Back in mid to late 1990s, I helped to design the initial Web site for Sunshine Cycle Shop. At that time, I started a little section on the site called TrailMix. It was to be a place where I posted articles about riding mountain bikes as well as reviewing the various places to ride around the area.
TrailMix is now long gone. However, something reminded me of the articles I had written and I began to wonder if they still existed. It took a while to find them, but I finally came across them buried in a directory online.
I’ve decided to bring them out and publish them here so that I will have a record of them. A lot of water has gone under the bridge since those days! Hope you enjoy them, but I realize that I’m not the greatest writer in the world and the purpose for having them here is more for my memory.
Let me introduce myself. We will stay with the pertinent information–the bike I ride.
I remember when I first got interested in mountain bikes. Burned out on organized sports, mountain bikes seemed to offer a chance to get out in nature alone and keep in shape.
So, I made my way down to the greatest place to buy a bike. Toys R Us.
My first bike was a Huffy. Ah, what a beaut! At 99 bucks, it was a steal! Thirty-six pounds of raw power. With a purple marble paint job, water bottle holder, 12 gears–I was ready to thrash some single track!
It wasn’t long before my euphoria gave way to reality. My first indication that it wasn’t going to be a lasting relationship was when I took it to Sunshine to have the wheels trued (I hadn’t learned to bunny hop and kept crashing into curbs with the rear wheel). It seems that the steel Huffy rims aren’t very flexible.
The guys at Sunshine did their best and didn’t even laugh at me (at least not to my face). They got me back on the trails in no time. I did my best to avoid the curbs. On the trails, however, I was getting more daring with each outing. It was this daring that killed the Huffy.
In a seeming uneventful ride through a downtown park, my friends and I came upon a little down hill single track that ended in an asphalt road. As I began my descent, I noticed my brake lever was askew due to a brush I had had moments earlier with a small tree. Attempting to fix the problem as I started down the hill was not wise. For just a moment my eyes left the trail–and my bike followed. My Huffy struck a rock and tacoed the front wheel. The rear wheel rim picked up a huge dent.
Amazingly, I made it down to the road in the saddle. It wasn’t until I reached the curb (I still couldn’t bunny hop) that I came off the bike. For just a moment I thought I would make it, but the impact of the curb wrenched the handles from my hands and I did a superman into the asphalt. The guys I was riding with said that it was beautiful! I didn’t even think about me. I was worried about my bike.
I assume the tears were due to the burning sensation on my hands, arms, and knees. Okay, there was some moisture in my eyes because of the passing of the Huffy. The wheels were beyond repair, the handle bar was bent, and the frame was cracked. I knew I was going to have to say goodbye.
It is not good to become depressed about such things. I wasn’t going to let this get me down. So, as I nursed my wounds on the way home, I was already planning my next bike purchase. Hmmmmm, I wonder if a Murray would be better?
Do you have a story about your first bike? If so, pass it along and I’ll be glad to publish it here as well. The next story is titled, “The Tank.”