Written by: Sara Sheets
Six years ago I bought my first mountain bike. It was a cheap bike. The components were nothing to brag about, but the bike served me well as a beginner. It was soon after buying this bike I realized that becoming a mountain biker came with a very special component – the biking community of Fort Collins, Colorado.
Many of the local bike shops organize group rides for people of all abilities and I joined my first group ride as a mountain biker. Those group rides were a great introduction to the biking community. Not only did they show me the trails, but they were the beginning of many friendships and provided an in-depth knowledge of the biking resources in the area. Many of the people I met that first year, I am still friends with today.
Those relationships led me to my bike team and within a few years, I joined Northern Colorado Grassroots (NCGR.) This team is where I have found lifelong friends and a support system that has become incredibly important to me. Many team members often participate in the same races and it’s like having our own cheering section at the finish line. The comradery and friendship, especially at those races are absolutely amazing. We are there to support each other throughout the training process and at races, including hand-ups and emotional encouragement. The shared love of mountain biking is a bond that is hard to describe.
Fort Collins has multiple bike teams, clubs, and groups for both mountain and road bikers; and that bond encompasses all people with a love of the bike. Even though we enjoy friendly competition, we all support each other in times of need. We also have a shared interest in promoting biking in Northern Colorado through trail maintenance, city and county planning.
You don’t have to look very far to find that special component that came with your bike. The biking community in Fort Collins is incredible and it’s everywhere you look. I wouldn’t be the biker I am today without this community pushing me to ride my hardest and for cheering me on along the way.