Meet Morgan. She loves bicycles! Morgan and her husband Steve come from Boulder, Colorado and make up the another Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew team. Morgan is a great storyteller so sit down, grab a cuppa, and find out why she’s a bike person.
LK: What was your first bike?
ML: My first bike was a pink Schwinn. Don’t ask me what kind. It was pink. One Christmas, when I was 5 or 6, I asked my parents for the ‘biggest troll in the world.’ Trolls were just about as cool as bikes back then. On December 25, my sister and I, as we always did, woke up at 4 a.m. and went out to the living to see what kind of loot Santa decided to leave behind. There was a HUGE pile of something under a white bed sheet, and I was convinced that my ultimate dream had come true! I was about to get the biggest troll in the world! I was so convinced that I knew what it was, that I didn’t bother to lift the sheet and cheat, and I waited until my parents awoke to unveil my giant troll. Alas, when we finally opened our gifts as a family and I was allowed to take the sheet off, and there stood a pink Schwinn. I was pretty crushed and disappointed. There might have been muffled tears. I did remember asking for a bike, so I put on a smile and acted as if I never wanted a troll anyway. It ended up being a pretty sweet ride, I only wish I still had it today. By the way, my sister learned how to ride a bike before me, but that’s cool, I have her beat now.
LK: What’s your favorite (most memorable) bicycle story?
ML: I have a couple… Riding home from getting ice cream at McDonald’s with my sister when we were about 12 and 14. We got caught in a completely unexpected summer hail storm – the kind that makes the blue skies turn dark in a matter of seconds and unleashes massive rainfall in just a few minutes. Something about being on a bike made the whole experience really funny and enjoyable. We were just happy being outside and on the bike, and we knew that we had a warm and dry house in our future.
Another story happened when I was around 15, growing up in France. My friends and I lived right on a very busy bike path, with riders ranging from grandmas walking off lunch, to Tour de France wannabes with an attitude problem. The bike path looked like Grand Central Station on weekend afternoons. One of our houses was separated from the bike path by a long, short hedge. We strung a small wallet to fine fishing line, and controlled the line, hidden, from behind the hedge. Hilarity of course ensued as folks on the bike path tried to grab the wallet, thinking that they’d soon be richer. We’d tug at the wallet, they’d be fooled and laugh a little, and go about their way. This one guy though, put an end to all our fun. He went for the wallet, we tugged, he kept on trying to grab it, we’d tug some more, but he was quick. This guy grabbed the wallet, ripped the line straight out of it, and sprinted on his bike away from us. Vandal! My friend Noemie grabbed the first bike she saw, which was her brother’s brand new mountain bike, and raced after him. She was on her own to fight the man with no sense of humor, the man who had our wallet! My most vivid memory of this was her brother Olivier running and yelling after her to not shift the gears on an uphill. She ended up retrieving the wallet (her details of the rescue were always a little hazy, maybe she shifted going uphill), and we quit our prank. Every time I shift gears on an uphill section I think of that day.
I have fond memories of a crappy mountain bike, I don’t even remember what kind or where I got it, taking me to and from college classes for five years. I crashed it into a building on campus, after taking a turn too quickly my sophomore year, on a very cold late-Fall day. I chained it up to the closest rack to my accident, and it ended up snowing hard that afternoon and for the next few months. I never got around to unlocking it and taking it home, since the snow prevented me from riding to school anymore (sissy, I know). I unlocked it a few months later, brought it home and gave it some TLC (miracle that it was still in one piece, a testament to its crappiness), and it was like new! This bike made it all the way through college with me, and I used it thereafter as my commuter bike from home to the train that I took to my new job. Every day was the same routine… drop it off at 6:32 a.m., pick it up at 5:46 p.m. Someone must have been watching my daily repetitive routine, as it was stolen from the train station. I remember always looking down on my bike from the rain platform, and the day it was stolen I knew it was gone before I even glanced down. I made the police come and fill out a report for me, and I called every day for two weeks, but the bike was gone. I replaced it with another commuter bike that I started parking in different spots all over the large train station, and still have to this day.
When I was 16, I lived with my aunt and uncle in Colorado for a summer, and they introduced me to mountain biking. My uncle took me out on some seemingly killer mtb rides, and I must not have been a happy camper. Finally, he dropped me off out in the middle of the forest around Breckenridge, and told me to just take some Jeep roads home. I found my way after way too many hours, but had the best time. That was the first time I enjoyed mountain biking.
I have fond memories of mtb rides in Rapid City, central Illinois, Buffalo Creek, Santa Fe, Flagstaff, Georgia, Tucson, Boulder… The quality of riding only counted for a fraction of the enjoyment. What makes a memorable ride are things like your skill level that and how you feel like you’re progressing in the sport, the company, the weather, the amount of sleep you’ve had, and countless other indescribable factors.
LK: Why do you like to ride?
ML: I like to ride for two main reasons: it keeps me healthy and I like to be outside. I don’t ride to become super ripped or the fastest, but I know that exercise keeps me healthy. I’m happiest when I’m outside, on my bike and away from crowds. I like to explore new, lesser-travelled places and a bike is one of the best and most sustainable means to that end.