Enjoy the Ride
After enduring years of continuous abuse involving long nights of me banging away at the keyboard, my trusty laptop finally gave up. It’s funny how I’m more than willing to throw my hard-earned cash at new bike parts, but when it comes to purchasing a new computer, I cringe at the thought. Utilizing my adept ability to scan subtle differences in spec charts, I found the right tool for the job—a computer with a cost nearly double what I paid for my first full-suspension bike. I bit the bullet hard and bought that new laptop with all the bells and whistles included. I guess you’re wondering what my new computer has to do with mountain biking. Well, the truth is, it doesn’t have anything to do with our sport. What I found while transferring my files off my old computer, however, tells the story of why I love and will continue to love mountain biking.
So, what was this discovery I stumbled upon? Well, along with dozens of photos of me riding with my family and friends was a video I was asked to make in college. I was attending a class on public speaking, and one of our assignments was to show our personality through a short video. I, of course, took this opportunity to ditch my subsequent classes to go for a mountain bike ride. I mean, come on, the weather was perfect, and the trails had just been hit with a light rain. It was as if I were a surfer who just got wind of a once-in-a-lifetime swell. I couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear as I rushed home to grab my bike and gear with the perfect reason to ditch school and ride.
Midway through my ride at Annadel State Park in Santa Rosa, California, a place I’ll always call home, I pulled out my early-generation iPhone and began recording. Flash-forward to today, and I was staring into the eyes of a young, enthusiastic version of myself. I was so happy to be out riding my bike that it was infectious, even now. That video made me reflect on why I enjoy riding bikes so much. I saw myself speak about community, the latest in front-derailleur tech and about my handy quick-release seatpost clamp. I spoke of the club team I was so appreciative to be a part of, and just how nice it was to be out in nature. I knew at that moment I wanted to build my life around riding bikes. I just never dreamed it could be as awesome as this.
I know many of you don’t need to be motivated to go out and ride, but when you’re feeling blue, reflect back on where cycling has taken you. Has it introduced you to a new group of friends? Has it taken you to places you’d otherwise never go? Or has it kept you healthy, offering an exciting way to exercise? Whatever motivates you to ride, hold on to that feeling and reflect on it from time to time. Take way too many pictures of your adventures and document every mile. Record videos with your friends and, most of all, enjoy the ride.
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