What was your best day on a bike?
by: Jeff Haug

I was asked this question many a time as I'm sure all you other cyclists have been too, "What was your best day on a bike?" This got me thinking about what makes the best day. Is it finding a new part of a trail you've ridden on over and over? Is it when you finally make it up that one really steep hill? Making it over that tough technical part of a trail you have had to stop to walk your bike over before?

I thought of all these things but my best day was when I was just plain riding. I went over to my friend's house to see if he wanted to ride. He said Yeah, of course. We got all our stuff ready and filled up our water bottles. We set off.

Where I live there are many trails, all singletrack (duh!) but most of them are short and not that hard. So we picked one that we had ridden a couple of times but never really had a chance to explore it. It was about a 3-mile ride to get there and we were yearning for the trails by then. When we got there we went down the entrance hill as usual and went through the trail for a couple of minutes. This was the fastest part of the trail. We passed a couple of forks in the trail and chose which way rather indiscriminately. Then we got to the part of the trail we had never ridden before. We decided to play it safe and ride the brakes.

Then came uphill riding. Ugh. We struggled up the hills and we kept going only to find that we were back where we started. We went through it all again choosing to go a different way. This time at the end of the ride came a very long mud crossing. I pushed through it. It was very tough. I didn't think I would be able to make it. When we went across your tires just sunk into the ground about six inches. Mud was flying all over me and it clogged the brakes pretty badly. I was the only one who made it across without putting a foot down.

About a quarter-mile later, and too many stump jumps, we came out to the road. I knew where we were. So I decided to stop and drink my fill. Then we descended the really steep hill and I decided I wanted to go through a trail I'd been on but never finished, I had always had to turn back. So We went on it and It too was muddy but not as bad. It seemed never-ending. Ride. Jump. Climb. Ride some more. That seemed to be the routine. I thought I knew where it went because we were next to the river and I knew where it led. I was right. The trail came out to a road that was past all the way across town. I guessed it was about ten miles from home and my legs were so very tired. My riding buddy was tired too.

When we were about a mile from home I saw another of my frequently taken trails and decided I wasn't through. I made a sharp turn and rocketed through it. I fell and banged my knee. It hurt really bad. I had to walk the bike about a mile home.

But that was fun. Even if the injury put me out of riding for a week or two, I had so much fun in that one day of riding it was worth it. That was my best day. I think all the mud and pain was worth it. And I wouldn't change a thing of it for a thousand dollars. Well, maybe, but that won't ever happen anyway so I well stoked.