Tuesday, September 29, 2009

UVa Mountain Biking!

My getaway has always been on a bike. In high school when I was loaded down with work or I was just feeling down, I would call up a buddy and go hit the local trails by my home in Roanoke, Va. Something about the air rushing past your face, the intimate connection between you and nature as you blast down a narrow trail clinging on for dear life. One of the things that upset my about leaving for college was leaving behind my mountain bike and my favorite pastime. I didn’t think it would be that bad until about two weeks into my first year experience I was once again craving a mountain blast. I knew I had to get it out of my system somehow, but where would I go in Charlottesville? This wasn’t the rural mountainous area I heralded from? There couldn’t possibly be a good place to bike here? A few Google searches later I realized how wrong I was. A mere half mile ride from my dorm, on the hill behind O’Hill Dining Hall there is an entire trail system dedicated for runners and bikers. I was ecstatic; I grabbed my helmet, printed out a map, and jumped on my commuter bike (bad choice). Within the space of fifteen minutes I was blasting down a mountain trail, leaving all my worries behind. I was quite pleased by the trail system, a nice blend of fast down-hills and gentle (but rocky) up-hills, well until I got a flat tire jumping off a drop. So this trip didn’t end so well, and I got a nice hike back down carrying a bike (much to the amusement of gathering tailgaters). A few weeks later, I convinced my parents to bring up my mountain bike and have since been riding O'Hill almost daily. It's a great workout and lets you take a break from the hustle and bustle of daily college life. Go out and explore campus you will be surprised what you find. Don’t let yourself be trapped in your little square of campus and your first weeks at UVa will be all the better.

(Send me an email at uvasteven@gmail.com and I'll be glad to ride with you or show you the trails when you come visit!)

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