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My start in bicycling as an adult came while I was a graduate student in Riverside, California. I rode bicycles for fun when I was younger, and in 2002, I still had the same bike, a heavy green Murray mountain bike bought from KMart when I was 14 years old. Although the bike had carried me a lot of places over the years--over roads in Ohio, mountain biking at Tsali Recreation Area in North Carolina one spring break in college, and even 70 miles round trip to REI during my car-free first year in Riverside--it no longer fit and was pretty worn down after years of abuse. After replacing it with a better fitting mountain bike, I gave the old Murray to a Russian colleague in our lab, who nearly had it stolen at KMart--he actually chased down the escaping thief--before ultimately losing all but the locked rear wheel while buying groceries just a few weeks later.

I began exploring the local trails, visiting the nearby Two Trees trail on Box Springs Mountain for my first mountain biking experience in Riverside. Although the trail was a frustrating climb (I learned later that it is more common to descend Two Trees), it led me to explore other riding in the area. Ultimately, I ended up riding with Team Dirty Work, a great bunch of riders in Riverside. Riding with the group was an incredible experience--we met year round for up to four rides a week and covered thousands of miles on the trails in and around Riverside. The group introduced me to night riding (which adds a totally new dimension to a familiar trail) as well as 24-hour mountain bike racing.

I tried to continue montain biking after moving from California to Maine, but the lack of local trails made this difficult. I ended up fitting my mountain bike with slick tires and took to the roads. I enjoyed road riding more than I expected, and ended up switching to a road bike after moving to Pennsylvania. I still commute daily to and from Whitman on the mountain bike from Riverside.

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