My first time downhill mountain biking was like an all day high and not actually comming down until the next day when I woke up aching and dealing with gooey icy hot. Ski-Plattekill arguably the greatest downhill spot on the east coast-is located in Roxbury NY just off my favorite road in NY-State, Route 30.
Being 5 hours drive away it requires getting up at 4 in the morning and driving red eye with Dream Theater or Hammerfall blaring as loud as possible while chugging Mountain Dew or Red Bull. It is one of those drives that allows you to witness a sunrise followed by intense fog as you make your way down I-81. It is one of those drives that you have to pee really bad, but dont want to lose time by pulling over. It is and that day especially one of those drives filled with the excitement and anticipation of the unknown.
For my loyal readers who have no idea what downhill mountain biking is I will try and explain. One takes a bike that looks more like a dirt bike, and rides a chairlift to the top of a ski-mountain and proceeds to ride trails cut into the trees at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. In this process one discovers that G-d created fallen trees-that people build jumps off of, cliffs that daring people launch off of(a man Josh Bender launched an 80 footer and landed, in British Columbia) and that balls and skill go hand in hand.
Riding your bike on a narrow, steep, dirt trail through trees jumping off of things at 20 mph is quite fun and scary. Until 5 years aso on that fatefull day at Ski Plattekill- I had only ridden local trails, and jumped off stairs and that sort of thing. The ride up the lift was intense, I was looking down at the jump course running under the lift and noticed a jump that had to be a 40 foot gap. My heart was racing as me and my buddy Yosef mounted our bikes with me in the lead. I rode a Trek-vrx400 with 5 inches of suspension on both ends while Yosef rode an old Stumpjumper with a 4 inch fork and V-brakes. Insanity pure and simple.
The first section of trail madce me feel amazing. AMAZING, the riding was simply insane. No pedaling uphill just pure speed and rythem as we rode a trail that had jump after jump. My hands were throbbing from the braking, my barkes were smoking, my thighs were dead, my face was covered in mud and blood was oozing from the cuts and scrapes from a tree I ran into- I was in heaven. Its hard to describe how heavenly downhilling is to a non-biker. But imagine the best day of one of your own passions whether it be painting, flea market scrounging, fixing cars, or playing the mandolin. This was utter perfection.