there wasn’t too many mountains where we resided, but there was a lot of trails near or beside the rivers that flowed through our fine city. I was hooked.

Fast forward a couple years and I am now living in Banff. I didn’t have a lot of money to purchase a new bike, and the Norco was long gone, but I did manage to scrape together enough parts to assemble another full rigid mountain bike. I was soon biking around as much as possible and met a whole group of like people who all had “fancy” bikes complete with a front shock. Whaaaat? This fueld the fire and I finally managed to save up enough scratch to acquire a used Ritchey. Still no front shock, but it was a lot nicer than the parts bike I put together. I loved that bike and it took me from Canmore to Banff of the back side of Mt.Rundle more times than I can count.

Skip ahead a few more years to the early 90’s and I am now living in North Vancouver. HOLY MOLY, this is where it REALLY starts for me. Those trails were like nothing I’ve ever seen or even imagined. I soon purchased what I would call my first “real” MTB (it was a Kona Munimula (which actually took me a few months to realize that Munimula was aluminum spelled backwards, lol). It was my first bike with a shock, and I road the snot out of it on as many trails and features I could survive on the shore. I had a blast finally and considered myself a “real” mountain biker.

Skip ahead a few more years and I am now married, got two kids, and living in Squamish of all places. I finally got my hands on a beautiful gleaming white second hand full suspension downhill Rockey Mountain and was riding as much as possible. I also scored a hard tail Specialized Comp that I would ride around on with my kids. During this time I even started racing BMX with one of my kids. No joke. I used my MTB background to win a few races. I remember winning first race in fact. It was against a six year old girl on a run bike, and it was pretty close, but points are points. Bahahaha.

Skip ahead a few more years (yes, I am old) and I am now residing on the Sunshine Coast. This was such an amazing time for me regarding riding. I was riding the B&K and Sprockids every three days or so (weather permitting or not). Then my little guy demanded we go to Coast Gravity Park. Enter the time of shuttles. How could we not have done this sooner? We were hooked again, and suitable gravity approved bikes were soon acquired. This costly acquisition lead to costly family oriented road trips to other bike parks around BC. WORTH EVERY PENNY!

Not done yet. Skip ahead a couple more years and I am now in a new relationship with a woman who has just bought her first MTB last year, is just as excited about ridding as I am, and we ride the local trails as much as possible. I just love her enthusiasm and really dig watching her progress (she hasn’t ridden a bike in twenty years, so pretty awesome!).

So, now I am 52, recovering from shoulder surgery, have four bikes that I am currently not riding, and can’t wait to get back in the saddle to ride with family and friends.

It’s been an amazing and fortunate ride thus far. Mountain biking has kept me healthy (physically and mentally) and I intend to keep riding until I cannot.

See you out there!
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: I’m glad everything worked out on the ride with the dude you met on the Internet. But I’m going to throw you some words of wisdom that might come in handy in the future: never get in the van, no matter how much candy they promise.
  • 1 0
 For future podcast ideas I'd love to hear an interview with Adam "The Privateer" and get his take on the series, racing, etc. I seem to recall the first season everyone loved him, and then in the second season, the tide turned against him (I think partly due to the fact that he didn't loose his sh*t) when he got his new bike from Pivot.
  • 1 0
 Recovering from a broken leg motocross racing in '91, my buddy shows up at my house on this weird ten speed with big wide bars, big fat knobby tires* (1.95-2.0*), shifters, and rat trap pedals. "What is this?", I exclaimed. "A mountain bike!", he replied. Oh, I have to try this thing out! I swung my cast over the 1991 Bianchi, chromoly, lugged, suspension less, mountain bike and took off down the street. Same old feelings suddenly returned from the beginnings of my initial two wheeled discovery. I returned from my short ride and promptly wrote a check for 75$, (remember those things?) and let my friend walk home, mountain bike-less. Sorry Andrew! Still have that bike, and I bought at least a dozen more since then, and never went back to MX Racing (just riding). Mountain bikes was what I had been looking for and didn't know it, it kind of found me, grabbed me, and took over my life, and I Thank You MTB Gods for showing me the light! A solid 31 years of riding mountain bikes. Sure doesn't seem like it. Time to go ride...
  • 1 0
 Random question for a future episode about bike maintenance: Do bikes creak more in warm seasons/ temperatures, and less in cold temps? Seems to be the case. Also love these last two episodes, much appreciate the quality content especially now that we're reading about war daily, it's great to have the chill stuff to take mind off the grim. And that brings me to, what should the Beta + PB entity be called. I think it should maybe be called Donut Country.
  • 1 0
 I always rode bikes as a kid, I moved away for 7 years serving in the Army in North Carolina (kick myself for not riding while I was there, I had no idea I was so close to so many trails)
When I got out I was gaining weight, depressed, stressed and dealing what I now know was PTSD symptoms.

