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trail rat
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7,825 Posts
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MTBR people. You do not know me. You are all my brothers and sisters. You (and a mountain bike) have saved my life. Thank you.

My first real passion for two wheels began in 1970. Graduated to the Camp Granola (Campagnola) crowd and did some crazy road racing in Utah and Wyoming. Bought my first MTB in 1979 in Marin from some crazies that customized cruisers for riding down Mt. Tamalpias. Rode many mountain bikes through the years. Santa Barbara was home, and between 1981 and 1989 we explored Tunnel, San Ysidro, Jesusita, Romero Canyon, Camuesa, Little Pine mountain. Terry Gearhart, Carlos Soto, David Brainard, John Kierce, Jim Kershaw, Jolie Welch, Barbara Altman. Lori Ann Cotton. Many trails, many friends, many beers, many mexican dinners at Roses. Thank you all.

Moved to San Luis Obispo with a new career commitment in 1990 and hardly touched the old faithful Ritchey for some 15 years. She got a loving pat here and there, but not much attention. In November 2004 a Haro FS grabbed my attention in Copelands, and I took it home; rode her for two months, reignited my passion (and upgradeitis), and bought a Azonic frame and lots of parts on E-Bay. My heart and mind soared after being dull, and lost in the business world for years.

An Intense Uzzi SLX frame sang a siren song, and I got it for much less than she was worth. Got her assembled in June 2005 and began again in earnest the love affair of climbing, sweating, gasping and loving that got me in the best physical condition of the last 20 years of my life.

In July, while climbing my favorite love/hate technical climb, my sternum told me something was not right with the pumping muscle below. Many doctor visits, EKG's, stress echo cardiograms, examinations, cold stethoscopes, and good doctors later, on Halloween day, I spent three and one half hours in the Cath Lab, under an x-ray, while a cardiac surgeon guided a catheter up my femoral artery, through the vessels of my heart, exploring. Here and there, he injected dye, inserted a balloon, and puffed that sucker up to open a vital artery; installed a stent (two actually), and removed the tiny catheter. Gave me back the most important MTB muscle in my body. Thank you Dr. Bocchiocchio.

Two weeks later, with tears in his eyes, my regular doctor shock my hand while congratulating me and explained that the 98-99% blockage in two places in the left anterior descending cardiac artery is known as the widow-maker and one rarely gets any warning, and usually does not survive the resulting heart attack. He stated that I would not have seen Chrstmas, and maybe not even Thanksgiving day. If I had not been riding that beloved MTB, I would never have gotten the warning.

There were over four months that I could not ride, could not lift at the gym, could not hike, could not walk for fitness, There were many times during that four months that I questioned - questioned Life, my God, the joke, the puzzle (I did not have the bad, high fat diet, never smoked, always active, only about 20lbs over my "ideal" weight, eat lots of fruit and veggies, chicken and fish.). I debated using the Hunter S. Thompson solution to aging. I knew I did not want to end up in a dark wooden box in the cold ground. If nothing else, at least I wanted to be buzzard shat on a rock in the sun.

I logged on to MTBR every day. I read Passion, I understood passion, life, and the crazy love of metal, rubber, chain lube, dirt, trees, rocks, and climbing. I understood why we have to throw that leg over the bike to open our hearts to people and the earth.

Thank you, everyone who posts comments and pictures, everyone on MTBR.com, You folks fanned the fire, the Fire of Life, that almost went our for this old guy. Thank you. You are my brothers and sisters. You saved my life. Someday I hope to ride with you. I'll ride with you in spirit anytime, if you will just think of my story.



I'll soon be living in an RV, paying back the $20+k that the operation cost with no insurance. I wake to sunshine, birds singing, and the siren song of my Uzzi SLX asking to get dirty in the hills. I'm thankful and happy to oblige. Sweat, dirt, breath, life, chain lube, rubber, aluminum, steel; these are my joyful mistresses of pain now. They let me know I am wonderfully alive with a heart 20+ years younger than these old legs.
 

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surly inbred
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1,539 Posts
slocaus said:
I wake to sunshine, birds singing, and the siren song of my Uzzi SLX asking to get dirty in the hills.
None better day to give thanks. Thank you for sharing & inspiring as your post is sure to do... revive the will in us all to get out there and enjoy what we do.

Thank you & glad you're pounding the dirt
 

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Reviewer/Tester
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6,176 Posts
Slo..

Thank you, sir..for the passion and committment to this sport, this lifestyle, this reason for being alive and healthy that we all as mountainbikers enjoy.

Live long, and prosper.. :)

R.
 

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life is a barrel o'fun
Joined
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2,502 Posts
Wow, talk about inspirational. Whatever happens in life, as long as we can still ride our bikes on the trails, that's all that really matters.

I will certainly think about this post on many upcoming rides!
 
G

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Riding IS life....

Rings truer now than ever before!

Glad you are still turning the crank (maybe Hunter should've been a mtn biker)!
 

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resident crackpot
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483 Posts
WOW! That was one of the most inspirational moments in all my life. Every hair on my body is standing on end. THANK YOU, Slocaus, for sharing such divine thought with all of us. Hadn't intended on riding today, but now I HAVE TO just for you...just for me.
 

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Registered
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271 Posts
Thanks...

I needed that. After reading about people shooting someone because they were bored I was feeling very uninspired for sure.Wondering whats the point.....your post reminded my what the point was and brought a few tears as well.If we have passion nothing should get in the way of that.Now I really wish I had ridden my bike to work today :( ..well I wil go for a little spin tonight and think of this post..thank you. Kona
 

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Now broadcasting from CO
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1,225 Posts
Keep on crankin brother!

Thank you very much for sharing your story. I am happy to know that you can still ride. It is stories like this that reignite the passion inside me. I need to ride now...
 

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Registered
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1,528 Posts
after just getting home from a good ride, i read your post. you my friend are a perfect example of what this hobby/sport/lifestyle is all about. thank you for blessing us with your inspiring and uplifting story. you sir, indeed have the passion
 

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Samsonite Tester
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3,993 Posts
Godspeed to you Slocus . Glad to see how Mtb passion can save someones elses life. It works for me everyday.
 

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Unshaven Yak
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503 Posts
Get yourself back down to SB and I will ride with you any time. Thanks for contributing in kind. I just bought a new (to me) car and was debating what was to be done this morning, this seals it, gotta break it in with a dirty bike and keep that gravy from settling in for the winter.
 

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Registered
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64 Posts
Worth a resurrection

Cheers to you, man. Hope you're still lovin' every breath and pedal stroke.

Thanks for the link in the Nor Cal forum. :thumbsup:

This'll be bookmarked for when I need a shot of reality or just a smile.

ps - stole your line...hope you don't mind! :D
 
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