Old Man Winter’s Death Bed

Knight Ide is our very own freeride ambassador. Hailing from the Northeast Kingdom, he is one of Vermont’s home-grown heroes on two wheels. The man can do anything on a bike – heal clickers, roosted berms you name it. But the question is, can he write poetry? Below is his take on this special time called “spring.” Or, as he calls it, “the emergence of dirt.”

above: colossal jumps surface in Knight's back yard


Winter in Northeastern Vermont is reluctantly releasing its claws and allowing the Earth to awaken. Day by day the snowpack recedes, revealing the emerging life beneath. Flowers bravely extend their tender shoots skyward. Grass appears and, seemingly, in the next instant, transforms from dry brown wisps to vibrant green blades. Curls of sod shaved from the earth by early season plowing lay like orange peels. These familiar changes reminds our inner selves of springs past and a giddyness rises within.

Of all the seasonal markers, none evokes in me this eager anticipation as strongly as seeing the earthen giants of my backyard rise from their snowy graves. I wade among them, fording slushy moats to ascend and stand atop a muddy prominence. Drinking it in I close my eyes and can almost hear the buzz of hubs and slap of shovels.

The spring emergence of dirt is a special thing to Vermont mountain bikers, for me it’s my jumps, for others it’s that south-facing section of singletrack. As much as we wish for no off season, the loss of this magical time of change would be a shame.

Spring is here and I can’t wait to ride!

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  1. says: Gail Kuhl

    Knight evokes some fantastic images with his metaphor of “the earth rising from it’s snowy grave.”. I never thought of spring in that way. I’d have to say that in addition to his many talents, he is a poet. The whole piece is full of beautiful images.

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