The legs burned, the heart thumped and the sweat poured from all seven mountain biking participants, including myself, who pushed up and coasted down Canfield Mountain Tuesday as a part of North Idaho College’s Outdoor Pursuits.
Patrick O’Neill, 22, Chicago, computer science, said “it was 100 percent harder, 100 percent more dangerous and 100 percent more enjoyable” than he thought it would be.
The journey started at the McLain Hall Outdoor Center at NIC. After loading the bikes into a trailer, we drove to a section of Canfield Mountain, unloaded the bikes and began our trek up one of the trails.
We stopped a handful of times on the ride up the mountain to catch our breath and hydrate as the sun beat down on the trail.
The ride included NIC students with different levels of mountain biking experience.
“I get really thrilled every time I get to take somebody out for their first actual, real mountain bike ride,” Terry Brinton, 32, Coeur d’Alene, resort recreation management and outdoor leadership, said. “People get really excited. You saw a little bit of that today.”
Brinton said Chance McCormack, an intern for Outdoor Pursuits, organized the mountain bike riding.
Brinton and McCormack led the ride.
After meandering uphill about 1100 feet and taking some advice from Brinton and McCormack, the descent back down to the van began.
“I’d definitely say if I had a better bike, I probably would have pushed the envelope a little bit more, but for the most part, just trying to keep myself safe on my first one,” Clinton Green, 19, Chicago, general studies, said.
Even though the second half of the ride was down hill, stops were necessary to make sure everybody was present and in one piece.
“Every time we stopped I’d get off and I’d just be shaking, like ‘oh my god,’ I just conquered something,” O’Neill said. “It got me jacked. It was just tons of jumps and close calls and squirrelly action. It was a good time.”
Outdoor Pursuits hosts mountain biking every Tuesday in September at 4. Students should meet at the McLain Hall Outdoor Center.