Giving Back

I’ve had a great deal of help from many people and I’m sure I’ll never give back as much as I’ve been given, but here’s a few of my bicycle related good deeds lately.


A few weekends ago a crew of eight mountain bikers attacked the Gossage area of trails and cleared them out.  We dug drains for mud holes, cleared lots of downed trees, sticks, briers, and generally made the trail way better.  I say we, but I had to bail out early, the other folks did much more work than I.  Thanks to this effort Gossage is riding better than it has in a long time.  We rode there this weekend, a group of 8 riders.  It was a blast.  Of course there was the mandatory group picture at Pedro, or Julio if you prefer.


One of my mountain bike friends has been riding with a huge Camelbak HAWG hydration bag for as long as I’ve known him.  He’s a strong guy, but often suffers on the climbs.  I picked up his pack a couple weeks ago and was stunned by it’s weight.  I couldn’t help myself and began a campaign to convince him to shed the extra weight.  Ironically I’ve benefited from his pack multiple times, he carries extra pedals which I’ve used, an extra tire, which I’ve used, and enough tools to field repair about anything, which I’ve borrowed.  He weighed the pack and found it was at 17 pounds.  Just for some perspective, my buddy Luke carried 25 pounds when he rode from from Canada to Mexico and did it with a frame pack not a back pack.


This friend of mine took my advice and dropped over ten pounds from his pack, he instantly became a far stronger rider, not only on the climbs but everywhere.  All that weight on his back was ruining his ability to negotiate the trail.  He’s seriously like a completely different rider.  I’ve never seen him ride so well.


On Saturday morning I did a road ride with my Mom and Dad.  Out on route 13 we passed a gentleman on road bike.  We effortlessly glided past the rider, who was dressed in legit bike clothes, but riding a department store road bike.  In short order we were about to make a left on to Dykersburg, the gentleman was a few minutes behind us and I couldn’t help myself.  I turned around and road back to greet him.


The Gentleman is riding some serious miles, getting a 60 miler in every Saturday, he’s doing this on a road bike that weighs 30+ pounds.  Worse then that the saddle was at least 3 inches to low.  I couldn’t help myself.  I offered to raise the guys saddle which he was very excited to accept.  He had no idea how to adjust anything on the bike.  I can’t even imagine riding 60 miles on 30 pound wal-mart bike with a saddle 3 inches to low.  It’s like hell for a cyclist.  The guy was thinking about buying a 2000 dollar bike at a bike shop, which I whole heartily endorsed, though I told him a low end bike shop road bike would do him wonders.  This is where our super cheap Box Stores fail us.  No one is going to leave a legit bike shop with a new bike that fits terribly.

This may look like a fast sleek road bike, but looks can be deceiving.

This may look like a fast  and sleek road bike, but looks can be deceiving.

Oh yeah, I gave my brother a mountain bike, though I’ll be surprised if he ever takes it outside.  See he’s got it cleaned up real nice and he’s scarred to get it dirty.


About Matt Gholson

Cycling, school teaching, husband.
This entry was posted in Barn Door Cycling, Bikes and components, lifestyle, Mountain BIking, Rides, Stories, Weight Loss and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Giving Back

  1. Moe says:

    The work day really paid off. The trails were in great condition. I’m so glad I was able to make it over to enjoy it. I wholeheartedly agree, I have never seen the man carrying the heavy pack ride as well as he did Sunday. I’d be willing to be his crash numbers drop considerably too. It’s hard to keep yourself from going over the bars with 20lbs of crap on your back.

  2. Sean Boyle says:

    Must be talking about the famous D.B. He might as well carry a spare bike on his back! As always, nice story Matt!

  3. Moe says:

    You are correct S.B. It was crazy seeing how much faster he was and how he didn’t use his elbow or knee pads once that I know of.

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