The Story about a Boy Named Tucker

  • Sometimes Your Best Days Come So Unexpected!

Davis, West Virginia is a town in Tucker County, along the Blackwater River. The area surrounding Davis is renowned for its bike culture, mountain biking trails and races like the “Revenge of the Rattlesnake,” which is considered to be one of the toughest bike races. Some of the most notable trails, from my point of view, were Moon Rocks and Hoodoo Rocks. This place is also the home to several of my favorite places. There’s Blackwater Falls Campground, with a playground of trails nearby. Also Blackwater Falls State Park, Canaan Mountain Bike Festival, Blackwater Bikes and Hellbender Burritos.

I went to Davis, West Virginia to spend the weekend advancing my mountain bike skills from one of my mentors, Sue Haywood. She is an east coast mountain bike icon and a world cup and Olympic caliber racer. Ironic that this county, is also the name of the boy I met…Tucker.

TuckerSo, how did I met Tucker? I was parked at my campsite working on bikes with the trailer doors open. I travel with a small RV and bike trailer in tow. A young boy asked, “can I borrow a bike pump?” I said, “of course, you can, here you go!” He looked at me and said, “are those all your bikes and are you a professional racer?” “Yes, but now I teach people the skills to ride mountain bikes and I am here to take a lesson from a famous mountain biker who lives in the area, her name is Sue Haywood.”

Tucker said, “so you could teach me?” “Yes, I can, but you need a helmet.” I explained the importance of a helmet. He jumped in and said, “I have one.” He raced off to get it.

There are times in life you realize where you were supposed to be, just didn’t matter when you have this passionate young boy wanting to learn more about mountain biking. As he approached me, he had the biggest smile. I fixed his helmet straps, told him to be a leader among his friends and encourage them to wear helmets. He said, “I can do that!”

I gave a crash course on bike maintenance. I realized he didn’t have any bike tools in case he got a flat tire.  I stepped into my trailer, realized I had the coolest seat bag shaped like a hamburger complete with a multi tool, tube, tire levers, CO2 and patch kit. (I found that bag at this cool bike shop in Michigan while in town for the Barry-Roubaix race.) I explained each item inside and put the seat bag on his bike.

His face lit up and he said, “Is that for me? It matches my bike!” “Tomorrow, you will get a lesson!” I replied. He said, “With a fast response, “1 o’clock 2 o’clock….” I said, “That’s when I have my lesson but later in the day is fine!” I felt bad because my private lesson took longer because, I got lost in the woods on my ride to her house. When I arrived back at my campsite, it was dark.

The next morning I was leaving to return home. As I was pulling out of camping spot, my heart tugged at me because I didn’t get to do that lesson with him. As I was driving out, Tucker raced up to me, yelling, “wait! Here’s my mom’s Facebook information. Please stay in contact with us!”

I wished him well and drove off. Sometimes life grabs a hold of you and makes you turn around…that’s exactly what I did. I turned the RV around, parked back in my camping spot. I grabbed my bike, cones and notes then rode through the whole campground searching for him. It was early with only a few campers awake making their coffee.

A nice couple smiled big at me. I said, “Good morning!” It was Tucker’s family. Tucker’s face BEAMED! I introduced myself and asked if it was okay to teach Tucker a lesson. Tucker grabbed his bike and I noticed he had a flat tire. I said, “follow me to my trailer and I will show you how to fix that.” Tucker said, “it just won’t hold air.” We fixed his tire and his private clinic began. His face reminded me of someone that won the lottery! His family came over to watch and took pictures. I was so thrilled to get a friend request on Facebook from his mom!

I later found out that he has taken more mountain bike lessons and has a new nickname, Hamburger!

My heart is full!


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