Carl Decker and I. What do we have in common? Mountain Biking, learning how to drive (faster) from Carl's Dad Mike, speaking Spanish, living in Bend a long time, seeing each other in far off places (Scotland, Durango, Providence RI, on some obscure trail far from town, and starting mountain biking the same year. Some people think I invented the Sport. They haven't been around that long I guess. I think of myself as a newcomer. Tom Pickett, he did nationals the first year they had them, Gary Bonacker. We have a photo of Gary on top of Bachelor Butte (the old name) circa 1976 with his bike.
I started with Carl. Cascade Cruise put on by the old gang at Century Cycle (John Byfield still live in town),was our first race. I am guessing it was 1984 or so. I really don't remember. Carl and I have been doing it every since. 1990 first UCI worlds, yep Carl and I were there. 2007 Worlds again we were there. He was racing, I was spectating. Lots more in between. Carl thinks he has done 500 races in his career. Not all cycling. He was a very good runner during his high school and university days. I have done maybe 275 or so in the same period. He is a pro I am a nut, and just can't stop. I love the photo of Carl getting his first road bike. It was Christmas and he was happy. He still loves it, I think. You can ask him when he and Adam Craig come to Sunnyside on Feb 16Th to talk about racing and whatever other questions we and you ask them. I have some stories to tell but most of them are not that exciting. Are we best friends? No. We have endured and shared in a sport that I am still in love with. I am proud to know Carl, and I am proud to have helped him. He has had way more help from people other than me. I know that. But I was the first bike store for Carl and when he needs a hand we are still there. But mainly we joke and laugh and know that we didn't start mountain biking, but we helped and we share the love of a wonderful sport. You will like what Carl will have to say so please come and see him and Adam next week.
The three photos are Carl at Single Speed Worlds in Aviemore Scotland (he was 2ND), Carl at the Ranier Cross Crusade race (2ND again) and Carl getting his first road bike. I think he was 11. You can ask him that also. There is an interview with Carl in this month's Velonews. The printed interview is longer than the one that was online last week.
If you are a die hard cyclist it is time you got out and learned to ski. The snow is going to be around for a few weeks. Meisner is going again, so don't moan, just go and ski.