My Mtn. Biking Bud
Sometimes it is difficult to coordinate work, family, in general free time with fellow buds to ride with. Everyone has a lot of responsibilities. Everyone except for your Favorite Riding Bud…… “The Mountain Biking Dog”.
On the trails, I have seen all breeds from mutts, to AKC registered Champions, to shop dogs. They come in more sizes than your Wendy’s Drive-Thru menu: Extra-large 175-lb (Great Pyrenees) to Beagles with large bellies and small heads (Molly Heskin). However, all these dogs have something in common….that is only a commitment to riding with you on your terms and your schedule.
My favorite riding bud was Woody, my 95-lb Golden Retriever. He would fetch my helmet, add some impressive teeth marks in the process and wag that tail with more excitement than a 5-year-old on Christmas morning.
I used to drive a ’68 Ford Galaxy (Two bikes could fit in the trunk without removing any wheels…impressive) that had a black vinyl interior. Anyway on any given mtn. bike adventure, Woody would find every mud pit and take a little dip. Woody rode in the back seat and I usually spent more time cleaning car interiors than riding. To clean Woody, I would stop off at the local car wash along Main Street. Needless to say, I had a few on-lookers.
Woody could smoke me on the climbs (4 wheel drive), and I returned the smoking on the downhills. Although Woody was never the fastest or most graceful, he loved our adventures.
A few years ago was Woody’s last real mtn. biking ride. It was in Tsali, NC and he had heat exhaustion only after two miles. He ran too hard, trying to be with me instead of slowing to run with my wife. This was singletrack and we tried to carry the 95-lb fellow. We then made a stretcher with logs and a backpack straddled between two bike toptubes. After a emergency visit to the vet, Woody was fine, however his mountain biking days were over.
After the incident, he still loved to camp and got excited about biking adventures even though he can only watch and not participate. Somedays will I am wrenching in the garage, I’ll take a quick bike spin and Woody would try to run to catch me.
Woody passed on several years ago and I will never forget him.