Mountain biking dads of the world click here and take note, Dustin Cottle proves that having kids needn’t slow you down or ruin your stoke factor; in fact it might just prove to be a catalyst to radness and good times!

The cracking of ice cold Tecates orchestrate the final, but possibly most vital, part of the FNR. This is the “Friday Night Ride.” This is church. This is tradition. It’s 6 p.m. on Friday evening and desk jockeys key in final numbers, shop owners lock up and here I sit, deep in the Santa Cruz mountains, talking story with a group of middle aged shredders that virtually ooze stoke – my weekend has already begun.

“The blistering downhill speed set by this crew is only outpaced by the beers consumed and good times had.”

What starts as a tight knit group of nine-to-fivers discussing workday woes and where the kids’ weekend soccer game will take them, ends with riders jumping and berm-blasting their way back into an overgrown parking lot shadowed by layers of towering green mountains. The ride is short, 2 hours at most but it makes do. Now – dark, light, rain or shine, a familiar routine is set in motion. The sun goes down, legs go up and beers tip back. Limes? Check. Salt? Check.

The blistering downhill speed set by this crew is only outpaced by the beers consumed and good times had. The setting is the birthplace of Mountain Biking and the characters are a close group of 40 somethings motivated to keep the dream alive. What’s the dream you ask? Well, it’s the cultivation of lifelong friendships, an escape from the madness of reality and the constant pursuit of the butterflies in your stomach when you rail a berm just right or put a perfect line together through flowy singletrack. In a world where cycling culture has directed its focus to racing up this, and having the fastest time down that, this group reminds us exactly why we chose this lifestyle. Get together with your friends, drink some beers and shred the fucking wheels off your bike – in no particular order.

Mountain Biking in this small corner of the world is the sport in its finest hour and the Gentlemen of the Friday Night Ride are the paradigm. Five minutes at any trailhead with the FNR crew and anyone would agree the stoke is palpable, but then again maybe that’s just the smoke. If there ever comes a point in your life when riding bikes is no longer the pinnacle of your day and you need a reminder of why this is the greatest sport known to man – load your shred-sled up, pin it to the South Bay, and follow the trail of beer salt to the FNR hideaway. Tell them Dustin sent you.

Tue 13th Sep, 2016 @ 9:30 am

By Dustin Cottle
My name's Dustin Cottle and I like bikes. I live in San luis Obispo, CA and as a Type 1 Diabetic and seeker of shred my 24 years of life have gone in whatever direction my two wheels are pointed. I raced road professionally in 2013 for Novo Nordisk and continue to race on the dirt. I find solace in the saddle and enjoy my post ride pub time with friends almost as much as the ride itself.

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