home Opinion Growing Up as a Local on the Carlmont Hills

Growing Up as a Local on the Carlmont Hills

Lydon Fuller | lfuller20@dtechhs.org | May 28, 2019

Photo provided by Lydon Fuller

Some would say a hidden gem sits up behind Carlmont High School. For years and years there have been several groups of locals who come and ride their bikes up there. It’s a group of riders that forms into a local community. Growing up just down the road from the hills, I’ve spent a lot of time riding up at Carlmont.

I would go up and ride by myself, and it lead to me finding my own generation of local kids that all stick to riding up at Carlmont.

Every little kid who becomes a local starts out by going up to Carlmont with their crappy mountain bike, and eventually jumps one of the first gaps Carlmont has to offer. They go from the smallest jump and move to the big gaps.

Over time we changed from just a group of kids that rode bikes together to all becoming a bunch of people we could call our best friends.

Photo provided by Lydon Fuller

Now, we weren’t the only group of local kids. There was the generation of guys above mine, like Ryan Thomas, Will Scharney (“Scharney”), Marty, Jay, Kurt, and a ton more. Most of these guys have been riding this spot for 10 years plus. Growing up watching these guys ride…they were almost like my idols. As a young kid I knew I wanted to be as good as them. Ryan Thomas talked about when he had found out about Carlmont: “Since 2005, middle school for me. Originally just rode my [lame] hardtail and rented [bikes] or demo bikes. I couldn’t afford a real DH bike to start hitting everything else and get sorta decent until later on. It’s always been a spot for locals to chill and be a hooligan though.”  

Scharney grew up down in Menlo Park and still made a effort to become a local at Carlmont. He told me: “I started riding up here and eventually met all these people I’m still friends with today.”

From what I’ve noticed, I feel as if all the local generations came together almost as one right after the date July 15, 2015, when the group of riders at Carlmont lost someone. It was tragedy described in a KRON 4 article: “a red 1996 Ford Aerostar van crashed into a cement light pole there, according to the sheriff’s office…Aguilar of San Carlos, was unconscious and not breathing.” After the crash, Nick was pronounced dead. If you were to ask any local, it’s been about riding their bikes in the name of Nick.

Photo provided by Lydon Fuller

That’s where Hucksgiving became a big thing. Every year, the day after Thanksgiving, Carlmont locals, and people who ride all over the bay, gather in honor of Nick and have a full day of riding bikes in the name of this fellow local that passed away.

If the Carlmont community didn’t have Hucksgiving to attract so much attention, people wouldn’t have found out about what the community at Carlmont had to offer. I asked James Pond, a 29-year old marine that originally lived in Alameda, and Chubbz, a new local friend, what they thought of the locals and how they’ve been treated, people  who are new to the hills.

“Good group of young guys that were stoked for the sport and motivated anyone new that came out to ride,” said Pond. Chubbz talked about the first time he really came in contact with some of the locals after the spot had some destruction done to all the jumps. “I was super hyped on it! Everyone, for the most part, digs or helps maintain in some way shape or form. So much progression and good vibes to help push each other as well,” he said. He also said this about the local guys who have grown up riding at Carlmont: “They’re GNAR. Everyone I know that had Carlmont as your local growing up is a sender! They’re all so burly, loose and fast, but some of the funniest and fun characters to hang out with.”

Photo provided by Lydon Fuller

If it weren’t for the hill and the groups of kids that have ridden up there over all the years, we wouldn’t have this one big group of locals, friends, and family. Everyone that’s still riding bikes and spending time up at Carlmont still to this day are making Carlmont greater, and riding for Nick day after day.

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