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Lake Placid, New York

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Near Lake Placid, NY at Whiteface Mountain I had the pleasure of meeting Darren. I first saw him in the bicycle shop paying for his lift ticket, he was in line ahead of me. We were both at Whiteface Mountain with plans to take the gondola lift to the top and mountain bike down. Standing in line I noticed he was wearing equipment that made me think maybe he was lost, perhaps he was asking for directions for where the football game was being played. But in the end I realized he was where he wanted to be, in extreme mountain biking country.

He went on his way and I didn't actually meet him until hours later. He was coming down one of the many runs when he found me stranded with bike problems. My bike was turned over and I was trying to figure out why the rear wheel was dragging against the frame. He immediately dismounted his bike and offered assistance.

During my visit with Darren I learned he had moved to the Adirondacks about a year ago from Flagstaff, AZ. He was a pilot currently working on his instructors rating and had dreams of flying the regional commuters. He just needed more time in the air, something that all pilots who want to move up in the ranks strive for. He owns a Cessna 152 that is IFR rated (meaning he can fly in the clouds) and frequently goes to NYC when his hankering for some city life gets the best of him. I thought it funny that sometimes he flies with his dog.

He is building a cabin out at Rainbow Lake so he plans to stay in the area for a long while. And doing so will keep him in great mountain biking country. He has been mountain biking for 6 years now and from the looks of him, either he is hard-core into the sport or accident prone (all the padding). After observation I voted for hard-core based on the trails he was going down.

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