The Extreme Cyclists of the Navajo Nation | The New Yorker

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As a teen-ager, Salabye yearned for escape, so he joined a bunch of kids on a bike trip to Texas and back—three thousand miles at a clip of nearly a hundred miles a day. Riding a bike that hard hurts, but Salabye said he’d never felt better. As he approached middle age, he bought a mountain bike and came out to ride on the rim of Canyon de Chelly, pedalling hard from rock to rock, spinning through sand and gravel traps, and leaping over deep crevices—flying. Last year, Salabye came across Nigel on a trail ride and invited the kid to train with him. Before long, Nigel began taking home prizes at enduro races. “I see myself a lot in him because at that age I wish I had somebody to lead the way,” Salabye said. . . .

Jerrod and Terence Yazzie—the Rezneck Riders, as they call themselves—had been riding for more than twenty years, but they hadn’t heard of enduro when they started doing it. After his father died, Jerrod said, he quit school, drank hard, rode rodeo bulls, picked fights, and wrecked trucks. He served time in prison and sobered up, but he came out still angry, and went looking for his fix on his bike, charging straight at the red-rock heaps that had loomed over him his whole life, lurching up and over them and hurling himself off them. Nigel called the Yazzies crazy. He loved riding with them: “Big drops. Big jumps.”

MoBikeFed comment: A great story about the transformative power of bicycling.