Charlottesville, nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, provides ample space for bikers to take to the trails. The Charlottesville Area Mountain Biking Club (CAMBC) is one of the region’s premier organizations for creating and maintaining these trails, while also organizing different events throughout the year. Sam Lindblom, CAMBC President, is no stranger to the mountain biking scene. We were recently able to catch up with Sam, covering everything from scrambled eggs to singletrack.
BRO: How did you get into mountain biking?
SL: I’ve been riding bikes since childhood. Combine my love of the outdoors with a love of bicycles and there you have it. I’ve been mountain biking since about 1985. My first legit mountain bike was a 1988 Cannondale Red Shred. I miss that bike…
BRO: When did you start working with the CAMBC?
SL: I got involved about 2009 by helping out on trail work days. I joined the board on 2012, and became the board President in 2014. Being the President means that I am the primary cat herder (but far from alone!). I am the primary spokesperson, preside over board meetings, and communicate with our members (over 400) and our partners (governments, other non-profits) about trail issues, opportunities, and events. CAMBC is everything I love about Charlottesville; people doing great fun things together, outside, while making our community a better place to live.
BRO: Do you have a favorite trail to ride?
SL: I have way too many favorite places to ride around Cville! But specifically, I love riding in the George Washington National Forest up on Shenandoah Mountain; and you can never get bored on our Rivanna Trail (who else has 20+ miles of singletrack in the city limits?).
BRO: Favorite pre-ride meal?
SL: Without scrambled eggs and PB&J, I’d be bonked on the side of some mountain somewhere.
BRO: Most embarrassing spill?
SL: Once in college, I tried to bunny-hop a curb in front of my recent ex-girlfriend. I blew the jump, went over the bars, and left a lot of skin and blood on the sidewalk. Smooth.
BRO: If you could meet anyone, past or present, who would it be?
SL: That’s tough, but I’ve always been completely fascinated by Teddy Roosevelt, who, among other things, set aside 150 million acres of public land and worked with Gifford Pinchot and John Muir, two of the most incredible conservationists of all time.
BRO: What is one book you think everyone should read at least once? Why?
SL: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Well, it’s about my hometown, but more importantly, it teaches the most important life lessons of tolerance and understanding of differences.
BRO: How have the outdoors affected your life?
SL: It permeates essentially all aspects of my life. There is nothing like being in the outdoors to help you gain perspective, and reflect on the beauty of this world we’ve been given. You see some of the most amazing things on backcountry mountain bike rides—things like black bears and cubs, timber rattlesnakes, and amazing wildflowers are common, but nonetheless impressive and never get old.
BRO: What’s your greatest achievement?
SL: I married Paige 20 years ago, and we have two of the most amazing, outdoor loving boys, Caden and Carter. I’m pretty proud of that one…
BRO: Do you have advice to offer to aspiring mountain bikers?
SL: Go slow, learn skills, be patient. Don’t worry about the best gear, but you definitely need a decent rig and a good fitting helmet. More than anything have fun. The skills come quickly and the fun and health benefits never stop!
For more information about trails and upcoming events in Charlottesville, check out cambc.org.
Gordon Knapp is one of our 2015-2016 college ambassadors. Learn more about Gordon, and our other interns, here.