It was five years ago when this tiny kid came in the shop with his Dad. I still remember the anticipated disappointment when the Dad asked if we would allow this little guy to come on our group rides. Of course, the answer was yes.
Dad looked pretty surprised, and happy that we were willing to take his little rug rat out on the trails.
The kid rode a hard tail mountain bike with slick dirt jump tires and wore a full face motocross helmet. So really his bike was not nearly enough for the muddy conditions and his helmet was crazy overkill.
But the attitude was awesome, he just wanted to ride the trails. I remember on that first ride he fell off a 3 foot high bridge into a creek and just tapped his big full face and laughed. I knew right then he was a real mountain biker.
Over the years he got himself a full suspension bike, and then an even better full suspension bike, he rode lots and he rode hard. I could see him improving every ride and It wasn’t long until the full grown adults were having trouble keeping up to him on the weekly rides. He started racing a bit and regularly had solid results against experienced racers twice his age. This kid clearly the drive and ambition to succeed.
He started volunteering at Swicked events and we quickly put him to work with some odd jobs and running errands for us. He proved to be an amazing little worker and started doing some mechanical work on kids bikes and fixing flat tires. Just like riding, he improved every day and just a few years later he is now working on almost everything at the shop and has become a huge part of the Swicked Family.
Its funny now looking at him at 17 years old. He’s taller than me (not that that’s saying much), he rides just as hard as I do and on any given day makes me suffer, and after rides he actually drives me home now. It seems that Greg grew up and he did it with class!
That little kid that came in five years ago is now graduating high school and is starting, what I know, will be a very successful life.