Q&A on DOD: 'We're just really about the mountain biking community'

EUGENE, Ore. - The Disciples of Dirt mountain biking club not only rides trails together, but also maintains and builds them.

The group plans to celebrate all things mountain biking this Sunday at the 10th annual All Comer's Meet.

Kraig Brockelman served as Chairperson on the Board of Directors for the group. He agreed to explain what the Disciples are all about.

Could you tell me a little bit about the Disciples of Dirt?

We are a mountain bike organization based out of the Eugene, Ore., area. We have people all the way from Washington down to Northern California, but our regular membership is from the Willamette Valley. We're into the advocacy side of things, which means we dig trails, we don't just ride them. We dig them, we protect them, we build them and we fix them. We're also about community, which means coming together and besides riding our bikes, just hanging out, talking about bikes, talking about other stuff; we're just really about the mountain biking community to put a big picture on it.

How long has the organization been around?

Close to 25 years. It was started in the late 80s by a few guys who were just looking to ride. They all rode mountain bikes but they didn't necessarily know where the good trails were or where the legal trails were, so they kind of found each other and started it that way.

Is there a desired skill level for members of the Disciples of Dirt?

Years ago there was a perception of the Disciples of Dirt as just a bunch of hardcore riders and racers who were super fit. There are still a lot of super fit riders in the club, but we have every skill level; we've got some - "newbies" we call them - who are relatively new to the sport. A big ride for them might be 7, 8 or 10 miles, and we've got people in the club that ride 100 miles in a day, and everybody in between. We've got every flavor, every size, every style.

What do you enjoy most about mountain biking?

The excitement, the adrenaline, and I like hanging out with my buddies. Mostly I just like getting out, getting sweaty, getting dirty, burning off a couple of chocolate chip cookies that I ate, seeing how far I can go, seeing if I can make it around a corner without falling like I did last time, or making it up a hill or down a hill. It can be the stamina challenge, it can be a skills challenge, and it's really about the big picture to me, the riding part of it.