Stories
Cam Unger
August 7th, 2019
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The Rider

The Rider always felt at home here, resting at his favourite lunch spot—with the valley below and the rocky peaks above.

It’s been thirty years, thought the grizzled mountain rider, since I first carved up these alpine meadows.

He glanced down at his fuel supply, out of habit. He didn’t really need to, as there was still plenty, and he knew it. But for many years, simply breaking trail up to these meadows had resulted in a body and sled both out of gas.

The capabilities of the new sleds still surprised him. It had been decades since a 136” track was considered extreme. New sleds had less weight, more power, better traction. Out of the box, they could far outperform even full mod sleds from his past, and with a reliability that he couldn’t possibly have imagined back then.

As The Rider sat and pondered this, a young hotshot crested over an adjacent ridge. The sledder panel-slid down to a bench below, before picking her way down the face to where it opened up enough for some downhill turns.

The veteran chuckled as he thought, I could have done that—if only he’d had a machine like that, back in the day. But then again, would he have even considered going up there in the first place? Probably not.

The Rider Featured

A low rumble filled the densely-treed gulley below. No one goes down into those trees and comes back out, thought The Rider. But that was old-fashioned thinking; those rules no longer apply. Two riders on snow bikes emerged from the ravine. They stopped for an enthusiastic holler and a high-five, before re-firing their thumpers and dropping back down where no sledder would dare venture in the days of yore.

The Rider found himself once again lost in thought, reflecting on the changing times. Sure, a lot had changed, with fancy new gear and equipment. But weren’t they all here for the same reasons today as The Rider was back then? Yes, they must be. The views, the camaraderie and the desire to challenge oneself have always been there, just like they always will be. And so too, will the search for endless adventure.

 

– Marty