Keep your bike close, but keep your friends closer

What was my driver for me to try out mountain biking?

It amazes me how a complex and intricate object can create such simplicity, joy, and community. What was my driver for me to try out mountain biking?

For me, it was the neighbourhood boys that encouraged me to get into mountain bike riding. I remember the boys glued and hammered together homemade wooden jumps and there would be a weekly competition who could land the furthest away from the jump. Cheers, hoots, and hollers echoed the community street. This growing mountain bike community manifested into my life.

The dynamics of riding started to build up over the years. I kept within my core group of riding friends where I could ride at a comfortable level. I had a guarantee. But what would happen if my limits were pushed and I was confronted with healthy challenges on the trail. Progression would happen. I started to crave the butterfly feeling of experiencing new terrain or wanting to try out jumps or gaps, or learning how to ride gracefully through technical descents.

I kept my bike closer rather than my friends to be comfortable, but my challenge for you is to take a moment and see what friends you can ask to challenge you on your rides; be specific. Another recommendation is to reach out to riding community groups. Riding with people who are fundamentally stronger riders than you is a good thing! It can create space for your growth mentally and physically. Mountain biking to me was my escape, my freedom of fun and adventure, my challenger, and my friend. I encourage you to sit in the discomfort of experimentation and let your mind wander not planning a destination, rather leaning into discovery. I realized that I needed to keep my riding friends closer to experience challenge, failure, excitement, and motivation. You game for this new quest?

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