A new way to ride…

28 Sep, 2011

For as long as I can remember, snowboarding has been my main passion.  I’ve made my dreams come true with year round riding and never thinking twice about it.  I figured since I was so passionate about snowboarding, I’d probably wouldn’t find another sport that would make me feel the same way. In reality,  I haven’t put down the snowboard long enough to really experience anything else.  Most of my previous summers meant long drives to a patch of snow or moving to Hood to work at Windells Camp so I could ride everyday.  I loved it but this summer I was ready for a break.  The snow patches were a bit harder to get to, flights to Portland weren’t as affordable and I figured why not enjoy summer?

The timing was right with a Bike Park in my backyard and a used Giant Reign mountain bike for $600. I was determined to finally give mountain biking a chance.

I started out on the easiest trail at Mammoth, Downtown.  I lapped it a couple times to get the hang of being back on a bike, luckily the trail taught me the basics of riding on sand (something very common at Mammoth) and once I felt more comfortable, was ready for the next level.  After that I rode Big Ring, another easy trail that has a lot more trails and single track.  Despite being a green, it was a trail that pushed my riding.  After that, I stepped it up to the next level with Juniper, a blue trail that I had to traverse across the mountain to get to and offered a lot more rocks, sandy riding and my first wooden bridges!

By the time I rode the gondola to the top with my mountain bike, I was very comfortable on trails and riding Off the Top trail was a very comfortable ride despite being a more challenging no-error trail in the top portion.  I now lap that trail for fun by myself and it’s one of my favorites on the mountain.  A couple weeks ago, I finally stepped it up to the big leagues…I rode my first jump line black diamond trail and my first double black diamond full on downhill trail with paver turns, wall rides, drops and jumps.  It was scary, heart pounding and adrenaline pumping riding but the most fun I’ve had all summer.  It meant a summer of progression, starting on green trails in early July to riding double blacks in late August.  This summer I learned to ride bridges, paver turns, sandy spots, handling over rocks, drops and did my first wall ride on the deep end.

Unfortunately a bruised heel ended my mountain biking earlier this month and I’m already missing the ride time.  It’s crazy how when you find a passion, you just want to keep doing it no matter how long it’s been in your life.  I’m already stoked for the next mountain biking adventure and getting back on the bike next summer.

Do you have other passions that occupy your non-snowboarding time or is it just snowboarding all the time?

About the author


From the beginning of time, I was Shannon. From the beginning of snowboarding, I was Shay. From the beginning of online communities, I was Shayboarder. In the end, I’m the writer, photographer, editor, publisher, guru of sorts, product tester, curvy girl, and most importantly the snowboarder behind it all. Follow me on this journey through snowboarding, mountain biking, traveling and fun experiences!

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  1. Tom
    September 28, 2011

    Not very original, but skateboarding in the summer.

  2. September 28, 2011

    SCUBA diving – it’s addicting. Being 60 feet deep at a wreck, staring a fish in the face is the only thing I’ve found that compares to standing on top of a mountain.

  3. Pete
    September 28, 2011

    Really love playing guitar, and traveling in general. I don’t have an insane budget, so it’s just going to different states when I can.

  4. Ling
    September 28, 2011

    Shay – it’s great to see you riding! I ride in the summer and board in the winter too.
    Maybe we’lll see a spinoff site? Shayrider? or if you are really getting into DH – Shaybomber.com ?!?!

  5. Nes.
    September 28, 2011

    I think it’s so great that you posted this! I love MTB riding and go all summer long. I try to get my friends to go out but they can’t imagine why they would go to the mountain when there’s no snow on it. haha!

    I can’t wait till it starts raining a little – the tracks are awesome when they’re damp and there’s something exhilarating about mashing down a mountain in a down pour. Plus I hate sand-traps and love mud!

    Enzy – I love scuba diving also! Been advanced open water certified since 2001, and yea, soo addicting. Only thing is I live in California – so the water is cold and loaded with kelp..yuck. I do hear there’s some nice wrecks around though. Where do you dive?

  6. Dave
    September 28, 2011

    its a great life,
    boats, boards and bikes

  7. September 28, 2011

    Lower that seat, missy! 😉 Glad you’re loving it! Now when you visit WA–we’ve got two things we need to connect and go do! And the NW trails–hero dirt so much more than Cali.! You’ll fall even more in love.

  8. Carrie
    September 28, 2011

    Like you Shay, I found mountain biking a couple summer ago and haven’t looked back. Living in whistler it’s hard not to bike! Plus, given I have 2 months off int he summer, my mountain biking has taken over as my sport… snowboarding has taken a back seat. I think once my level of progression in Mountain biking calms down, then i may enjoy boarding again, but right now biking is offering me so much more… new challenges, new friends, new travels….. I am officially hooked!!

