Essential Trails Series: Davey Simon
Throughout December, Evergreen is featuring essays, personal anecdotes, and portraits of Washington workers who have used mountain biking and access to trails as a tool for coping with the stresses of 2020.
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Read on for Davey's story and to learn why trails are important to him:
Photos by Ian Terry
2020 has been a rough one. I'm a pilot for a major airline. Talk of a deadly global pandemic started to become more intense in February. In March things got a lot worse. I was still required to go to work but with so much uncertainty it was not clear what the safest course of action was. I was certain that I would be furloughed from my job and have little prospect of future employment. After all, who would hire a pilot when there was so little flying to be done?
To make matters even worse, many trails initially closed. During one of the worst times in my life professionally, when I needed mountain biking the most, I lost almost all access to what I love. Fortunately I had been planning on building a pump track on my property here in Fall City even before the pandemic. Previous to the pandemic this was slow going. I volunteer regularly to help with trail maintenance and since I try to help dig at Duthie and Tokul on a fairly regular basis and when I can at other places in the Snoqualmie Valley, I didn't really have time to work on trails at my house. Now, trail maintenance at these other systems was on hold, so the only thing that remained was completing the pump track at my house. On April 5th, I rolled up my sleeves and started to dig. Thankfully I have made quite a few friends in the mountain bike community since I moved here in 2018. Many of these friends, feeling the same way I was – bored, stressed and worried about the global pandemic– were keen to help out. We banded together and by the middle of May we had a pretty sweet pump track built out.
All together, mountain biking and the knowledge that I have gained through volunteer trail work, on my own and with Evergreen, kept my world from completely unraveling.
I still have some big hurdles to get through in life. Some real heartache and pain around my son who I have not seen since the beginning of the lockdown in March and continual worry about the prospect of remaining employed. Mountain biking is certainly helping me along. I give thanks everyday, for mountain biking, my new friends who have welcomed me to the area with open arms, and Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance for making this area so great.