Most people would slow down if they were approaching a cliff on a mountain bike. Douglas Evans speeds up. “There’s an unbelievable adrenaline rush when you’re flying through the air off a cliff like that,” he says. Evans is an extreme-sports enthusiast who skis and mountain bikes for fun. “It’s the challenge that draws me. It’s a great opportunity to express my athletic ability and test my courage.”
The 38-year-old East Coast account executive for ViaNovus, a California-based software company that designs construction program management software, was first introduced to extreme mountain biking in 1997 by a group of friends. Evans prefers to cycle in the spring to late fall when the weather is pleasant, but, he says, “Bad weather doesn’t deter me at all. It just adds an extra element of exitement to it.” While many bicycling enthusiasts go to reserves and ride for free, Evans frequents the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York or the mountains at the Ringwood and Mountain Creek resorts in New Jersey. “Off-season ski mountains make really good mountain bike terrain,” he says.
Bumps and bruises come with the territory; mountain biking is not a spectator sport. Evans once landed badly after a cliff jump, was knocked unconscious, broke his cheekbone in three places, and required stitches in his lip. He recovered quickly and was back on the mountains in no time, but if he hadn’t been wearing the proper gear, his injuries could have been a lot worse.
The Website www.mtbinfo.com offers mountain biking advice from BikeDoctor. Among the tips are always ride with one or more people, carry a small tool kit for any bicycle repairs, and take along an energy bar and water, no matter how short you think your ride is going to be. Another good idea is to tape your name and phone number, as well as that of an emergency contact, inside your helmet in case you crash.
Evans works hard and plays hard and says extreme mountain biking has a bonus. Along with the adrenaline rush, “it’s a great way to get in shape. I’ve lost 20 pounds doing it.”
Mountain bike $1,000-$2,000
Bike shoes $70-$200
Cycling shirt and pants $40-$70
Water bottle $10-$30
Lighting system for night riding:(helmet light, bike light and battery pack) Approx. $200
The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA)
1121 Broadway, Suite 203
P.O. Box 7578
Boulder, CO 80306
The National Off-Road Bicycle Association (NORBA)
One Olympic Plaza
Colorado Springs, CO 80909