The Mountain Bike Life

Author: Benjamin Platte

As the end of bike season rolls around many riders gather to share tales of adventures, races won and lost, and general mountain bike debauchery. Looking at photos of the grand rides and the transcontinental journeys, soaking in the post race reports of truly epic events like the tour divide, or watching a video of a far off trail created by one of your peers, one can not help but feel a tinge of envy. Maybe even some regret that…

I have noticed a trend recently around many trail centers that I frequently ride. There seem to be more and more one way trails that keep popping up. It is not too uncommon to find a downhill trail that is loaded with drops and jumps that does not allow climbing, however, I have been noticing more uphill only trails as well as trails that one might not really see as “downhill” trails that only allow a rider to descend. This…

We’ve all seen it, and most of us envy it. The perfect four legged friend that follows right behind their pack leader (also known as human/master/mom/dad). Never straying from the designated trail, except to let other traffic pass, no time to concentrate on squirrels or interesting smells, but focused and happy to move their legs at top speeds. You can see all different breeds mastering trails, barreling through banked turns in fern covered forests, launching sandstone drops, and climbing wooden…

The idea of riding somewhere new can be both an exciting and a daunting task. You are not sure if the trails in this new area will be outside of your skill level, or if they might not even be worth riding. It is easy to sit on your computer and soak up information like a sponge. You read about all of the trails a specific area has to offer. There is lots of quantifiable information that can be learned…

Living in the moment you never realize it is coming. You ride along blissfully with your thoughts focused solely on the trail in front of you. You are out enjoying another perfect summer rip through your favorite trails. You finally are back in riding shape. You know the ins and outs of every trail. You know not to hit the brakes for the high speed corners. You have become intimately acquainted with every square inch of trail. You are only…

Some road trips start out with a strange foreboding feeling. You get the sense that you should not be journeying to the destination you have in mind. All parties involved seem to have catastrophic vehicle failure immediately before disembarking. You seem to get stared at by every rough looking local in all the small towns you stumble through. There is the sense that you should most certainly not stick around for too long. Real life seems to resemble the start…

You don’t hate that trail, but you do not like it. You still ride it, but almost begrudgingly so. It is old faithful. The first to thaw in the spring, the last to freeze in the winter. It is always there. It is unchanging. There are never new expansions. There are no new features. No new jumps. No alternate lines. It is constant. The views have long become mundane and uninteresting. What few alterations happen to the trail only seem…

You are out on your favorite trail. The one that has all of the features you and your buddies have spent hours mastering. The trail you rely on to get your daily single track fix. You’re pedaling harder than you have ever pedaled before and riding almost perfectly. This very well could be the best ride you have ever had. Then while climbing that most technical and cardio intensive part of the whole trail, some Strav-A-Hole comes blasting down the…

You often hear about trails in certain areas referred to as “must rides” or as a “mountain biking classic”. These are the trails that you always tell anyone from out of town about. The rides that maximize the fun and leave tourists spreading the word of how amazing the trails are. There are many things that could make riders say such things. It could be a lung busting cardio fest, or it could be a trail that has all of…

Group rides and riding with one or two of your best riding buddies is fun and is often what riding is all about. Your friends can push you and make you pedal that little bit harder. Rides like those are social and a lot of fun. As with most aspects of riding your bike there is a flip side. When you ride with the same group all of the time, you can lose sight of your own personal goals and…

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