Say hello to our newest writer Logan Cummings. Logan’s a junior at Minnetonka High School and has raced for their mountain bike team since his freshman year. Read how Logan learned mountain biking was for him.
Throughout my life I have tried a plethora of sports. When I was young I played soccer, but I rarely participated due to the fact that I paid more attention to the shapes of the clouds than the actual game. I played football for a year, but was a little too timid to enjoy it thoroughly. Tennis required too much running, so track and field was way too much running.
I didn’t particularly enjoy skating, nor baseball. Everything I tried was fun; it just wasn’t quite the right fit for me. That was when I tried mountain biking.
Wet Socks and Smiles
My friends and I had been biking to school, which was about four miles from my house, nearly every day we could after 6th grade. We would meet at the gas station in the morning, grab a few doughnuts, and go on our way to school. If there had been rain recently we would arrive muddy, and often with our shoes soaking wet. Some of the trials on the way went through wetlands that would flood with nearly a foot of water on some occasions. Of course when this was the case, we did the natural thing and biked right through it, because going around would be ridiculous. In one case a bridge was out because of construction (to fix the trails that were so prone to flooding), so we got up a little earlier and waded through the creek. It was about 50 degrees that day, and we attempted to keep our shoes dry by tying plastic bags around our feet. This did not work. Most of my friends brought extra shoes or socks, but I was not that smart and went the whole day with soaking feet.
On the way home, my friends and I would often hit up the non-paved walking trails in the local park, which was on the way home. The trails had decent variety, given the small area they were contained in. Most were fairly tame, although there were a few steep sections and staircases. There was one area that sent you shooting down in between two fairly narrow trees. There were some loose, blind corners. Some areas had dips that could maybe pass as a drop. We did this on everything from bikes best suited to an 8 year old, to 20-year-old parent’s bikes. We didn’t really realize what we were doing at the time, but we were mountain biking. And we loved every second of it.
One day I was walking through my middle school, and I noticed a poster. It was advertising my school’s mountain biking team. It had some pictures on it that showed something remarkably similar to what I had been doing in the park with my friends. I decided to join, and I showed up at the very first practice in mid July with about 4 other kids. On that first day I didn’t say much. It wasn’t even a trail ride, but I had more fun than I had ever had at any other practice for any other sport. I immediately knew that this was where I belonged. It just fit.
I am not an outlier
I’ve talked to many other mountain bikers about my experiences, and I am not an outlier. Almost everyone has a similar story about how they fell in love with this sport. Everyone who does this, does it because they feel more at home on their bike than they do anywhere else. We do this because mountain biking is where we belong. The path you take and the experiences you have are something that is only experienced a few instances in a lifetime. So cherish every second of it, because it just fits.