One day my day had scored an old 1961 Schwinn Speedster. I Helped him clean it up and rode it around a little bit. I think this was the moment my love of two wheels came roaring back to me.
I borrowed my dads old 1990 Diamondback Sorrento ( an XL that was waaaay too tall for me) until I could cobble together enough cash to buy a used 2005 Specialized Hardrock Disc.
I rode the absolute shit out of that bike. Rode everything from Stairset hucks to 25 mile adventures through town and the local regional parks (just fire roads, no trees, no fun really)
One day I decided to check out a place I had heard of about 40 miles away in another town called "Joaquin Miller Park".
It only took one ride there, I was lost, thirsty AF and tired but it didn't matter at all. This place had TREES and ROCKS and ROOTS and NARROW TRAILS!!!
What was this magical activity I had stumbled into? This was not the boring fire road suffer fest I had grown up with, this was FUN and exciting!
I was hooked big time. My mental health had improved dramatically and after a few years of riding, my physical health improved a ton as well.
Now, about 7 years later or so, MTB has become a major staple in my life. Not just a leisure sport or hobby but more of a self care tool. I try to ride as often as possible, either by myself, with friends or at a bike park with my kids... Now if I could just figure out how to get my wife hooked on it too hahaha.
  • 1 0
 My first bikes was an early 80's Stumpjumper that I bought in 1984, and maybe my friends had them? I remember trying one in 1982 thinking "who'd ever need gearing this low?"

They were rigid frames but it was a magical time riding then.
  • 1 0
 I got a kick out of Kaz mentioning Connecticut's own Salem Mazzway as a role model from his early days. I've ridden with Salem and his father Bob many times in the past, and the Salem stories are many, not only for his insane speed and riding skills, but for his, em, frugality. I used to see him riding to the local transfer station with his bob trailer in tow, to pick through the put-and-take area for bike parts. He once found a derelict mountain bike that fit him under a bridge overpass, refurbished it a bit, and won a local xc race with it. He would show up for group rides on a hybrid with a newspaper strapped to rack, so he had something to read while waiting for us at the turns.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy thanks for the answer to the question! Know you can't get them all, but love the engagement here.... perhaps the strange synergy of my having a pink gravel bike!

Another question / point of discussion if you get stuck for ideas - listening to the old Future of Bike Shops, from your collective experiences, are there tools you would reommend investing in, for jobs that are worth learning to do at home? And, seeing all the cool stuff on the Daily Bike Check Videos, what are the upgrades people could probably tackle at home versus the difficult or overly fiddly tasks for the LBS? And, for Brian, what parts do you feel safe making? And... I won't push my luck asking if there's a future in home or mail order 3D printing or CNCing bike parts from sites like Thingiverse.
  • 1 0
 @mikeymt - I switched from Ergon GE1 to Chromag Wax grips, and I really notice a difference on longer downhills. The rubber is at least as tacky as the Ergon Factory rubber... and the extra rubber eats up vibrations and is super comfortable. They're also nice and wide, which provides more hand positions. I find this nice on longer rides.

