My real name is Frank. I'll be 50 in July. Sorry in advance for this being a bit long.
Almost exactly 12 years ago I bought a Raleigh M50 mountain bike. I had a blast on it. I rarely rode off road, rather, I used it on the road, fat knobby tires and all. Great workout. I'd ride to the beach on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, stop for a while and chill then head back home. I'd get a 16-20 mile round trip.
But alas all good things come to an end. So about 2 years ago I was told by the bike shop that it was too old and expensive to refurb, if the parts could be gotten at all. And I was told I was really getting a little too old to be pushing a mtb on the road. Though I found that a little hard to swallow, and still bristle at that. So I was talked into a more sedate hybrid. It's not a bad bike (Raleigh C30), but it's not what I wanted. And I've only ridden it a few times. I wanted my mtb, and was planning and checking out what I wanted and where I was going to go. And it was NOT back to that bike shop.
So one day a couple of weeks ago I happened to go into The Sports Authority for weightlifting gloves. As soon as I walked in the door I skidded to a stop because there it was.
It just called out to me, and I couldn't take my eyes off it. My partner saw the lust in my eyes and said "Do you want it?" I kept circling it like a Great White checking it out and looking it over, but I started walking away, then back, hemming and hawing. He said again "Do... you... want... it? I said "Yes, of course I want it!" So we got a guy to come over and give me the rundown and get his brain picked.
It's a Columbia Twin Peak. I found out that Ironhorse makes these bikes. Better warranty and service than the bike shop ever offered, and no attitude. It's dual suspension (I would have settled for hardtail), but the rear suspension is adjustable to however hard or soft you want it. Shimano shifters and derailleurs. I know it's probably not the best bike on the market, but in the couple of weeks I've ridden it so far, I feel like a little kid.
I've been building up my stamina and am doing about 5-8 miles 2-3x/week. Sunday I did a little over 8 miles, and some of it was off road and in the mud.
There is the opening to a field not far from where I live. I see people pull into the field and park just off the road. I saw a cop car in there, so I pulled in and asked him if it was all right to go in. He said yes as long as I was just riding. I said I never knew what was in here. He said it's nothing really... just unused land.. There are trails wide enough for a vehicle to go through. So I went exploring. I found sand, brush gravel and lots of mud.
I don't know how far this place goes, but all I know is I just kept riding and following the trails and going further in. I don't know if it's circular because I hit a dead end on this trail and had to turn around. Next time I'll take another fork in the trails. My boots and tires were caked with mud, and even when I got out on the road again I was kicking mud up.
Man, that was fun.