Sunday, April 29, 2012

Welcome to Paradise

Racer Boy Ian and I took the short drive over to Paradise Valley for a little mountain bike action.  We hit this place last year and had a blast, with a vow to return.  Today was the day.  

Loaded up the race ready '94 Camry Wagon (envy of the neighborhood...) with bikes and gear and off we went:

The map to it all.  Place isn't all that big, but enough twisty fun singletrack to satisfy.  Met some nice guy in the parking lot, riding a sweet Ritchey 29er in single speed mode, and we all cruised together for awhile.  Why is it that so many cool nice folks, ride mountain bikes?  Must be a DNA thing.  I'll contact the institute for a little grant dough and we'll get to the bottom of this theory.

My trusty 29er rests against sign pole.  Too bad it can't read.  It can ride though and does that pretty damn well.  I've been using this rig for two years now, no complaints.  Felt great on the rooted out, muddy singletrack; which this place has in spades.  There's even a few wooden stunts to attempt, most of 'em pretty tame.  This park is really about XC fun and frolicking.

Ian balances small rocks on the giant, moss covered trail side boulder.  A fun diversion, complete with some Clif Bar chomping.  Another fantastic father/son day out, bicycles being the secret key to it all.

Ian in action, he kicked my ass today.  Was riding smoother and stronger then old bike geek dad, since I was dragging a bit.  Eventually all rides will revolve around keeping him in sight.  He gets older and stronger, while I get older and slower.  That's okay.  At 50+ years old, I ain't doing too bad.  I would guess in the general population of semi-old dudes, only a small percentage of 50 year olds are splashing through puddles on a mountain bike for 2 hours.  I'll take it.  I like not being normal.  Normal is highly overrated.  Trust me.

Fun ride with 2+ hours of cruising around.  We don't know these trails well, so some backtracking and doing a few sections twice (or more).  Wet and muddy, all singletrack, Roots-O-Plenty, tight turns and plenty of smiles.  Ian enjoyed hitting somewhere new for a change.  Me too.

Great place, we'll be back...


  1. Ian is going to have a good year, and dad is going to have lotz of fun.

  2. Ian is going to do some structured training this year. One of the kids on his team, high school age - experienced racer - is coaching some of the younger racers, like Ian. Cool experience for both, I think.

    Should be interesting, since Ian's always "just rode" and raced with no real training. We're gearing all this for 'cross in the fall.

    Also keeping in mind he's only 12 years old. Overall intent is fun and learning...