Climbing the steep pitches, he’s faster than me. Four-wheel (er, leg) drive naturally makes it easier. When the trail flattens and turns into flowy singletrack, we’re about dead even; it’s as if I’m riding with someone who has the same climbing skills as me. When it comes to the technical, ripping downhills, I tend to drop him. But in his world, it’s all good. His tongue almost always touches the ground and his grin is most definitely from ear to floppy ear at every trail intersection, where he’s been taught to stop and wait to receive further route directions.