Occasionally, I’ll have an overwhelming feeling that drives me to go ride—a feeling so strong, I’ll drop whatever I’m doing just to experience the pure joy that only a bike ride can bring. A couple of pedal strokes in and a smile fixes itself to my face, while the wind blows through my hair and my tires roll across the ground. The sound of a freehub coasting, followed by the compression of my suspension as my bike lifts off the ground, brings an excitement I simply can’t describe. This sensation is triggered by a number of reasons, but I’ve managed to narrow it down to four things. These four words represent the reasons I ride. These are my driving forces.
There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing yourself learn and grow as a rider. Finally launching off that feature that first scared you or finishing the epic race that you bailed out of the year before brings a strong feeling of accomplishment. I don’t know about you, but this addictive feeling causes me to continue to push my skills and fitness till they progress to the next level. Then, once I think I’ve found that level, I push again. I’m always striving to be the best I can be; however, the goal is only to be better than I was yesterday. I never compare myself to other riders since they’re on their own journey, one I need not to focus on. My hard work brings great rewards, and with consistent training comes progression. This feeling of progression is one of the reasons I love to ride.
When adversity strikes, it’s important to be resilient. Flat tires, crashes, broken chains—these are all things that discourage riders and ruin a fun day; however, focusing on the negative won’t fix your problems. I always try to learn something from every misfortune: What caused that flat? Why did I crash? How did that chain break? Asking yourself these questions and seeking the answers will make you a better rider. When I face tough situations, I take a deep breath, relax, and focus on bettering my situation through resilience and reasoning. I’ve crashed numerous times, broken a few dozen parts and still I’m driven to ride. In fact, it makes me more excited to get back out there. It’s my curiosity for what went wrong that helps me rewire my focus towards a positive outcome. Sometimes it takes a rough day to appreciate how amazing the great days really are. It’s this lovehate relationship that drives me to ride.
It’s truly amazing how far mountain bikes have come over the past 30 years. Even the past five years have brought an impressive list of advancements in technology that changed the way we ride. I’m talking air forks, dropper posts, tubeless systems, and the list goes on and on. This wave of technology offers us the ability to soar higher and charge faster than we could have ever dreamed of. A huge token of gratitude goes out to all the engineers, inventors and dreamers who helped make our sport what it is today. It’s my love for new technology that gives me yet another reason why I love to toss a leg over a bike.
Passion can be described as a strong and barely controllable emotion. Something I know all too well. I’ve met hundreds of riders who exude a real passion for mountain biking. In fact, I feed off it. It doesn’t matter if I witness this love for mountain biking through an action-packed video, in a touching magazine article or during an engaging conversation; passion is contagious. It flows into me and grabs hold like nothing else. I’m sure if you’ve spent time on a bike, then you know this adrenaline-pumping, endorphin-boosting experience I’m talking about. My raw, uncontrollable passion for being on two wheels is my ultimate driving force.
FINDING YOUR DRIVING FORCE
While I’m more than happy to share these four driving forces with you, I invite you to discover the things that make you tick. Don’t worry, you’re more than welcome to borrow mine. However, if these don’t inspire you to ride, I want to know what does. And better yet, I want you to know what fuels your passion to ride. So, let’s all share the stoke, inspire others and continue to enjoy the sport we love!
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