My first time on a bike, I was six years old. Our family friend, “Uncle Gavin” introduced me. My favorite type of riding is two wheels—two-stroke for life—and I fell in love with Enduro this summer. There are three major reasons that this sport has taken control of my life in the summer. My favorite aspect is when you stumble upon a trail ridden earlier that season, and instead of needing help on three of the climbs, I only need help on one. Second, the freedom you feel, but you also feel safe and secure in the elements. The people I’ve been able to meet! Last, it keeps me away from drinking my life away. I can put my anger, anxiety, and worries about life into something productive instead of a 12 pack.

YZ 250 Two Stroke on rock for Why I Ride Project

I want to get to that cliffside.

My favorite memory is when my buddy Zach and I were playing around and exploring one day. We both didn’t feel like serious singletrack, so we were looking around checking out new areas. At one point, we made it to this rocky climb that had to be about a mile and a half long. The second you lost your momentum, your tire would sink and throw you. I stopped halfway up to catch my breath, and I saw this small peak in the distance. I told Zack, “I want to get to that cliffside.”

We were both determined to get there, so we pushed on. It opened back up to a simple two-track, with some outstanding views. We finally reached the highest point and realized we had to bushwhack a little. While I was leading us to the cliff edge, there was a pinch, and you had to wiggle through some trees. There was a branch in the way, so I proceeded to hit it with my bark buster. But the branch had a little more girth than I expected it to have and completely dismounted me from my bike. Zack thought it was one of the funniest things ever and proceeded to laugh at me for a good while (He later tipped over from getting stuck on a sapling—karma is a bitch—don’t forget that).

Extreme enduro trail on a yz two stroke

Once we reached the cliffside, we were hovering at around 7,200 feet. We had climbed a few thousand feet that day. The ride reminded me why I do what I do. The views we saw, the different types of terrain, the friendship that grew that day, I couldn’t have asked for a better day. I couldn’t have asked for a better summer.

It’s my jungle gym I always wanted and asked for as a kid.

A group of riding buddies enjoy the reasons of why they ride

My favorite place on earth to ride is Pipestone, Montana. It will always have my heart and be called my home. The unlimited terrain there is outstanding. You can go from hot laps on a two-track to singletrack that makes you want to rip your hair out. The people there are amazing as well. Every person I’ve met has been so down to earth and friendly. It’s my jungle gym I always wanted and asked for as a kid.

More from Why I Ride Project

Rachael Bartzick Social Post

All Why I Ride Project Stories

About Why I Ride Project