Things have heated up recently and well, I figured folks my wander this way looking for some kind of foothold on everything so I figured I'd better slap something up right quick.

Ugh, how do I tell you this story?

I guess here is as good a place as any to start. Pull quote: "This doesn't mean that I don't wish for a modern hardtail 29'er, but things being what they are, this is my mountain bike."

Fast forward about 10 months to June of this year and I've abandoned my "century-every-month" in 2014 goal and have gone to off-road riding almost all the time. Either on my CX bike or the Jankmobile, pictured above.

I'd pounce at any opportunity to ride the trails and, as before, would often attempt something beyond my ability and end up on the ground, bruised and scratched but happy and undaunted.

Chip Baker, in his element.

The next part of this story is best told by my good friend, Chip Baker, who is the unofficial morale officer for the #NECX.  Read up, over on his blog.

Long story short, Chip pulled together about 50 people from our cycling community and bought me a brand spanking new Trek SuperFly FS 8.

Follow on that incredible and humbling surprise with a summer of A LOT of learning to handle the new bike. Amazing how much I was able to up my game. I rode and raced and rode some more.

Oh, of COURSE I still crashed, but much, much less often.

This is gonna hurt...
But the best part was being with my friends.