  9. September 28, 2011

    Rad to hear what others do in the summer!

    Ling, I considered changing the site to allow for other sports but still keep it very personal. The joke around my work is shayskier, shaytelier, shaybiker, shayblader, it goes on and on. Definitely would be fun to be able to write about everything I love and not just snowboarding but still too early to know for sure.

    Nes, that’s awesome you are out on the trails too! The rainy days were the best, definitely the riding was soo good when it got tacky on the mountain.

    Adrienne, haha I took that pic right after I bought it. Seat got lowered after the first day on the trails. Definitely want to come ride WA/Whistler next summer!

    Carrie, I can’t wait till we can go riding together in Whistler! Mountain biking definitely calms me, very challenging at the same time.

  10. September 28, 2011

    I remember asking you on the lift this winter something to the effect of “What else are you into?” You were like, “Uh, snowboarding…That’s pretty much it!” Glad to hear that you’ve found an exciting summer activity. There’s lots of ways to have fun in life (and I’ll probably try to find em all) but, riding pow is still #1!

  11. Peterborough
    September 29, 2011

    Sweet deal on the bike, and welcome to the best and funnest way to cross train for snowboarding! Any more comments on the Mammoth trail network? Are they all pay per use, is it crazy expensive?

    Mountain biking and wishing I could get out skateboarding more is how I spend my non-snowy months.

  12. Peterborough
    September 29, 2011

    Oh, and there’s nothing wrong with a high seat (when riding style and trail conditions dictate)!

  13. September 29, 2011

    Nate, haha I remember that! Definitely glad I took up mtn biking!

    Peter, yeah I got lucky with a co-worker selling the bike for a price I could afford. The trails on Mammoth you are supposed to have a Bike Park pass/ticket that gives you access to the shuttles/gondola/lifts. I’m an employee so I ride for free. Generally this summer I’d get a ride up to work and ride home a couple days a week.

  14. September 29, 2011

    I keep wanting to try this type of mountain biking (I’ve done the flatter, more open stuff around here – but none of the downhill stuff), and I’ve decided I’m just going to go for it next summer. What’s there to lose? =D

    From your experience, was it a jump right in and learn it type of thing, or should I take a lesson at one of the many mountains around here next summer? It looks like so much fun, but I’m not even sure where to start!

    As for other summer activities – kayaking! Doesn’t have anything to do with snowboarding, but it’s great anyways!

  15. September 29, 2011

    I normally wakeboard or rock climb in the summer, but I actually went to SheRide Mountain Bike Camp in Durango this summer and fell in love with mountain biking too! I just need to get my own bike so I can afford to go more often.

  16. September 29, 2011

    Jillian, you should definitely try it! I started small with the easy trails, got some pointers and just started doing it over and over to get better. Eventually you get more comfortable and you start progressing quickly. It would have been nice to take a lesson but I just rode with friends learning along the way. The good news is, if it’s scary you can walk around it.

    Suzanne, sick I was looking at those! Glad to hear they were a blast! Get a bike for sure!

  17. October 03, 2011

    It is all about wakeboarding for me in the summer!! I wish I could get out on my bike a little more, but the boat is just way to fun…

  18. Phil
    October 03, 2011

    Thats sick you got stoked on mtn biking. I moved to tahoe so I could get my adrenaline fix year round right in my backyard.

  19. October 05, 2011

    Nes – I’m in Jersey, so I dive in the cold, grey Atlantic. There are actually a lot of wrecks off the coast of LBI, so it’s much better than people (including myself) would think. We also have a scuba park in PA in an old quarry that gets to about 100 feet. They sunk some stuff in there, a plane, train, boat, crane, and its a good spot to just get some practice in.

  20. Graham
    October 07, 2011

    I also started mountain biking this summer. after years of my friend telling me how much I would love it and me telling him that I wouldn’t I finaly gave in. and he was right. I absolutley loved it. Managed to get a sweet deal on a second hand Specialized SX trail…. I absolutely love my bike……

    One of the few free aminites in Dublin (Ireland) are the local hills. There are tonnes of trails and tonnes of people to ride with.

    It a great summer replacement for the snow, keeps you fit and works your balance. As you said it is so addictive. I found myself riding a huge amount this summer… it’s a great way to blow off steam and the long summer evenings here mean that you have so much time after work to ride.

    Cant wait for next summer, but in the mean time, we have a little issue of a winter in Laax, Switzerland to get through first…..

    Mountain opens 03/12/11