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Alban’s Hobby

Justin took all these while Alban and he were having fun on their bikes.

One of the later hobbies to make an appearance, and not a long one at that, was Alban‘s alone.

During the spring of 2004, he graduated from soccer and skateboarding to mountain biking. Well, he didn’t really graduate from skateboarding, which he still did years later. Rather, he put it aside to try something different.

Mountain biking was indeed different. With his new friend Justin, he participated in three races with hills and drops and jumps and plenty of falls and broken bike parts and all kinds of other fun things for scaring parents half to death!

From the back, showing the ramp that he took off from.

From the back, showing the ramp that he took off from.

We would rather that he had gone back to soccer, which he was always very good at. But that he would not do.

The photos here show him practicing jumps on the campus of UC Santa Cruz one weekend in May 2004. We have to admit that it looks like fun!

UCSC must know that local mobile athletes (with all the different kinds of biking and boarding, not to forget unassisted exercise, like running, there are lots of those in Santa Cruz) ride up to the campus to use some of the amazing pieces of equipment on the campus’s equally amazing trails. Kudos to the Administration for letting it go on, at least some of the time: great town-gown relations!

The UCSC campus is a former ranch, Cowell Ranch, which was turned into a UC campus in the halcyon days of 1965. It is beautiful land, criss-crossed with footpaths and cycle paths and bridle paths.

On the right is another of Justin’s photos, this time showing Alban in full flight with no feet. That’s Alban: if he can do it using his feet, then he wants to do it without using them!

The instructor strutting his stuff!

On the left is Justin, his mountain biking mentor. Check out the dust! Also, note that he is moving the bike out of the straight position which is the natural position for jumping. Just as Alban graduated to no feet, so Justin graduated to an acrobatice bike position. This is our little example of the birth of Xtreme Sports!

I also got into the act, albeit at Disney‘s California Adventure in Anaheim, as the following photo vividly demonstrates. What style!

With the help of a good old-fashioned optical illusion, I can do anything!!

Here is a great picture of Alban that Justin took after they spent a
day doing these jumps at UC Santa Cruz.

As the years advance, fooling around gets more serious. Other family hobbies include surfing, skiing and swimming pools. Not to forget taking vacations!