I highly recommend giving a nice set of push on grips a try.
  • 1 0
 Got a schwinn moab when i was younger as friend of the family raced and i road the trails. Turned 16 and dropped riding. Fast forward to being an out of shape desk jockey, start commuting to lose weight… start lunch riding trails. Get new budget xc bike. Get into racing… buy gravel bike, buy fatbike…. Upgrade all 3 bikes. Now its the lifestyle.
  • 1 0
 @mikes, I agree a lot in the part about what it takes to be a good reviewer, and how a pro has such different needs than a regular rider. It definitely deserves a full feature on a future episode. I think there is an analog to what it takes to be a good teacher: You need to know the substance but you also need to understand how it is when you're just starting out and none of it makes sense to you.
  • 1 0
 I was around 11 maybe 12, and i was just bored one day and looked up a video on bike jumps. I didn't have much bike or bmx experience, and i only had one brother that had ever actually rode. Well when i that up on youtube i found some videos of people hitting mega ramps on bmx bikes, but that didn't satisfy my curiosity. Well i found a video by Sam Pilgrim about him hitting his portable jump on his mountain bike, and something about doing jumps on a mountain bike just seemed right. Well in the next weeks and months i kept on watching mountain bike videos and started saving up money to buy a mountain bike. I got a GT Aggressor Pro and started riding the trails. That was 3 years ago. Im 15 now riding a fully upgraded rockhopper comp. I do XC races at my high school and work 2 days a week at my local bike shop. I don't know where i would be if i didn't find those videos on mountain biking
  • 1 0
 The Kona Process review came in for some flack, because the spec seems poor for the price.
The lower spec model comes with a full Deore groupset, including 4 pot brakes, is that a better option?
On the subject of brakes, the new hopes come with race organic pads, I know you guys don't like organics...
  • 2 0
 I'm old and I have a BMX backgound lol Big Grin
A friend's older brother brought a Ritchey P-23 home to Canada from a trip to Cali and blew our little BMX minds! This was 1990/91?
  • 2 0
 My Dad got me into riding and my Mom got me a copy of Bike Magazine in '94 and the rest is history. I was hooked, been riding ever since.
  • 1 0
 As a kid, it was as close to riding the moto as I could get during the week. Also got me in shape for riding a dirt bike, which I don't think most people realize how physically demanding it is.
  • 1 0
 Always liked riding bikes as a kid and would spend all my free time riding around on the neighbourhood. When I was 15 a friend took me along on the local trails once and I was instantly hooked.
  • 1 0
 Rode bmx as a kid at the local track. When that closed down, me and other kids built jumps lines in the woods around our neighborhood. Got a Bridgestone MB5 and have been hooked since!
  • 1 0
 First exposure for me was a friend of my Dad's from California brought a mountain bike to our cottage in NW Ontario in summer 1986. I was mostly impressed that he had a beer in his water bottle cage.
  • 1 0
 After >25 years of wrestling and bjj i.e. I wanted to overcome different challenges/fears, speed, air, physics, nature. It's certainly a different culture, for better or worse.
  • 1 0
 As a kid I was always on bike until team sports took over in middle/highschool. Once in university I was lucky to get a deal on a older Norco which got me back into the sport. Haven't looked back since.
  • 3 0
 BMX-Married-Kids-Divorce-Depression-Alcoholism-Sober-MTB-Happy. That's how......
  • 2 0
 I started when my dad told me he would help pay half for my brand new 1990 Bridgestone MB-6.
  • 2 0
 Nice. I had the MB-4.Lol. Paid for it 90 days same as cash. I worked a surf/snowboard shop and a bike shop next door sold them. I liked the steel frame, but the top tube was way too high, so I sold it and got an aluminum Trek 7000. I remember the aluminum frame was much harsher than the steel. Lol.
  • 3 1
 Inline wheelchairing gives the broken & old a chance to not be totally lame.
  • 6 5
 Unpopular opinion. I like reading the Beta artciles (he recent one on the Kingdom Trails was a good one), but wondering if there is a place here to discuss them. PB Forums?
  • 5 0
 We're working to get comments added over on Beta. A PB Forum could be a good temporary solution - I'll look into it.
  • 3 0
 I wasn't allowed a dirtbike.
  • 1 0
 Won a Huffy in a sales contest that I soon out grew, sold that and bought a Rocky Mountain from my local. Did my first race at Kelso here in Ontario, never looked back.
  • 1 0
 So many of these stories are redemption arcs where people fail miserably in the beginning and persist into passionate riders!
  • 2 0
 first bike 1995 Trek 930...promptly stolen 1yr after
  • 1 0
 You'll never know fear like rollerskiing downhill toward a railroad crossing.
  • 1 0
 I really like the fact that bicycles have brakes!
  • 1 0
 Makes me feel better about being also terrible at ball sports, and only playing like 5 minutes a game haha!
  • 1 0
 How/why: it looked like something awesome to do when the snow is gone and I can’t ski/snowboard, and running sucks
  • 1 0
 I started mtb since I’m gay and there’s limitless sweaty men for me to hit on, no a sliz in sight :-)
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy We want Wayne on the Podcast
  • 1 0
 Same here
  • 1 0
 Also keen on hearing how the rest of the pinkbike team got into mtb

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