Hey, Just Ride 41

The spectacular view from Cinder Hill stretches across its namesake tumbling down the mountainside, skimming over East Lake, rising to Paulina Peak and settling upon Paulina Lake with The Sisters dotting the horizon.

The image lives in my head, one of the countless memories first forged on the wheels of my Ibis Mojo.

I’m savoring the view on my ‘96 US Olympic Cannondale as I pay tribute to the fallen Mojo.

The Mojo sustained fatal injury recently when the carbon fiber rear dropout broke. I’m told it isn’t fixable.

I have to admit that for many years before the arrival of the Mojo, which I bought used on craigslist, my bikes were kinda just my bikes.

None developed the close ties of my first trek road bike. I rode that bike into the ground, but not before it transported me on possibly my most epic adventure — cruising from San Francisco to Carsbad (just north of San Diego).

That was simply death by natural causes after 10 years.

My Jamis Dakar became my greatest love, born from the womb of VeloNews, which at that time as the 20th Century drew to a close rose to the top of many individual’s “best place I ever worked list.”

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One of the perks of Inside Communications back then was getting a Jamis. Most were handed out as bonuses for work well done. Nothing compares to giving someone a positive review, a raise and then say, “And you get to pick out a new Jamis.”

I guess my trek sold me on the concept that a reasonably priced bike can give me everything I need. I would have never dished out the cash it cost to get a Dakar.

I got mine free.

It became special on too many levels: Colorado adventures, some with Sierra in the trailer behind as we rode past newborn lambies, Austin commutes, Knoxville Appalachian odysseys and our unforgettable summer of ‘05 (chronicled in my ebook You Can’t Cook a Dead Crab and Eat It.

As I embarked on my focus on outdoor writing I rode to meet a person for a column and left my Jamis double locked at a gas station in Eugene, Oregon while we went into the mountains. On my return, she was gone. Abducted.

No one told me Eugene has a higher per capita bike theft rate than New York City! New York City!!

From that point on I just rattled through a number of bikes, all reasonably priced and reasonably reliable in delivering adventure.

Still, none had the “it” factor

From the time Scot Nicol wrote for us when I was at VeloNews, I pined for a Mojo. It was the only bike I’ve ever lusted for.

When I became editor of an outdoors magazine and knew that ski resort mountain bike visits would be part of the job — another of my I-can’t-believe-I-get-paid-for-doing-this! — I scoured craigslist for an upgrade on my Cannondale.

Surprisingly, I found my Mojo. Just four or five years old at the time, she looked perfectly broken in and as such, reasonably priced (for an Ibis Mojo).

Combine the dream assignments I rode on for the magazine (Sun Valley, Brundage and Grand Targhee) with our annual month of Summer Vacation (Methow Valley, Weiser Trail and the Hiawatha) and the classic rides right out my door, well, me and the Mojo did it right.

Part of me went right to craigslist, most of me just looked at my Cannondale with a wry smile and a twinkle in my eye.

It won’t matter where we ride this vacation. The fact that my Cannondale was there when I needed her makes every ride special.

I may have lost my Mojo, but found my Headshok.

Time to ride.

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