I remember my first RATPOD experience. It was unbelievably beautiful and COLD. I rode out on my own. I was supposed to be friends, but ended up riding on my own. I was a little disappointed at first, but looking back at it now, it was one I will never forget. Going over the pass to Crystal Mountain into the valley was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. The support crew was fantastic and I finished. I was sore, hurt and strung out, but I went on to ride this ride 6 more times because I loved it so much.
My first bike was a red hand-me-down from my brother. I am quite certain that it was at least two sizes too big for me and in those days there were no training wheels, just two tubeless tires. I didn't know what I was doing, but he was more than happy to push me along the crack sealed paved road and let me ride as fast I could. I didn't know how to stop, I couldn't put my feet down on the ground. So, of course, I crashed. I was battered and bruised, but it was the best moment of my life and I knew I wanted to ride from that day forward.