Yaser Khalifa is a man of many different talents and passions. While he loves his job and will forever be fascinated by evolutionary algorithms and all things related to computer and electrical engineering, it is still work and doesn’t do enough to relax him and let him de-stress. Yaser has been fortunate enough to have lived in New Paltz, NY where he had access to the Mohonk Mountain range and Minniwaska State Park. Yaser Khalifa immediately fell in love with nature and scenery when he moved to New Paltz. He had never experienced fall the way it happens in New York and when the leaves started changing color and the sky took on it’s purple hue, he was immediately dumbstruck. Lucky for him, while working at SUNY New Paltz, Yaser was introduced to these areas by a fellow teacher who also introduced him to his current hobby, mountain biking.
While the introduction to mountain biking was what got Yaser Khalifa started on the path to becoming a fan of the sport, it wasn’t until the same teacher introduced Yaser to the Gunks Mountain Bike Association (also known as GUMBA!) in 2005 that his interest became a full blown passion. As if joining the group at GUMBA! wasn’t enough, Yaser has also used his love of mountain biking as a way to give back to his community. Due to his respect for the people working in the New York State Parks Authority, Yaser Khalifa decided to volunteer to be a bike patroller for the Minniwaska State Park. This allowed him to now only enjoy the natural environment he fell in love with, but also to give back the community that was so accepting.
The first record of mountain biking goes all the way back to the 1800’s where modified bicycles were used by the Buffalo Soldiers during expeditions in Midwest. However mountain biking as we know it didn’t really happen until the 1970’s and 80’s when road bike manufacturers decided to cash in on what seemed to be a growing trend and built bikes to newer and more robust specifications. That being said, mountain biking didn’t truly catch on until 1990’s when companies began to realize that what they thought was going to be a short term trend was actually a fad that was quickly becoming mainstream. By the time that Yaser Khalifa fell in love with mountain biking, the industry had been booming and it was becoming more and more the norm. With companies dedicated to producing and innovating new equipment solely for the sport, it took hold in the population and isn’t going to go anywhere.